CAS dismisses the appeals of Gnidenko, Abakumova and Lebedeva
26th July 2018
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeals filed by Russian athletes Ekaterina Gnidenko (track cycling), Maria Abakumova (athletics) and Tatyana Lebedeva (athletics) against the decisions issued by the IOC Disciplinary Committee (IOC DC) dated 7 December 2016 (with respect to Ekaterina Gnidenko and Maria Abakumova) and 25 January 2017 (with respect to Tatyana Lebedeva) in which, further to re-testing of samples, each athlete was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation (Oral-Turinabol / DHCMT) at either the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Abakumova and Lebedeva) or the 2012 London Olympic Games (Gnidenko) and sanctioned with disqualification from the Games in question.
CAS has dismissed the appeals and confirmed the IOC DC decisions. Accordingly:
- the disqualification of Ekaterina Gnidenko (track cycling) from the 2012 London Olympic Games is confirmed;
- the disqualification of Maria Abakumova (silver medallist in javelin) from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is confirmed;
- the disqualification of Tatyana Lebedeva (silver medallist in long jump and triple jump) from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is confirmed.
All three athletes filed appeals at the CAS seeking to have the challenged decisions set aside.
The appeals were referred to the same Panel of CAS arbitrators Mr Alan Sullivan QC (Australia), President, Mr Romano Subiotto QC (Belgium/UK) and Mr Philippe Sands QC (UK) who conducted a hearing in the presence of the parties on 14 and 15 May 2018 at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The CAS Panel found that the Appellants were unable to prove that the testing methods adopted by the laboratories, which led to the positive findings against each of them, were not scientifically valid in accordance with the standard required to be applied.