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Key challenges facing athletes in contaminated supplement cases: Discussion on the Ademi decision

Published 02 June 2017 | Authored by: Claude Ramoni

In its award[1] issued in the case of the football player, Arijan Ademi, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the sanction imposed on the player, a ban for an anti-doping violation, down to two years from four. They ruled that the player demonstrated he had no intent to cheat, but failed to prove that he deserved a further reduction of the sanction for No Significant Fault or Negligence (see below) when using a contaminated product.

A full review of the Ademi case is available here: 'Key challenges facing athletes in contaminated supplement cases: A review of the Arijan Ademi decision'. It is suggested that readers review this piece first before moving onto the analysis below.

This article builds on the above case review by exploring several interesting issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of anti-doping regulations that were highlighted by the CAS panel in their award and reasoning. Specifically, it looks at how the following issues were addressed:

  • The prohibition on WADA-accredited laboratories to analyse supplements without a specific request by an anti-doping organisation (Article 4.2 of the Laboratory Code of Ethics); 
  • Is it necessary to establish the source of the prohibited substance in a sample in order to establish absence of intent to “cheat”? (Article 10.2.3 of the WADA Code);
  • The flexible concept of No Significant Fault or Negligence (Article 10.5 of the WADA Code) 
  • Conclusions

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About the Author

Claude Ramoni

Claude Ramoni

Claude Ramoni is a Swiss qualified Attorney‐at‐Law specialising in advising and representing clients in the fields of sports and business law. After more than seven years of practice with a major law firm in Lausanne, he joined Libra Law as a founding partner in 2009.

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