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Controversy dims Indoor Worlds
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As much as many in the sport would like it not to happen, the controversy over British sprinter Dwain Chambers looks set to be the talking point of this year's World Indoor Championships.

The three-day event  starts in Valencia, Spain on Friday and has 10 individual champions from two years ago in Moscow defending their titles as well as a sprinkling of reigning Olympic and world outdoor champions.

A record 157 countries are set to send athletes to Spain's third largest city for its biggest event here since last year's America's Cup and there is a good chance of world indoor records in several events.

However, it is the self-confessed drug cheat Chambers that still dominates the headlines.

The Spanish sports daily As devoted a full page to Chambers on Wednesday, rather than concentrate on some of the more savory aspects on the Championships menu, with the host federation president entering the fray.

"I don't like the fact that Chambers will be in Valencia, but we can't do anything to stop him as his country has selected him," Jose Maria Odriozola was quoted as saying.

"He doped, he didn't pass doping controls and he hasn't returned the money he earned when he was taking drugs," added Odriozola, who is also a council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Chambers, the winner of the 2002 European 100m, completed a two-year doping ban in 2006 after being caught up in the infamous BALCO doping scandal.

Weeks after he completed his suspension he helped Britain to win a 4x100m relay gold medal at the 2006 European Championships.

However, last year he attempted to start a career in American Football and did not undergo any athletics-instigated drug tests before his return to the sport this winter.

Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics, initially tried to prevent Chambers from competing in the World Championships trials last month, saying that he had not been available for drug testing for the 12 months leading up to the meet.

However, de Vos had no legal grounds to stop Chambers competing nor, after he won the trials, could UK Athletics avoid selecting him.

Chambers is the equal fourth fastest man this winter among the 60m entries and so has a good chance of getting a medal on the opening day, a prospect that has doubtless already given the Championships organizers some sleepless nights.

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