|Dwain Chambers (R) alongside Usain Bolt before men's 100m heats in Daegu [GALLO/GETTY]
Banned British sprinter Dwain Chambers is unlikely to know until mid-April whether he can compete at the London Olympics, according to the British Olympic Association (BOA) on Monday.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is due to meet in London on March 12 to hear an appeal by the BOA against a ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that its lifetime Olympic bans are illegal.
The BOA bans from future Games any British athlete, such as Chambers and cyclist David Millar, found guilty of a doping offence. WADA rules specify a maximum two-year ban for a first offence.
"It is unlikely that there will be a determination by CAS before probably three to four weeks after that (hearing), we are
expecting a month," BOA chairman Colin Moynihan told reporters on Monday.
"The timing of all this is critical because the sooner we can get a determination, the sooner the athletes will know where they stand as regards to their possible selection"
BOA chairman Colin Moynihan
"The timing of all this is critical because the sooner we can get a determination, the sooner the athletes will know where they stand as regards to their possible selection."
The Games start in London on July 27.
Chambers said this month that he was preparing for the Olympics despite the lifetime ban he collected in 2003 after he was found to have used the banned anabolic steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).
The 2010 world indoor champion won the 60 metres in the British trials for next month's world indoor championships in Istanbul.
Moynihan said the strength of the BOA's case remained "unquestionable" and it would vigorously defend a position that reflected athletes' wishes.
"(The policy) focuses on ensuring that the BOA will only select athletes who have not knowingly cheated clean athletes out of selection by taking a range of performance enhancing drugs," he said.