Back in the fold
The ruling from the Court for Arbitration in Sport that the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban on drug cheats must be dropped has opened the door to qualification for London 2012 to several previously ostracised British athletes.
Who are they, what realistic chance do they have of pulling on a British vest this summer, and which of their rivals may miss out on selection as a result?
David Millar, Carl Myerscough and Dwain Chambers stand a real chance of competing at London 2012. Photos: Getty
Name: Dwain Chambers
Event: Athletics, 100m, 4 x 100m relay
Banned for: Designer steroid THG
The headline case for the ruling, and also the athlete most likely to go straight back into the British team.
Chambers's 100m 2011 season best of 10.01 seconds was an entire tenth of a second faster than the next fastest Briton, James Dasaolu, and the equivalent of several metres clear of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Marlon Devonish, Christian Malcolm or Craig Pickering.
If he runs according to form at the GB Trials in late June, he will take yet another national title and with it a guaranteed place in the 100m heats in London. Even if injury means he finishes outside of the top two places, and thus misses out on automatic qualification, he is still likely to be chosen as the one discretionary pick.
It doesn't mean he will go on to make a genuine impact of the track in London; last year he was ranked outside the world's top 20, and failed to make the final of the World Championships in Daegu after false-starting in his semi-final.
But Chambers tends to punch above his season's best at major championships, in part because of experience (he is now 34, and first ran at an Olympics 12 years ago) and in part because his doping past means he is excluded from the big Diamond League meets earlier in the season.
It is his addition to the sprint relay squad that represents a significant boost to British medal hopes. As the fastest man in the quartet by some margin, Chambers is the ideal man for the anchor leg.
As someone who has apologised for his past and worked with the anti-doping authorities, he is also likely to be accepted into the team with few recriminations. He has run for Britain at the last two World Championships and won medals at the World Indoors.
"I am living proof that you can make mistakes and get yourself back on the straight and narrow," Chambers said, after winning 60m bronze at the World Indoors in Istanbul last month.
"My being able to compete at this top level is living proof that it can be done. It is my opportunity to give back to the youth."
Name: David Millar
Event: Cycling, road race and time-trial
Banned for: Two years in 2004 after admitting taking blood-booster EPO
Millar is the most experienced road racer available to British performance director Dave Brailsford. He was an essential part of the GB squad that took Mark Cavendish to the world road title in Copenhagen last year and retains the backing of his team-mates, not least for his rich understanding of how road races work.
"I would love Dave to be in the Olympic Games," Cavendish has said. "He is a loyal team mate, he is very physically good and experienced. He would make a massive difference to our team."
Millar himself has been non-committal on the London Olympics, preferring to leave it to Brailsford and form to decide. And this is where it gets interesting.
The Scot has not raced this month after breaking his collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Flanders. To get one of the five berths in the team with Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and Ben Swift all as good as guaranteed places and Alex Dowsett challenging hard in the time-trial will not be straightforward.
He must first make sure of a place in the Garmin team at the Tour de France and then prove he is in shape to go again. Insiders believe he will do exactly that.
Name: Carl Myerscough
Event: Athletics, shot put and discus
Banned for: Two years in 1999 for taking anabolic steroids
Myerscough has been the top-ranked British shot putter for seven of the last eight years, and has a personal best almost three metres longer than Scott Rider, the man ranked second last summer.
A regular in British teams at World Championships and European Championships over the past decade, he is almost certain to finish in the top two at the GB Trials in June and thus be picked for London.
Unlike Chambers, Myerscough's presence in British teams post-ban raises little comment outside the athletics community, a symptom of his far lower profile and lack of impact in the finals of big competitions.
Name: Callum Priestley
Event: Athletics, 110m hurdles
Banned for: Two years for steroid Clenbuterol
Priestley was one of the brightest talents in British athletics when he tested positive for the steroid Clenbuterol in January 2010 while on a warm-weather training camp in South Africa. He maintained he had been the victim of food poisoning from contaminated meat, but was unable to provide proof at his hearing and was banned until February 2012.
Bronze medallist at the 2009 European under-23 championships, he has not competed since his ban was imposed and so, although still only 23, is unlikely to meet the selection criteria for the British squad in London.
UK Athletics' 'A' standard for the 110m hurdles is 13.52 seconds. Priestley's PB, dating back to the summer of 2009, is four-hundredths of a second outside that.
Former 800m Commonwealth gold-medallist Diane Modahl believes the World Anti-Doping Agency need to get "tougher on their penalties"
Name: Dan Staite
Event: Road cycling
Banned for: Two years after positive tests for EPO and an aromatase inhibitor
Staite was the subject of internet conjecture two years ago after rumours circulated that a British cyclist had returned a positive dope test.
When his name was finally revealed it proved anti-climactic to some; at best he was no more than a decent Category 1 club rider, and as such any chance of national selection when his ban expires in May this year remain minimal.
Name: Jatinder Singh Rakhra, wrestling, two-year ban expires February 2012
Event: Wrestling, 60kg category
Banned for: Two years for taking anabolic steroids
Rakhra, beaten in the first round at the World Championships in 2009, is apparently back in training after his two-year ban expired in February of this year.
But his chances of making London 2012 appear minute; British Wrestling's "no compromise" selection policy states that resources will be targeted "solely at those athletes capable of qualifying for and delivering medal-winning performances at the Olympic Games".
Name: Jamie Stevenson and Kieren Kelly
Event: Athletics, shot put
Banned for: Refusing to take an out-of-competition test
Stevenson, just 20 when he was banned two years ago, and Kelly, 23, were considered decent long-range bets to represent Britain at London 2012.
While Kelly was ranked third in the national standings in 2009 and Stevenson had represented his country at the 2008 World Junior Championships, neither has so far returned to indoor or outdoor competition since their suspensions ended in early February.
With the UK Athletics' 'A' qualifying standard for shot put 20.50 metres, both men would require significant personal bests before the team is picked at the start of July, a prospect insiders consider unlikely.
Name: Jade Mellor
Event: Boxing, flyweight
Banned for: Two years for taking diuretic tablet
Two-time ABA champion Mellor was stripped of her national title in Manchester in May 2010. Her ban expires in May this year, which would theoretically allow her to compete in London in her preferred weight category, one of three as women's boxing makes its Olympics bow.
Her suspension meant she was not included in any of the GB women's pre-Olympic assessment camps. She is also not in the team for the World Championships in China in late May and early June. Given that performances in these championships will determine who fights in London, her chances are surely over.