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Decision in the case of Olga Abramova

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cancels the one-year period of ineligibility imposed on Olga Abramova (Ukraine)

19 April 2017 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has partially upheld the appeal filed by the Ukrainian biathlete Olga Abramova against the decision issued by the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Anti-Doping Hearing Panel (ADHP) on 14 November 2016 in which she was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) (Meldonium) and a period of ineligibility of one year was imposed on her.

On 1 January 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances included Meldonium for the first time. On 10 January 2016, Olga Abramova underwent an in-competition doping control which revealed the presence of that substance. The IBU referred the matter to the ADHP which conducted an investigation before issuing a decision on 14 November 2016 in which the athlete was found to have committed an ADRV with the consequence of a one-year period of ineligibility.

On 5 December 2016, Olga Abramova filed an appeal at the CAS. She requested the annulment of the IBU decision. A hearing was held with the parties on 2 February 2017.

The CAS Panel agreed with the ADHP that Olga Abramova had committed an ADRV, but in contrast found that in the very specific circumstances of her case she bore no fault or negligence for it. The Panel was comfortably satisfied that the Athlete fulfilled her obligation to ensure that meldonium did not enter her body after January 1, 2016, i.e. on the date when Meldonium became prohibited. Indeed the Athlete could not reasonably have known or suspected even with the exercise of utmost caution that meldonium could still be detected in her blood after January 1, 2016. Consequently, the CAS Panel has cancelled the one-year period of ineligibility imposed on Olga Abramova but maintained the disqualification of any results achieved by Olga Abramova between 10 January 2016 and 3 February 2016, in accordance with the WADA Guidelines.

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