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Chambers won't retire despite court loss

/ Source: Associated Press Sports

British sprinter Dwain Chambers wants to compete in the 2012 London Games despite a judge refusing to overturn his lifetime doping Olympic ban before next month's Beijing Games.

Chambers' attorney had hinted at the athlete's retirement during the hearing at London's High Court, saying that his client would "go into the sunset'' if he was refused an injunction against the British Olympic Association's bylaw.

However, as Britain announced Craig Pickering and Tyrone Edgar as the final members of its 100-meter squad, Chambers said he would not retire.

"I just want to compete,'' Chambers told British broadcaster ITV. "I'm a born runner, I'm here to run and I just want to do the best I can and show what I really can do as a clean athlete.

"You've got to take the rough with the smooth on this one and I'm a tough cookie, I can deal with it. No matter what, I'm still going to go out and achieve my goals.''

That includes competing in the London 2012 Olympics.

"Participation first and foremost is a key thing for me,'' Chambers said. "And then if I get a medal out of it, that'll be great. Then I'll be done.''

Judge Colin Mackay rejected Chambers' case Friday, saying it would be unlikely to succeed at a full trial. Mackay did, however, draw attention to a new IOC rule, which came into effect July 1 banning athletes from the following Olympics if they have received a drug suspension of at least six months.

The BOA said Friday that after Beijing it will undertake a review of its bylaw.

While the BOA currently enforces the tougher bylaw, if the IOC guidelines were adopted and applied retroactively Chambers - who served a two-year ban after testing positive for the steroid THG in August 2003 - would technically be eligible for 2012.

"I'm still going to get on with my job,'' said the 30-year-old Chambers, who told the court he is struggling financially to support his family. "My honesty is what's come to bite me, preventing me from going any further. To me that's sad, but the rules are the rules and I failed to abide by them.

"I'm obviously looking for a second chance, but we don't get second chances unfortunately and I've got to suffer the consequences of that.''

Awaiting the court verdict, the BOA only named European under-23 champion Simeon Williamson, who was 0.03 seconds behind Chambers last Saturday, to the sprint squad earlier this week.

Williamson, Pickering and Edgar will be making their Olympic debuts in the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games.

The 21-year-old Pickering was third in the trials followed by Edgar, who is based in California.

If Chambers had been successful it is likely the 26-year-old Edgar would only have made the relay squad.

"This has been one of the strangest weeks of my life and I don't ever want another one like it,'' Edgar said. "I was really disappointed at the trials, but I remained hopeful throughout the week I would get selected for the individual 100 meters. Now I have a big smile on my face, the Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world and I'm really excited to be part of it.''

Edgar, who won the 100 at last month's European Cup in Annecy, France, said Chambers' legal challenge detracted from the rest of the team.

"I'm just thankful the court case is over and grateful for the opportunity,'' he said. "I've been getting a bit irritated with all the questions about it, but now I just want to forget about it and look forward to Beijing.''