Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Solid gold

Could 19 gold medals have been 20 if Dwain Chambers had been selected to compete in Beijing?

At the time of the ruling I wondered if the British Olympic Association (BOA) had made the right decision: Chambers had said sorry, expressed remorse, and then let his legs do the talking out on the track.

And they spoke volumes - he qualified fair and square and proved himself the fastest 100m sprinter the UK could pit against Usain Bolt.

I felt sorry for him - it seemed a big price to pay for a mistake back in 2003.

But what would it have mattered? Bolt would have beaten Chambers any day of the week and the BOA deserves credit for standing up to Chambers.

The only thing that could take the shine off what we saw in China is a drugs scandal.

Not that I'm suggesting Chambers isn't clean, quite the contrary, he'd be mad not to be after his high profile battle with the BOA.

The scandal would have been Chambers legal victory over the BOA, had he been allowed to run.

So soon after Max Moseley - another case in which the facts of the complainant's unsavoury behaviour were not disputed, but the letter of the law was used to reward a orgy-indulging married man - it is refreshing to see a judge make the right decision.

The "resort to court" culture that is now part of our national psyche is wrong and it's damaging.

Sometimes people make mistakes that they have to live with forever - there's no court appeal option for them because that's just the way it is - but a litigious society encourages us to forget that.

Dwain needs to grow up and accept he should give up the day job.

Team GB are better off with 19 honest medals than 20 hypocritical ones.

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