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British sprinter Chambers names other athletes in autobiography

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LONDON - British sprinter Dwain Chambers names several doping-tainted American athletes in his autobiography chronicling his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Sprinters Kelli White, Chryste Gaines and Alvin Harrison, all of whom were busted for doping and served suspensions, are all mentioned when Chambers recounts his ties with BALCO founder Victor Conte.

"He kept telling me to talk to the other athletes, talk to my coach Remi (Korchemny), Chryste Gaines and Kelli, Alvin Harrison to name a few. I told him I would," Chambers writes in the book "Race Against Me: My Story."

On Wednesday, The Associated Press obtained a portion of the book, which is set to be released Monday.

Chambers, who won the 100-metre gold medal at the 2002 European championships, tested positive for THG in 2003 and was banned for two years. He was the first athlete with connections to Conte to test positive for the previously undetectable steroid.

"In time I became fully aware of Victor's role and his purpose in recruiting the best athletes in the world," Chambers writes. "Victor was a pharmacologist with a living to make."

Chambers says he started taking THG, also known as "The Clear," and other drugs such as HGH and EPO, in 2002 after meeting Conte in the United States while training.

"As time went on, I became more and more familiar with associating certain athletes with certain drugs. ... I made Kelli White my main confidante and the attraction grew by the day," writes Chambers, who says he dated White for more than a year.

White won the 100 and 200 metres at the 2003 world championships in Paris, but both her medals were stripped after she tested positive for modafinil.

Gaines and Harrison never tested positive for drugs. The pair, along with fellow sprinter Tim Montgomery, were banned based on evidence gathered in the BALCO criminal investigation.

"Everybody knew that nearly all the athletes with Remi were on the program with Victor too ...," Chambers writes.

In 2007, Korchemny agreed to permanently stay out of elite-level coaching, marking the first time a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case has led to a coach being banished for doping violations.

Although Chambers says both he and White "agreed that we hated having to cheat to win," he later says he didn't know THG was on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances.

"If THG was on there I was out of America on the very next flight and Victor Conte was history!" Chambers writes, but then later in the book adds, "I printed the list off. It ran to nearly eight pages. I went over it three times and found no reference at all to THG. Victor was right: it wasn't on the banned list."

"In my own mind, I wasn't cheating."

In earlier excerpts from the book printed in the Daily Mail, Chambers says he was a "walking junkie" and took "more than 300 different concoctions" of performance-enhancing drugs that cost him US$30,000 a year.

"It wasn't a problem. I was earning big money at the time," Chambers writes.

And despite saying he had severe stomach cramps that even caused him to pull up in the 100 final at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Chambers says "not once did I hesitate to take anything prescribed to me."

Chambers also recounts a phone conversation with agent John Regis, implying that he knew the sprinter was considering an offer to use drugs.

"'Be careful,' he said as I thought about tomorrow and what lay ahead. 'Be very careful,' he repeated," Chambers writes, referring to Regis.

Regis severed ties with Chambers after he tested positive, and reportedly is now considering taking Chambers to court.

Andy Parkinson, the acting head of Drug Free Sport at UK Sport, said his group was going to talk to Chambers about the book.

"If there is anything in there that will give us cause for concern, we will address that," Parkinson said. "We have an eight-year statute of limitations within the code to act."

Chambers, who says he still considers Conte a friend, says he passed 10 doping tests during his time using the drugs.

He returned to running after a two-year suspension and won a gold medal with Britain in the 4x100 relay at the 2006 European championships. His 100 gold medal from the 2002 Europeans was stripped.

In 2007, Chambers tried playing American football, joining the Hamburg Sea Devils in NFL Europa. But he returned to sprinting after the league folded and won a silver medal in the 60 at the 2008 indoor worlds.

Chambers also tried to get his lifetime Olympic ban revoked ahead of the 2008 Beijing Games, but lost his court case against the British Olympic Association.

Chambers is due to compete for Britain in the 60 metres this weekend at the European indoor championships in Turin, Italy, and plans to run at this summer's world championships in Berlin.

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