Image: Dwain Chambers
Rui Vieira  /  AP
Dwain Chambers, left, sprints clear to win his Men's 100m semifinal during the British Olympic Trials and UK Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England on Saturday, July 12.
updated 7/13/2008 2:57:16 PM ET 2008-07-13T18:57:16

Free of the steroids he used to take, Dwain Chambers stormed to victory in the 100-meter final at the British Olympic trials in 10.00 seconds on Saturday.

That doping transgression in 2003 means that instead of being guaranteed a Beijing berth, Chambers' selection is now at the mercy of a judge.

"It was a clean performance and to me that's good," Chambers said after recording his fastest time since 2001. "You have to make mistakes in order to learn from them and I've learnt my lesson now.

"I'm having fun doing it this way."

Still haunted
But the old way with the steroid THG, the drug at the center of the BALCO scandal, is still haunting him. The two-year ban from athletics after testing positive in August 2003 was completed in 2005, but Chambers is excluded for life from the British Olympic team.

To overturn the British Olympic Association's hardline bylaw on drug cheats, Chambers and his legal team must convince a judge in London's High Court on Wednesday to grant an injunction before July 20, when Britain has to name its squad for the Aug. 8-24 Games.

"It was just a great feeling to cross the line," Chambers said. "I've done my part. That's all I can do now and hope that things go well on Wednesday.

"I will respect the judge's decision, but I strongly believe that decision will go in our favor then I can go and have some fun in Beijing. I've got a confident mind."

It was not a smooth passage to gold for Chambers at the Birmingham meet, which doubled as the national championships.

Aside from the jeers at Alexander Stadium, Chambers was .07 slower in the semifinals than his 10.14 time on Friday, with Simeon Williamson advancing to the final in 10.16.

And Williamson powered from the blocks in an emphatic start in the final only for Chambers to recover to win by 0.03.

"I needed Simeon to do what he did to get the best out of myself," Chambers said. "There are things I've got to work on. My start is poor at the moment, but it's good that we've got this healthy competition here. It's given us a whole lot of confidence — especially for the 4x100."

Staying tightlipped
That is the other selection dilemma facing the BOA. Saturday's victory would normally also deliver a relay berth.

UK Athletics is staying tightlipped despite naming most of its squad on Monday.

"(Chambers) ran very well, but at the moment I'm looking at athletes who are eligible and when other athletes become eligible I will look at them as well," performance director Dave Collins told The Associated Press. "It's unfortunate that you always have one or another media storms overpowering the sport."

Craig Pickering, who signed a petition against Chambers, was behind Williamson in 10.33, and is hoping to capture the third berth which is handed out at the BOA's discretion.

"He's done bad things in the past," Pickering said. "I don't really care that much anymore."

Chambers believes he has the experience to compete in Beijing's Bird's Nest.

After flunking an experiment with American football, he returned to the track this year and won silver in the 60 at the world indoor championships in March. Amid a growing backlash from the athletics fraternity, he made an ultimately unsuccessful entry into rugby league in April before returning to the track with the Olympics in his sights.

"To anyone else who has seen what I've had to go through you have to respect that I'm strong in my mind," he said. "I'm driven and I believe in succeeding and that's my mind-set. I proved it today.

"All forms of negative thoughts go through your head, but I just chose to get rid of them and get on with my job which is to run. I'm doing that and showing I'm in good shape and it will be a shame if I can't go, but I'm going to remain positive."

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