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Chambers resumes links with Conte

BRITISH sprinter Dwain Chambers has resumed his links with Victor Conte, the man behind the doping scandal that led to his two-year ban from the sport.

Chambers, the new European indoor 60-meter champion, is using a legal high-tech breathing device to boost his oxygen capacity under Conte's supervision. Conte, the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, has put Chambers on a program that involves breathing low and high oxygen through a hypoxicator to boost his red blood cell count.

"This allows me to have a deeper training load," Chambers told British media. "I suffer less lactic acid, delivering more oxygen to the muscles. It's a shame we didn't know this five years ago."

Chambers tested positive for THG in 2003 and served a two-year suspension. He was the first athlete with connections to Conte to test positive for the previously undetectable steroid.

Conte was the central figure in the wide-ranging BALCO scandal that enveloped several top-level athletes, including Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Barry Bonds. Conte pleaded guilty and served four months in prison.

Chambers won the 60 meters at last weekend's European indoor championships in Turin, Italy, clocking a European record 6.42 seconds in the semifinals.

The oxygen device he has been using is called the "AltoLab Altitude Simulator." It simulates the effect of training at high altitude and is legal under World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

"This is the wave of the future," Conte said. "Everyone used to think (simulated altitude training) was all about endurance athletes. No one thought of applying this to explosive sprinting."

Despite the BALCO scandal, Chambers has remained close to Conte.

"I am a forgiving man," Chambers said. "I have forgiven myself, I have forgiven him. I do not blame him for anything that occurred during that period. I ruined my career, nobody else did that."

He said his relationship with Conte is on an "educational basis." "The information they require from me about when to test, I ask Victor for that and I give it to the relevant bodies," he said.

Chambers rejected speculation by critics about his fast times, insisting he is running clean. "They can believe what they want," he said. "I am following the procedures. I get routinely drug-tested. I have no reason to be going down that road again. Based on my experience, there is no need."


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