Zemliak & Povh v. UAF & WADA

Press Release

1st April 2019

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedures between the Ukrainian sprinters Olha Zemliak and Olesia Povh (collectively, the Athletes), the Ukrainian Athletic Federation (UAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The Athletes filed appeals at the CAS against the decisions issued by the UAF Executive Committee in February 2018 (the Challenged Decisions) in which they were found to have committed anti-doping rule infractions (exogenous testosterone) and imposed periods of ineligibility as from 3 August 2017 of (a) 8 years in respect of Ms Zemliak (second violation) and (b) 4 years in respect of Ms Povh. Furthermore, the results achieved by both athletes until 3 August 2017 from (a) 5 July 2016 and (b) 15 June 2016, respectively, were disqualified.

Analysis of blood samples taken from both athletes established that such samples collected shortly before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were found to contain an excessive concentration of testosterone. As a result, the UAF Executive Committee issued the Challenged Decisions.

The Athletes filed appeals against the Challenged Decisions at the CAS seeking to have them annulled. The appeals were consolidated and referred to the same Sole Arbitrator who held a hearing at the CAS Court Office on 9 January 2019.

The CAS award confirms that the Athletes committed the anti-doping rule infractions and confirms the UAF Executive Committee decisions with the exception of the start dates of the periods of ineligibility which now run from 5 July 2016 for Ms Zemliak and from 15 June 2016 for Ms Povh, i.e. as from the dates of the respective sample collections. As a result of the CAS award, all results in sporting competitions achieved by the Athletes during the modified period of ineligibility are disqualified.

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