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The ITA acknowledges the decision issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on former IWF official

The ITA acknowledges the decision issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on former IWF official

THE INTERNATIONAL TESTING AGENCY (ITA) ACKNOWLEDGES THE AWARD ISSUED BY THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) ON 18 JANUARY 2024 RULING THAT THE CONDUCT OF HASAN AKKUS, FORMER TURKISH WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION (TWF) PRESIDENT, FORMER EUROPEAN WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION (EWF) PRESIDENT AND FORMER INTERNATIONAL WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION (IWF) VICE-PRESIDENT WAS “DECEPTIVE AND REPREHENSIBLE AND […] PRONE TO CREATE SEVERE DAMAGE TO THE FEDERATIONS WHICH HAD ENTRUSTED HIM WITH TOP-LEVEL POSITIONS” BUT THAT SUCH CONDUCT DOES NOT AMOUNT TO AN ANTI-DOPING RULE VIOLATION. THE ITA WELCOMES THE IWF’S DECISION TO CHALLENGE THE CAS DECISION BEFORE THE SWISS FEDERAL TRIBUNAL.

 

The case against Mr. Akkus was brought forward by the ITA, on behalf of the IWF, following its investigation into a series of allegations of misconduct by some IWF Officials in June 2021. This investigation led to the life bans against former IWF President, Tamas Ajan, and Vice President, Nicu Vlad.

Following disciplinary proceedings before the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS ADD), on 3 January 2023, the CAS ADD ruled that in 2013, Mr. Akkus tampered with the results management of 21 anti-doping rule violations committed by Turkish Weightlifters by providing false documents and therefore avoided sanctions against the TWF which he presided at the time. Mr. Akkus was sanctioned with a four-year period of Ineligibility.

Mr. Akkus appealed the CAS ADD decision before the CAS appeal division and a hearing took place on 22 August 2023.

On 18 January 2024, the CAS confirmed that “Mr. Akkus engaged in improper conduct” which included the backdating of letters and the production of documents containing falsified metadata through which “Mr. Akkus brought ‘improper influence to bear’ and prevented ‘normal procedures’ within the IWF from occurring”. The Panel further ruled that “the TWF and (potentially) Mr. Akkus himself faced a realistic risk of sanctions being imposed against them by the IWF on account of the TWF’s non-compliance with its anti-doping responsibilities. The Panel is also convinced, and concurs with the Appealed Decision, that Mr. Akkus’ improper actions had the eventual goal to avoid such negative consequences.

Finally, the Panel found that Mr. Akkus’ “conduct was deceptive and reprehensible, and in any event prone to create severe damage to the federations which had entrusted him with top-level positions and the power to represent them in public.” However, CAS found that Mr Akkus’ behaviour could not be qualified as an anti-doping rule violation for tampering based on a “strict legal interpretation of such rule” and other legal technicalities; more specifically that Mr. Akkus was found to no longer be subject to the IWF Regulations when providing falsified documents to the ITA.

The IWF has now requested the annulment of the CAS decision before the Swiss Federal Tribunal. The ITA will not comment further on this matter until these proceedings conclude.

Rugby Player Receives Sanction

Rugby Player Receives Sanction

Sport Integrity Australia acknowledges the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold the decision rendered by the World Rugby Independent Judicial Committee and impose a four-year ban on athlete Kristian Jensen for the Presence of a Prohibited Substance and Use of a Prohibited Substance.

Mr Jensen returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from an Out-of-Competition doping control test on 28 November 2021 in Dubai (UAE). At the time, Mr Jensen was in Dubai to compete in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with the Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens team.

Mr Jensen’s sample was analysed at the Laboratoire Suisse d’Analyse du Dopage in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the presence of trifluoro-1-hydroxyethyl-methoxypyrrolidinyl-2-trifluoromethyl-bezonitrile (metabolite of LGD-4033 (Ligandrol)) was detected.

The substance LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) is listed under Class S1.2 (Other Anabolic Agents) under the World Anti-Doping Code – International Standard – Prohibited List – 2021 (Prohibited List 2021). The substance LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) is a Non-Specified Substance and is prohibited at all times.

Mr Jensen’s four-year ban commenced on 22 December 2021.

Mr Jensen is ineligible to participate in any sports that have adopted a World Anti-Doping Code compliant anti-doping policy until 22 December 2025. He is also not permitted to compete in a non-Signatory professional league, or Event organised by a non-Signatory International Event organisation or a non-Signatory national-level Event organisation.

MS DYALÁ JIMÉNEZ FIGUERES (COSTA RICA) JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (ICAS)

MS DYALÁ JIMÉNEZ FIGUERES (COSTA RICA) JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (ICAS)

The International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), the governing body of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), welcomes Ms Dyalá Jiménez Figueres to its membership. Ms Jiménez, a Costa Rican national and a lawyer, is a former Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica. She has a strong background in international arbitration and is currently a member of the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). Ms Jiménez was appointed to ICAS by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the remainder of the 2023-2026 term and fills the vacancy left in its quota after the resignation of Judge Patrick Robinson (International Court of Justice).

ICAS is a Swiss foundation created in 1994, composed of twenty-two members with a legal background and who are active in the judiciary, international arbitration and/or sports administration. As the governing body of the CAS, ICAS manages its administration and finances. 

The CAS is an independent institution based in Lausanne which was created to resolve sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation. The jurisdiction of CAS is recognized by all Olympic sports federations and many non-Olympic federations. The CAS registers around 900 cases each year. 

 

Case resolution agreed with Jenson Brooksby

Case resolution agreed with Jenson Brooksby

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) can today confirm that an agreement has been reached with American player Jenson Brooksby, which sees their period of ineligibility reduced to 13 months. 
 
In October 2023, Brooksby - who reached a career-high world singles ranking of 33 in 2022 - was issued an 18-month suspension by an independent tribunal for missing three anti-doping tests in a 12-month period. However, new information relating to the circumstances giving rise to the missed tests - which had not previously been available to the ITIA or the independent tribunal during the initial hearing - was submitted as part of the player’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal proceedings. 
 
On the basis of a detailed review of the new information, the ITIA, in consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), determined that the player’s degree of fault for the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) should be reassessed.  
 
Following reassessment, the ITIA, WADA, and the player’s representatives agreed that Brooksby’s fault for the ADRV was not as high as previously found by the independent tribunal, and a 13-month sanction was appropriate. The sanction will be backdated to the date of the player’s third and final missed test. As such, Brooksby’s suspension is deemed to have begun on 4 February 2023, and will end on 3 March 2024. In reaching an agreement with the ITIA, the player has withdrawn their appeal to CAS. 
 
Due to the nature of the new information disclosed, it is not possible for the ITIA to discuss the specific details behind the reassessment or offer further comment. 

Suspension of athlete Valentina Riasova for doping violation

Suspension of athlete Valentina Riasova for doping violation

World Triathlon can report that a urine sample collected from Russian triathlete Valentina Riasova returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for the prohibited substance 5-Methylhexaneamine. The sample was collected at in-competition testing on 25 September 2021, at the Europe Triathlon Championships Valencia. On 12 September 2022, World Triathlon reached a decision on the case and imposed a ban of six (6) months on Riasova, from 12 September 2022 to 11 March 2023.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) appealed World Triathlon’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), requesting a longer ban. On 15 September 2023, CAS upheld that appeal and reached the decision to ban the athlete from racing for a period of two (2) years from 15 September 2023 to 14 March 2025 (taking into account the period of ineligibility already served).

The athlete is disqualified (DSQ) from the event in Valencia where the sample was collected.

The ITA acknowledges the CAS ADD decision sanctioning Triathlete Yulia Yelistratova

The ITA acknowledges the CAS ADD decision sanctioning Triathlete Yulia Yelistratova

THE ITA SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTES TRIATHLETE YULIA YELISTRATOVA (UKRAINE) BEFORE THE ANTI-DOPING DIVISION OF THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS ADD), WHICH HAS RULED THAT SHE HAS COMMITTED AN ANTI-DOPING RULE VIOLATION (ADRV) FOR PRESENCE OF EPO AND HAS SANCTIONED THE ATHLETE WITH 5 YEARS OF INELIGIBILITY AND DISQUALIFICATION OF ALL RESULTS.

As previously reported by the ITA, the matter concerns an in-competition sample collected by World Triathlon from Yulia Yelistratova on 5 June 2021 in the scope of the 2021 Europe Triathlon Cup in Dnipro, Ukraine and out-of-competition samples collected by the ITA on 23 July 2021 under the Testing Authority of the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo, Japan. The analysis of the samples returned Adverse Analytical Findings for recombinant erythropoietin (EPO, S2. Peptide, Hormones, Growth Factors, related substances, and mimetics). The athlete had been provisionally suspended by the ITA ahead of her competition in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that took place in July 2021.

Following the Results Management process, the ITA submitted the matter for adjudication to CAS ADD. A hearing took place before CAS ADD on 23 January 2023 at which the ITA represented World Triathlon.

After hearing the parties and considering the written submissions and evidence, CAS ADD found that the athlete had committed an ADRV under Art. 2.1 of the World Triathlon Anti-Doping Rules for the Presence of EPO in her samples. CAS ADD also concluded that aggravating circumstances had been established in this case and hence the period of ineligibility imposed was 5 years, starting from 25 July 2021 until 24 July 2026 and disqualification of all competitive results from 5 June 2021 onwards.

No parties have appealed the decision; the CAS ADD decision is final and binding. No further comments will be made on this case.

IN THE ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING RUSADA, THE ISU, WADA AND KAMILA VALIEVA, THE CAS HEARING HAS BEEN ADJOURNED AND WILL RESUME ON 9-10 NOVEMBER 2023

IN THE ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING RUSADA, THE ISU, WADA AND KAMILA VALIEVA, THE CAS HEARING HAS BEEN ADJOURNED AND WILL RESUME ON 9-10 NOVEMBER 2023

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in the arbitration procedures CAS 2023/A/9451 Association Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) v. Kamila Valieva, CAS 2023/A/9455 International Skating Union (ISU) v. Kamila Valieva, Association Russian AntiDoping Agency (RUSADA), and CAS 2023/A/9456 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) v. Association Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) & Kamila Valieva) has been adjourned at the end of its third day.

The Panel of arbitrators in charge of the matter heard the parties (RUSADA, ISU, WADA and Ms Valieva), their experts and witnesses during the hearing that took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week. After the presentation of evidence by the parties, the Panel ordered the production of further documentation and, in order to allow the parties to consider and address such documentation, allowed two further days for the hearing of the appeal. The hearing will therefore resume on 9 and 10 November 2023 in Lausanne at which time the evidentiary proceedings will be completed and the Panel will hear the parties’ closing submissions. The Panel will then deliberate and prepare the Arbitral Award containing its decision.

THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) HEARING IN THE ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING RUSADA, THE ISU, WADA AND KAMILA VALIEVA WILL START ON 26 SEPTEMBER 2023

THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) HEARING IN THE ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING RUSADA, THE ISU, WADA AND KAMILA VALIEVA WILL START ON 26 SEPTEMBER 2023

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirms the following arrangements for the hearing in the arbitration procedures CAS 2023/A/9451 Association Russian AntiDoping Agency (RUSADA) v. Kamila Valieva, CAS 2023/A/9455 International Skating Union (ISU) v. Kamila Valieva, Association Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), and CAS 2023/A/9456 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) v. Association Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) & Kamila Valieva): 

The hearing will take place on 26, 27 and 28 September 2023, with 29 September 2023 being a reserve day. It will be held at the CAS Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, although the Panel will hear some parties, witnesses and experts via video-conference, including Ms Kamila Valieva and the representatives of RUSADA.

The parties to the proceedings: RUSADA, the ISU, WADA and Ms Valieva (collectively, the parties), want privacy and have not requested that a public hearing be held. Consequently, the hearing will take place behind closed doors in accordance with the provisions of Article 57 of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the “CAS Code”), and outside persons will not be authorised to attend. For that reason, on 5 September 2023, the CAS Panel denied a request filed by the 2022 United States Olympic Figure Skating Team for an observer to be permitted to attend the hearing on their behalf.

The Panel of CAS arbitrators constituted to decide the matter is composed of:

President: Mr James Drake KC, Barrister, United Kingdom & Australia

Arbitrators: Mr Jeffrey Mishkin, Attorney-at-Law, USA

Dr Mathieu Maisonneuve, Professor of law, France

The ISU and WADA nominated Mr Jeffrey Mishkin, and Ms Valieva nominated Prof. Mathieu Maisonneuve. RUSADA being involved as Appellant in one procedure and as Respondent in the other two, it decided not to participate in the nomination process. The President of the Panel was appointed by the Deputy President of the Appeals Arbitration Division in accordance with the CAS Code.

The Panel and parties have established a detailed hearing timetable. The proceedings will open on Tuesday, 26 September 2023 with a short opening submission from each party, followed by the hearing of fact witnesses. On Wednesday, 27 September 2023, the Panel will hear expert witnesses and on Thursday, 28 September 2023, the Panel will hear the parties’ closing submissions and rebuttals. Should additional time be required, the Panel and parties have reserved Friday, 29 September 2023.

Following the hearing, the Panel will deliberate and prepare the Arbitral Award containing its decision. At this juncture, it is not possible to indicate when the final decision will be announced. The CAS Panel’s decision will be final and binding, with the exception of the parties’ right to file an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on limited procedural grounds.

The hearing concerns the appeals filed individually by RUSADA, the ISU, and WADA against the decision issued by the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Commission (RUSADA DADC) dated 14 December 2022 (the Challenged Decision), in which the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva (the Athlete) was found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for which she bore “no fault or negligence” and was not sanctioned with the exception of the disqualification of the results achieved on the date of the sample collection (25 December 2021).

RUSADA seeks a ruling from CAS setting aside the Challenged Decision and finding the Athlete to have committed an ADRV under the RUSADA Anti-Doping Rules (RUSADA ADR), and sanctioned with “the appropriate consequences (which may include or be limited to a reprimand) in respect of such ADRV pursuant to the RUSADA ADR”.

The ISU seeks a ruling from CAS sanctioning the Athlete with a four-year period of ineligibility or, subsidiarily, a two-year period of ineligibility, starting from 25 December 2021, as well as the disqualification of all results achieved by the Athlete during this period.

WADA seeks a ruling from CAS setting aside the Challenged Decision and finding the Athlete to have committed an ADRV under art. 4.1 and/or 4.2 of the RUSADA ADR, and sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of four years, as well as the disqualification of all competitive results obtained by the Athlete from and including 25 December 2021. 

Ms Valieva seeks a ruling from CAS that it lacks jurisdiction over WADA, ISU and RUSADA claims, subsidiarily that no violation of the RUSADA ADR is proven and that she be re-established in the results obtained at the 2021 Russian Figure Skating Championship. In the alternative, she seeks a ruling that she bears no fault or negligence or, more subsidiarily, that the violation of the rules was not intentional, so that the period of ineligibility shall be at most two years and that no results shall be disqualified

In accordance with Article R52(5) of the CAS Code, the three appeals were consolidated and a common timetable was established for the filing of the parties’ written submissions. The exchange of written submissions, which was lengthened by extensions of time granted with the mutual agreement of the parties, has concluded.

 

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