Assessing contamination and thresholds under the World Anti-Doping Code: an advocate’s view on Lawson v IAAF (CAS 2019/A/6313)

Published 24 April 2020 By: Jonathan Taylor QC

Long Jumper

This article is part of a series of articles by LawInSport looking from different perspectives at the important issue raised in Lawson of how contamination and relevant thresholds are addressed by the World Anti-Doping Code. 

The article is written by Jonathan Taylor QC, Bird & Bird LLP.  Jonathan was counsel to World Athletics (fka the IAAF), but not in Lawson v IAAF or any other doping cases. From November 2016 to January 2020, Jonathan was chair of WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, which works to ensure compliance by Signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code with their duties under the Code and the related International Standards.

In this article, the author examines and expresses his views on the decision reached by the panel in Lawson, and its potential implications for similar cases.  Specifically, it looks at:

  • Rebutting the Article 10.2 presumption of intent in the absence of proof of source;
  • Accepting the plea of no intent in absence of proof of origin; and
  • Accepting the No Fault plea without proper proof of source. 

A longer version of this article will also appear in the August/September 2020 edition of International Sports Law Review.

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Jonathan Taylor QC

Jonathan Taylor QC

Head of Sport Group London, Bird & Bird
 
Jon is the head of our Sport Group in London, he advises governing bodies, event organisers and others active in the sector and all major sports on a range of commercial, regulatory and contentious issues.

Jon advise the widest range of sports bodies, from international and national governing bodies to leagues, clubs, and their commercial partners on matters including broadcasting and sponsorship rights, challenges to regulatory decisions, commercial disputes, and regulatory and disciplinary issues including match-sanctioning, match-fixing and doping.

He is an experienced advocate, appearing regularly before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, as well as a range of internal sports tribunals. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2017. In 2016, he chaired the World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Observer team at the Rio Olympics.
 
Since 2017, he has chaired WADA's Compliance Review Committee, an independent Standing Committee that reports to WADA's ExCo and Foundation Board on issues relating to Code compliance by Signatories.
 
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