Laboratory testing procedure – the Kaisa Varis ruling
Published 13 October 2009
By Mike Morgan, Hammonds LLP
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (the “CAS”) delivered a body blow to anti-doping authorities when it published its decision on 13 March 2009 in the case of Finnish biathlete, Kaisa Varis.
Despite finding EPO in both her “A” and “B” doping control samples, the CAS cancelled the sanction imposed on her by the International Biathlon Union (the “IBU”) as it held that the IBU had not been sufficiently reasonable in attempting to accommodate her right to be represented at the opening and analysis of her B sample – a right to which she was entitled under the IBU’s own rules.
The effect of the IBU’s failure was to render the B sample results invalid, without which there could be no finding that an anti-doping rule violation had occurred.
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This article was published first in the World Sports Law Report of June 2009
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