Friday, May 16, 2008

Chambers to take case against BOA to High Court

Like him or loathe him, it's great news for GAL: the BBC is reporting that Dwain Chambers has initiated proceedings before the High Court in England against the life ban imposed on him by the British Olympic Association (see my earlier post for more detail), arguing that a life ban for a first offence is illegal under the WADA Anti-Doping Code, which provides only for a two year suspension (with a life ban for a second offence). This will furnish us with an interesting insight into whether the standard-setting of a hybrid public-private global administrative body can be upheld in court as superior to those of a national administrative body (a private body in the case of the BOA, but other national Olympic associations - such as, for example, in Italy - are fully public bodies).

What makes this now particularly interesting is that Chambers has recently begun to cooperate fully with UK anti-doping authorities, providing them with a letter from Balco supplier Victor Conte detailing his precise drugs regime, and how he managed to evade the testers for so long. Whether the BOA will argue that this proves that his first time being caught was not his "first offence", or whether instead they will take it as an opportunity to soften their stance as a reward for "good behaviour", remains to be seen. In any event, we'll be keeping a close eye on this one...

2 comments:

Felix said...

It sounds very interesting. Actually the BOA should comply with the WADA Code in terms of sanction, but its within the powers of the National Olympic Committees setting criteria for selecting the atlethesfor the Games. We will see...

andrew said...

That is right. If Chambers succeeds in obtaining the qualifying time for Bejing, there will be very much to see!