BLACKPOOL thrower Carl Myerscough and sprinter Dwain Chambers looked set to be named in the British athletics team for the London Olympics today.
Chambers finished fourth in the 100 metres in Sydney in 2000, but has not featured in the Olympics since following his two-year suspension for drug use and the imposition of the British Olympic Association’s lifetime ban, whereas Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde’s Myerscough has never featured in the Olympics for the same reason.
However, the BOA’s ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier this year, clearing both to compete in a home Games.
Myerscough, 32 and now based in the US, achieved an all-important second ‘B’ standard in the shot (20 metres or more) just hours before the deadline by seeking out a minor meeting in Estonia and catching a ferry from Helsinki (where he had been competing in GB’s European Championships team) to Tallinn late on Saturday night. However, the selection of Chambers and Myerscough is unlikely to prove the most controversial aspect of selection, with head athletics coach Charles Van Commenee bracing himself for a “heap of appeals” from desperate athletes.
“You can appeal on whether facts have been overlooked or the panel has not adhered to the policy as published,” Van Commenee said. “So there is not much you can appeal against.”
Any appeal must be lodged within 24 hours of the team announcement and then heard within 48 hours. The appeals panel consists of UKA chairman Ed Warner, UKA president Lyn Davies and an independent barrister.
By far the biggest cause for debate and possible appeals is the women’s 800m, where Jenny Meadows, Marilyn Okoro, Emma Jackson, Jemma Simpson and Lynsey Sharp all hoped to be selected.
Sharp is certainly in the best form after her victory in the trials and silver medal in Helsinki, but she is also the only athlete without an ‘A’ qualifying time. Athletes with the ‘B’ standard can only be selected if no-one with the ‘A’ is chosen.