SHAMED British sprinter Dwain Chambers spoke to Salisbury schoolchildren and promising athletes on Tuesday about the drugsuse that blighted his career.
Chambers, who tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003 and was stripped of his European title and given a two-year ban, spoke at A Night With Olympians 2012 at the Godolphin School.
He told the audience, including members of City of Salisbury Athletic and Running Club, that the “reckless”
choice to take the performance-enhancing substance was the “worst decision of my life”.
He said: “My decision to change coaches and move to America in 2002 was where it all started.
“When I was offered a bag full of pharmaceutical products, by my new nutritionist, he assured me it would transform my life and that they were undetectable.
“I didn’t want to get left behind but when I decided to start taking them, it turned out to be the worst decision of my life. When I tested positive in 2003, my whole world started to crumble and I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror.”
The athlete, who was allowed to return to the track in 2006 and represented Britain at the London Olympics last year, was joined at the event by fellow Olympians, athlete Christian Malcolm and Italian equestrian Vittoria Panizzon.
With drugs use in the headlines following revelations about former Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong, youngsters had lots of questions.
Chambers told the audience it was a relief once he admitted he had cheated and advised them that “life is faced with obstacles but it’s how you seek advice from others and make the right changes that matters”.
The money raised from the talk will go towards the school’s chosen charity, Sporting Chance International.
Organiser and PE teacher Storm Trentham said: “Dwain’s story is so inspiring and I just wanted everyone else to hear it. The evening was a great success and it gave the audience a chance to meet some sporting heroes.”