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Chambers made to 'feel like a leper'

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  • Sprinter Dwain Chambers says he is being unfairly singled out
  • Chambers picked for GB team after returning from two-year drugs ban
  • Former athletic greats Sebastian Coe and Roger Black against his retrun
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LONDON, England -- Disgraced British sprinter Dwain Chambers claims he has been made to "feel like a leper" on his return to the sport having served a ban for failing a drugs test.

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Chambers wiil be a medal contender in Valencia with a season's best of 6.56 seconds for 60 meters.

Chambers was picked in Britain's team for next month's World Indoor Championships in Valencia even though the team's selection committee were "unanimous in their desire not to select him."

The 29-year-old was one of a number of star sprinters to test positive for the designer steroid THG in 2003 in the wake of the BALCO scandal and was subsequently banned for two years.

After a brief flirtation with American football, he has returned to track and field and won the 60 meters at the British trials last weekend, guaranteeing him a place in the team for Spain.

The selection has created a storm of controversy, but Chambers feels he has been unfairly treated.

"I'm being made to feel like a leper," he was quoted in the Sun newspaper.

"A terrible stigma has been attached to me but people need to know I am clean.

"Yes, I did something wrong. I did the crime - but I've done my time and now I've moved on."

But Chambers' return has been criticized by former Olympic 1500 meters champion Sebastian Coe who led the successful London bid for the 2012 Games.

Coe is unconvinced by Chamber's bid to reinvent himself as a campaigner against drugs.

"It would have been better had that year spent in American football been used to go into schools to explain why what he did was unhelpful to the sport," he said.

Fomerr Olympic silver medallist Roger Black, a former teammate of Chambers, was also against his inclusion.

"He's now a shining example of give it a go, if you get caught, it doesn't matter, you can come back," he said.

"You know the score as an athlete. If you cross the line, you should walk away. If you risk it and you cheat, you shouldn't be back."

Later on Wednesday, UK Athletics (UKA) launched a review of its anti-doping policy that could lead to thletes who are caught using performance-enhancing drugs being banned from representing Great Britain for life.

The review will be led by respected Paralympian Tani-Grey Thompson, an advocate of lifelong bans for doping cheats. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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