POSTED: April 30th 2012
CAS rules BOA anti-doping rule not WADA compliant opens door for drug cheats
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
TAMPA: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has judged that the British Olympic Association (BOA) anti-doping rule of banning athletes that have been convicted of doping violations to compete at the Olympics as non-compliant to the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) code. The BOA is also ordered to "pay all of the costs of the arbitration" compounding on the hefty legal costs to hire Lord David Pannick to fight their case even at a discounted legal rate for the organization.
After the CAS overturned the IOC Osaka rule in October which also banned drug cheats from the Games this makes the second such ruling. The CAS also stated that although they were not opposed to the ban, it just did not comply to the global anti-doping code.
This opens the door for a number of high profile athletes who have been kept out of the Games due to past doping violations now to be able to compete if they qualify for the Olympic competitions.
CAS said in a statement: "The by-law is a doping sanction and is therefore not in compliance with the WADA code. The CAS confirms the view of the WADA foundation board as indicated in its decision.
"Therefore, the appeal of BOA is rejected, and the decision of the WADA foundation board is confirmed."
High Robertson, minister for sports and the Olympics, said in a statement:
"I supported the BOA's position, as our national Olympic committee, in having the autonomy to set its own eligibility criteria for Team GB athletes. I accept this ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport but it is very disappointing.
"Moving forward, I fully endorse UK Anti-Doping's first submission to WADA as part of its review of the World Anti-Doping Code. I want the code to be further strengthened and I would particularly like to see tougher sanctions for proven drug cheats.
"The UK takes its responsibilities in the fight against doping in sport seriously. As we host the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year, we are promoting this message through the international 'Win Clean' campaign."
Athletes such as cyclist David Millar track and field sprinter Dwain Chambers will be able to suit up for London 2012. The BOA statement clarifies:
“UK Athletics has always supported the BOA by-law but welcomes the clarity the CAS decision brings to this issue.
“Athletes affected by the ruling are now eligible for the team, in both individual and relay events, and will be subject to the same selection criteria and process as every other British athlete.”
A spokesperson said: “Our team for the Games is being selected in June and across all disciplines we’ll pick the team based on which riders are fit and available, and who we believe have the best chance to deliver medals.
“Ahead of that we won’t be speculating on who may or may not be selected.”
Lord Moynihan, BOA chairman, had championed the rule and spoke out that the result today was a “hollow victory for WADA” and confirmed that they would be pursuing the fight for tougher sanctions in the global code.
He also confirmed that both athletes Millar and Chambers would be treated the same as their team mates on the British team should they be selected by their respective sports.
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Laura Walden ()
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