LIVE Futures: the movie

17 March 2009

LIVE's Cherise Hewitt on being a young athlete - and Dwain Chambers

Dwain Chambers - Hero?

Dwain Anthony Chambers is a English sprinter of Afro-Caribbean descent. Born in Islington, North London, he grew up in a single parent family. His mum worked long hours and athletics was his way of escaping from family life.
30 year old Chambers was charged in October 2003 for taking illegal performance enhancing substances. Resulting in him having a two year ban and a life-time Olympic ban. Despite that he's back with a win. Chambers recently won gold in the 60 metres European indoor championship which took place in Italy.

As a young athlete, I train four times a week and do additional training at home. Which will hopefully get me to the 2012 Olympics. I run for Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC and i'm hoping to win my upcoming events. I currently run 100 and 200m. My coach wants me to start running 400m but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. Its a long distance! I just want my races over and done with. I decided to write about Dwain Chambers because he makes me wonder as a young athlete if every athlete goes through a stage when they want to use drugs. Will it affect me?

Chambers has won a number of medals and events. He won junior world record of 10.06s in 100m, bronze medalist in 1999 world championships and made his first Olympic appearance at Sydney 2000. Chambers claimed there was no scientific evidence to show the drug was related to banned substances so it shouldn't have been a doping offence. He has used a over 300 different types of banned drugs a couple of them being THG (Tetrahydrogestrinone), EPO (Erythropoietin) and HGH (human growth hormone). Confused? So am I! In the future when I'm an Olympic athlete I will have to be very careful with what I take, I wont know what's legal or not.

We need Chambers, head coach of the British team admitted that without him Britain may loose medals. To me a couple years banned is all it took to get through to Chambers and other athletes, a life-time banned was extremely over the top. In Russia seven women where banned for only two years for a doping offence. Despite every thing I still see him as an icon of hope. He recently won gold in the 60 metres European indoor championship. We can all see Chambers hasn't let this drama get the better of him. Chambers is an icon of hope and is what Britain needs to win. Cherise Hewitt

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