6 March 2015 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) and the Turkish athlete Nevin Yanit. The CAS Panel increased Ms Yanit’s suspension from 2 years to 3 years.
In June 2013, the TAF Disciplinary Board found Ms Yanit guilty of an anti-doping violation after two prohibited substances were found in a sample she had provided and imposed a two-year sanction on her. The IAAF appealed such decision to the CAS requesting that the two-year period of ineligibility be increased to four years due to aggravating circumstances within the meaning of IAAF Rule 40.6. The IAAF supported this request with evidence of violations of the IAAF Rules based on data taken from Ms Yanit’s “Athlete Biological Passport”, which could not be taken into account as an additional violation but which counted as an aggravating factor for the purpose of determining the athlete’s sanction. Ms Yanit disagreed, arguing that the IAAF’s appeal should be denied and the two-year ban maintained. The TAF did not participate in the CAS proceedings.
The Panel of CAS arbitrators appointed to hear this matter (Mr Yves Fortier, Canada (President), Mr Romano Subiotto, Belgium/UK, and Mr Michele Bernasconi, Switzerland) heard the parties, their counsel, witnesses and experts at a hearing held in London on 11 December 2014.
Having examined the parties’ submissions and evidence, the CAS Panel concluded that there were indeed aggravating circumstances which warranted the imposition of a period of ineligibility in excess of the two-year ban imposed by the TAF Disciplinary Board, noting specifically that Nevin Yanit:
- used two prohibited substances (stanzolol and testosterone);
- used those substances on multiple occasions between August 2012 and February 2013;
- committed a separate anti-doping rule violation, namely blood doping, between June 2012 and February 2013;
- committed the violations listed above as part of a doping scheme.
Taking into consideration other similar CAS cases (in particular the case Alemitu Bekele v. TAF in which the athlete’s suspension was fixed at 2 years and 9 months), as well as the particular circumstances of this case, the CAS Panel determined that a period of ineligibility of three years should be imposed on the athlete, rather than a period of four years as requested by the IAAF. Accordingly, the IAAF’s appeal is partially upheld and Ms Yanit is sanctioned with a three-year period of ineligibility, beginning on 6 March 2013.
The Arbitral Award will be published on the CAS website in the coming weeks.