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Two world records by British swimmers recognised by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

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Press Release

18 March 2016 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between British Swimming and swimmers Adam Peaty, Francesca Halsall, Jemma Lowe and Chris Walker Hebborn (the Athletes) and the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA):

The time of 3:44.02 set on 19 August 2014 by Adam Peaty, Francesca Halsall, Jemma Lowe and Chris Walker-Hebborn in the 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay swimming event at the 32nd European Swimming Championships is recognised to constitute the world record at the time it was set.

The time of 26.62 set on 22 August 2014 by Adam Peaty in the 50m Breaststroke swimming event at the 32nd European Swimming Championships is recognised to constitute the world record at the time it was set.

Following the events in question, the Athletes underwent doping controls which did not return any abnormalities. Testing for EPO was conducted only on a selection of the samples provided throughout the championships. That selection did not include the samples taken from the Athletes involved in this matter.

Following requests from British Swimming for the times to be formally recognised by FINA as world records, on 9 August 2015, the Honorary Secretary of FINA informed the Athletes that FINA would not approve them as world records because the swimmers had not been tested for EPO by the testing authority and therefore had not fulfilled all the requirements set out in the applicable regulations for a world record to be recognised. In their appeal to the CAS, the Appellants challenged this decision and requested that it be overturned.

The CAS arbitration was conducted by a panel of arbitrators composed of Prof. Luigi Fumagalli of Milan, Italy (President), Mr Michele Bernasconi of Zurich, Switzerland, and Dr Dirk-Reiner Martens of Munich, Germany.

The CAS Panel unanimously found that the applicable regulations allowed the Honorary Secretary of FINA discretion in recognising world record times, but that in the present case, in contrast to the FINA decision, the absence of EPO tests by the testing authority should not fall to the detriment of the Athletes and lead to the non-recognition of the world records. For this reason, the CAS Panel has granted the appeal and such records shall now be recognized.

The Arbitral Award will be published on the CAS website at a later date.

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