Is it wrong to be proud of an ex-doping cheat?

I must admit, since Dwain Chambers tested positive for doping back in 2003, I haven’t really followed his comeback that much. He was refused entry into the last Olympics by the British Athletics board, despite serving his ban and being one of the fastest still in Britain.

I saw yesterday he set the fastest ever 60m time in the semi-finals in Turin. Today was the final.
He won that, and got the gold medal, and crowned European Indoor 60m champion.

Chambers is running faster than ever, and admits taking drugs in the past was a BIG mistake, and he has proved to himself, and others that you can do well, even better in Chambers’ case, without drugs – he is now running faster than he did on “performance enhancing drugs”.

I actually feel pleased for Dwain.
Yes he did wrong, he cheated. But unlike a lot of other drug cheats, he didn’t just retire and take the easy option. He’s trained, improved, and set his focus and targets to get better and stronger than before. He’s also proved to people that you can achieve everything you want without resorting to drugs, and that they are not “the golden key” to results.

I hope he can improve further, go on, and get himself back in the English and British athletics squad. It will be a personal triumph for him, and a show of determination and self belief, training day in, day out for what you want to achieve. All of this while people still call him a cheat, and don’t want him competing – that’s quite some self-motivation on his part.

Am I wrong in supporting someone who was labelled a “cheat?”

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