Lausanne, 31 May 2010 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has partially upheld the appeals filed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) and the Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde. Accordingly, the CAS has imposed a two-year ban on Alejandro Valverde starting on 1 January 2010 but has denied the request of the UCI and WADA that results obtained by the athlete prior to the beginning of the suspension be annulled.
This matter arose as a result of the Spanish criminal investigation (Operación Puerto) which began in May 2004. On 29 August 2007, the UCI requested the RFEC to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Alejandro Valverde on the basis of the evidence gathered within the Operación Puerto proceedings, including the blood bag labelled “blood bag number 18”, the blood from which was purported to belong to Mr Valverde. On 7 September 2007, the RFEC denied the UCI’s request and refused to open disciplinary proceedings against Mr Valverde. In October 2007, both the UCI and WADA each filed an appeal with the CAS, requesting that Alejandro Valverde be found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and that a two year suspension be imposed. Later, the Italian authorities opened disciplinary proceedings against Mr Valverde on the basis of evidence which they had in their possession, including a sample and DNA analysis of the blood from “blood bag number 18”. On 11 May 2009, the CONI Anti- Doping Tribunal (TNA) ruled that Mr Valverde had committed “use, or attempted use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method” and, as a consequence, the athlete was banned for two years from participating in events organised under the auspices of CONI or related national sports organisations in Italy. Mr Valverde appealed the TNA decision to the CAS and, on 16 March 2010, the CAS confirmed the two year ban.
In its decision, the CAS Panel found, by a majority, that it could use the evidence collected in the course of the Operación Puerto for the purpose of the CAS arbitration. The CAS Panel also found, by a majority, that the scientific evidence which consisted, in essence, of:
• Blood bag number 18
• Scientific evidence that such blood contained EPO
• DNA evidence that clearly demonstrated that blood bag number 18 contained Mr Valverde’s blood
was sufficient to conclude that Mr Valverde committed an anti-doping rule violation, considering that Mr Valverde’s blood contained EPO, a prohibited substance according to Article 15 of the Anti-Doping Regulations (ADR) of the UCI (precisely, Article 15.2 of the UCI ADR: “Use or attempted use by a rider of a prohibited substance or prohibited method”). On the basis of the same regulations, a two-year suspension has been imposed on Alejandro Valverde, starting on 1 January 2010, in order to take into account, among other reasons, the fact that the CAS hearing which was initially scheduled for November 2009 had to be postponed until March 2010. Finally, the CAS considered that there was no evidence that any of the results obtained by Mr Valverde prior to 1 January 2010 was through doping infraction and decided that the appellants’ request to annul those results should be denied. The award, with the grounds, is published on the CAS website (www.tas-cas.org/recent- decision).
Lausanne, 21 May 2010 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the decision of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) imposing a one year suspension on the US swimmer Jessica Hardy, commencing on 1 August 2008.
In July 2008, Jessica Hardy competed in the US Olympic team trials in Omaha, USA, in order to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games. During this event, Jessica Hardy underwent a doping control which was later reported to be positive for clenbuterol, a prohibited substance (steroid). Such adverse analytical finding was confirmed by the B sample analysis. By a decision of 30 May 2009, the AAA confirmed a preliminary decision in the same matter, which imposed a one year ban commencing on 1 August 2008. The AAA Panel considered that the negligence of the athlete was not significant as she took nutritional supplements after having obtained assurances from the manufacturer.
On 11 June 2009, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) filed a statement of appeal with the CAS requesting that Jessica Hardy be sanctioned with a period of suspension of two years, starting on the date of the CAS award. The case was submitted to a panel of CAS arbitrators composed of Prof. Luigi Fumagalli, President (Italy), Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany) and Mr Michele Bernasconi (Switzerland). A hearing took place in New York on 12 March 2010 during which the parties and their counsel were heard.
The CAS arbitrators confirmed the challenged decision. They agreed that Jessica Hardy had shown good faith efforts before ingesting the food supplements at stake: she had made the research and investigation which could reasonably be expected from an informed athlete wishing to avoid risks connected to the use of food supplements. In particular, the athlete had personal conversations with the manufacturer about the supplements’ purity prior to taking them, she obtained the supplements directly from the manufacturer, not from an unknown source; thesupplements she took were not labelled in a manner which might have raised suspicions. Consequently, the CAS Panel confirmed the one year suspension commencing on 1 August 2008 and concluding on 31 July 2009, a suspension which has already been served by the athlete.
In her submissions, Jessica Hardy requested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) be added as a party to the arbitration procedure and requested a declaratory finding from the CAS as to the applicability of Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter in her case considering that in accordance with such provision, an athlete sanctioned with a suspension of more than six months would be ineligible to participate in the next edition of the Olympic Games. The CAS Panel rejected the request to have the IOC joined in the arbitration procedure and did not issue any opinion on the applicability of Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter.
The full award, with the grounds, is published on the CAS website (http://www.tas- cas.org/recent-decision).
Lausanne, 17 May 2010 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the appeal filed by FC Bayern Munich and Franck Ribéry against the decision taken by the UEFA Appeals Body on 5 May 2010.
This expedited procedure was referred to a CAS Panel composed of Mr Bernhard Welten (Switzerland) President, Dr Stephan Netzle (Switzerland) and Dr András Gurovits (Switzerland). A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters today, during which the parties and their legal representatives were heard.
The CAS Panel has dismissed the appeal and confirmed the three-game suspension imposed by the UEFA Appeals Body on the Bayern Munich player Franck Ribéry. Accordingly, the player will not be eligible to play in the final of the 2010 Champions League.
The reasons for the decision will be published by the CAS in a few days.
For further information visit www.tas-cas.org
Lausanne, 22 April 2010 – The Togo Football Federation (TFF) and the African Football Confederation (CAF) have requested the mediation of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in order to solve their dispute which has arisen following the attack against the football team of Togo in the enclave of Cabinda on 8 January 2010. Following this attack, the Togolese team had withdrawn from the African Cup of Nations 2010 and the CAF Executive Committee had excluded the TFF from the next two editions of the African Cup of Nations and had sanctioned it with a fine.
On 8 January 2010, the TFF filed an appeal at the CAS in order to request the annulment of the CAF decision. An arbitration procedure was initiated. During the proceedings, the parties have agreed to submit their dispute to the CAS mediation, under the direction of Mr Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President and mediator registered at the CAS.
A meeting between the mediator and the parties will take place on 7 May 2010. Since then, considering the confidential nature of the CAS mediation, no other information will be communicated with respect to this case.
For further information related to the CAS activity and procedures in general, please contact Mr. Matthieu Reeb, CAS Secretary General. Château de Béthusy, Avenue de Beaumont 2, 1012 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel: (41 21) 613 50 00; fax: (41 21) 613 50 01, or consult the CAS website: www.tas-cas.org
Lausanne, 15 April 2010 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the arbitration between FK Pobeda (Macedonia), Aleksandar Zabrcanec, President of FK Pobeda, Nikolce Zdraveski, former player, and the Union Européenne de Football Association (UEFA). The decision of the UEFA Appeals Body of 27 May 2009 is partially upheld :
- FK Pobeda is excluded from any UEFA competition for eight years starting from the 2009/2010 season.
- Aleksandar Zabrcanec is sanctioned with a life ban on exercising any football-related activities.
Furthermore, the appeal of Nikolce Zdraveski is admitted and the UEFA decision in this regard of 27 May 2009 is annulled.
In the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League 2004/2005, FK Pobeda played against FC Pyunik (Armenia). Subsequently, a betting expert mandated by the UEFA produced a report which established that an unusual large amount of money had been betted on the first game between Pobeda and Pyunik. In April 2009, after an investigation performed by the UEFA, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body found that the President of the Club, Mr Zabrcanec, and its former captain, Mr Zdraveski, had violated the principle of integrity and sportsmanship pursuant to the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations. FK Pobeda was suspended from competing in any UEFA competitions for eight years starting from 2009/2010 season and its President and its former captain were banned from exercising any football-related activities for life. The sanctions were confirmed by the UEFA Appeals Body on 27 May 2009.
The case was referred to a Panel of CAS Arbitrators composed of Mr Efraim Barak, Israel (President), Mr Stephan Netzle, Switzerland and Mr Denis Oswald, Switzerland. A hearing was held in Lausanne on 16 and 17 December 2009, during which the parties, their legal representatives and their witnesses and experts were heard. Certain measures were ordered by the CAS to ensure the testimony of some protected witnesses to avoid any influence by third parties.
The CAS Panel decided to confirm in part the UEFA decision considering that the evidence brought by UEFA was sufficient to establish that the matches between Pobeda and Pyunik were fixed. The involvement of Mr Zabrcanec, President of the Club, in this manipulation was recognized by the CAS Panel and, as a consequence, the responsibility of FK Pobeda was also confirmed. However, the CAS Panel was not satisfied by the evidence brought forward by the UEFA against Mr Zdraveski and was not comfortably satisfied to establish that he was actually involved in match fixing. Due to this lack of evidence, the disciplinary measures that have been ordered against him by UEFA were annulled.
It is the first decision rendered by the CAS in relation to match fixing. The full award with the grounds is published on the CAS website (www.tas-cas.org).
Vancouver, 18 February 2010 – The ad hoc division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the application filed by the German speed skater Claudia Pechstein against the German National Olympic Committee (DOSB) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In her application, Ms Pechstein requested that she be nominated for and allowed to participate in the speed skating competitions of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
A CAS Panel composed of Mr Yves Fortier QC (Canada), President, Mr Olivier Carrard (Switzerland) and Mr José-Juan Pintó (Spain) has ruled on the application after having received and examined the written submissions of all parties concerned, including the International Skating Union (ISU) as interested party. The CAS Panel found that Ms Pechstein did not challenge a specific decision of the DOSB not to nominate her for the Winter Olympic Games. Indeed, such a decision could not exist considering that the athlete is currently suspended for a period of two years, since 8 February 2009. As a consequence, Ms Pechstein was ineligible to compete in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the DOSB could not have taken any material decision not to select her. In the absence of any decision that could be appealed, the CAS ad hoc Division has ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain Ms Pechstein’s application.
In a desperate attempt to have her case reviewed by the CAS ad hoc division, after the regular CAS in Lausanne had confirmed her two year ban on 25 November 2009, and after the Swiss Federal Tribunal had dismissed her appeal against the CAS award, Claudia Pechstein - and her lawyer - have been advised by the Panel that the CAS ad hoc division was not the proper forum for such action.
For further information related to the CAS activity and procedures in general, please contact Mr. Matthieu Reeb, CAS Secretary General. Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside, 1133 West Hastings Street Vancouver, B.C: V6E 3T3, Canada. Tel: (1 604) 403 9558; fax: (1 778) 328 5461, or consult the CAS website: www.tas-cas.org
Lausanne, 4 February 2010 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued an award today ratifying the agreement reached by Chelsea FC, Racing Club de Lens and the French football player Gaël Kakuta, putting an end to this arbitration procedure which also involved FIFA. The CAS has noted that, in the agreement, the two clubs and the player have recognised that the contract between the player and RC Lens was not valid. Accordingly, the player could not have terminated it prematurely and without just cause and FC Chelsea cannot therefore be liable for inducing a breach of contract. As a consequence, in light of these new circumstances, the sanctions imposed upon Chelsea FC and the player by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber had to be lifted.
In accordance with the parties’ request, the entire proceedings, including the arbitral award and the agreement shall remain confidential and the CAS will not comment on this matter any further.
On 25 September 2009, the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber imposed, inter alia, a restriction of four months’ ineligibility on Mr Gaël Kakuta, and Chelsea FC was banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two complete, consecutive registration periods following the FIFA decision. The sanctions were stayed by the CAS until the award was issued.
For further information go to Court of Arbitration for Sport website click here
Vancouver, 4 February 2010 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened an office in Vancouver in order to resolve all legal disputes which may arise during the XXI Olympic Winter Games.
The case of the Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne on 12, 13 and 14 January 2010. Mr Valverde was appealing against the decision of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) of 11 May 2009 in which he was found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and suspended from competition in Italy for a period of two years. Valverde’s appeal was initially directed only against the CONI, but at a later stage, the CONI requested that the CAS admit the participation of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the proceedings. Such request was accepted by the CAS.
The case was heard by a panel of CAS arbitrators: Mr Romano F. Subiotto QC, United Kingdom (President), Professor Ulrich Haas, Germany, and Mr Ruggero Stincardini, Italy.
The legal representatives of Mr Valverde, the CONI, UCI and WADA were present at the hearing. Mr Valverde did not attend the hearing in person but was heard by the CAS panel by telephone conference. During the hearing, the Panel informed the parties of a preliminary decision: the Panel considered that the requests filed by UCI and WADA to suspend Alejandro Valverde world-wide for a period of two years could not be entertained by the CAS given that they were outside the scope of the present arbitration procedure (validity or not of the suspension of Valverde on Italian soil).
A final decision in this matter is not expected before March 2010.
For further information related to the CAS activity and procedures in general, please contact either Mr Matthieu Reeb, CAS Secretary General, or Ms Katy Hogg, Media Assistant. Château de Béthusy, Avenue de Beaumont 2, 1012 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel: (41 21) 613 50 00; fax: (41 21) 613 50 01, or consult the CAS website: www.tas-cas.org
The CAS will rule on the merits of the dispute
Lausanne, 18 December 2009 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered a preliminary decision in the arbitration between several athletes members of the relays 4x100 and 4x400 of the US team having participated in the Sydney Olympic Games 2000 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The athletes Andrea Anderson, LaTasha Colander Clark, Jearl Miles-Clark, Torri Edwards, Chryste Gaines, Monique Hennagan, Passion Richardson have requested the CAS to rule on a preliminary basis in order to determine if the IOC was entitled to disqualify the US women relays 4x100 and 4x400 on 10 April 2008, namely more than 7 years after the Sydney Olympic Games. The athletes have requested the CAS to declare that the IOC was prevented (time-barred) from withdrawing their medals on the basis of Rule 18.104.22.168 of the Olympic Charter in force in 2000 according to which "no decision taken in the context of the Olympic Games can be challenged after a period of 3 years from the day of the Closing ceremony of such Games."
The CAS Panel in charge of this matter has considered that the IOC, in implementing the rankings and presenting the medals at the victory ceremonies, simply apply the data established and forwarded to it by the competent International Federations and does not issue a “decision” in this regard. In the case of the Sydney Games, the disqualification of Marion Jones, ordered first by the IAAF and followed then by the IOC, has caused an amendment of the results of the competitions in which Marion Jones took part during the 2000 Olympic Games, including the relays 4x100 and 4x400. The CAS Panel has considered that the 3-year rule did not prevent (time-bar) the IOC from withdrawing medals which were awarded at a victory ceremony because the distribution of medals, which occurs immediately after the race, is not in itself a “decision”. If the CAS had decided that the 3-year rule was applicable in the present case, the IOC decision of 10 April 2008 would have been annulled.
In these circumstances, the CAS will summon the parties to a hearing and proceed to render a decision on the merits of the dispute.
For further information go to Court of Arbitration for Sport website click here
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has made the following changes to its rules:
Main amendments to the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (2010 edition) CAS arbitrators and mediators will no longer have the possibility of acting as Counsel for a party before the CAS. If a CAS arbitrator nevertheless acts as Counsel before the CAS, his/her function as Counsel will not be called into question in the arbitration at stake. However, the ICAS will have the power to take particular measures towards him/her with respect to his/her function as arbitrator/mediator.
Under certain conditions, it will be possible for the CAS to transfer an arbitration procedure from the Ordinary Division to the Appeals Division and vice-versa.
The filing and the communication of exhibits attached to written submissions filed by parties may be made by electronic mail.
A new provision allows the Arbitral Panel, or the Division President, to stay an ongoing arbitration procedure for a limited period of time.
The power to settle petitions for challenge to an arbitrator is given to the ICAS Board, which may decide at its discretion to refer a case to the ICAS (plenum).
In relation to an application for provisional measures, the Division President, if the Panel has not been constituted yet, may terminate the arbitration procedure if he rules that the CAS has manifestly no jurisdiction to decide the case at stake.
Articles R39 and R55
The Respondent may request that the time limit for the filing of the answer be fixed after the payment by the Claimant/Appellant of the advance of costs.
Articles R 40.3 and R54
The function of the ad hoc clerk to the Panel is now official in the Code.
For further information please visit the CAS website www.tas-cas.org
Lausanne, 17 December 2009 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the arbitration between the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the French tennis player Richard Gasquet: the player has been exonerated from any fault or negligence and the CAS has dismissed the appeals filed by the ITF and WADA.
On 15 July 2009, an anti-doping tribunal constituted by the ITF declared the player ineligible for a period of two months and fifteen days commencing on 1 May 2009 following a positive anti- doping test for the prohibited substance benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite which was present in the urine sample provided by the player at the ATP tournament in Miami on 28 March 2009. On, respectively, 4 and 10 August 2009, the ITF and WADA each filed an appeal with the CAS requesting that the player be sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of between one and two years.
The case was referred to a panel of CAS arbitrators composed of Mr Luc Argand, Switzerland (President), Mr David W. Rivkin, USA and Mr Dirk-Reiner Martens, Germany. A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne on 10 November 2009, during which the parties, their legal representatives and their witnesses and experts were heard.
The CAS panel decided to dismiss the appeals after having found that in this particular case Richard Gasquet had not committed any fault or negligence within the meaning of the ITF Anti- Doping Programme. The CAS panel noted that a doping offence was correctly reported because of the presence of a minuscule quantity of benzoylecgonine in the player’s urine, but that it was not the result of a fault or negligence of the player. The panel based its ruling on the evidence provided by the experts called by both the player and the ITF, who agreed that the amount of cocaine metabolite was so minute that it must have reflected incidental exposure, rather than use in the amounts commonly taken by social users of cocaine. Furthermore, it was also established that the player was clearly not a regular cocaine user, even in very small amounts. As a consequence, the possibility of contamination became the most plausible explanation justifying the presence of cocaine metabolite in the player’s urine.
On a balance of probability, the CAS panel concluded that it was more likely that not that the player’s contamination with cocaine resulted, as Gasquet always asserted, from kissing a woman in a nightclub in Miami on the day before the anti-doping test and that the player had met the required standards of proof with respect to the way of ingestion. The parties’ experts agreed that the minute amount of cocaine could have been transferred in this manner. The arbitrators added that it was impossible for the player, even when exercising the utmost caution, to know that in kissing a woman who he had met in a totally unsuspicious environment, he could be contaminated with cocaine. The CAS did not formally annul the decision of the anti-doping tribunal considering that Richard Gasquet did not file an appeal himself against the two and a half month ban. However, the CAS has specified in its award that, in case of any subsequent doping infraction, the present case should not be counted as a first doping offence.
The full award, with the grounds, is published on the CAS website. Click here