The Court Of Arbitration For Sport (CAS) Finds Ibai Salas Zorrozua Guilty Of An Anti-doping Rule Violation; Imposes Four-year Period Of Ineligibility
5th August 2020
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (Agencia Española de Protección de la Salud en el Deporte) (the “AEPSAD”) and the Spanish cyclist Ibai Salas Zorrozua.
The CAS Panel found that Ibai Sala Zorrozua committed an anti-doping rule violation further to abnormalities in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and sanctioned him with a four-year period of ineligibility starting on 4 August 2020. All competitive results obtained by the athlete from the date of 25 January 2017 through to the commencement of his period of ineligibility shall be disqualified, with all of the resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
From 25 January 2017 until 3 August 2017, Ibai Salas Zorrozua provided six blood samples which were analysed by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Barcelona, Spain. A Panel of experts unanimously concluded on 28 February 2018 that Ibai Salas Zorrozua’s ABP revealed multiple abnormalities. On 3 October 2018, the AEPSAD issued a decision imposing a four-year period of ineligibility and a fine of EUR 3,001. On 8 February 2019, the Administrative Court of Sport in Spain issued a decision setting aside the AEPSAD decision and nullifying the sanction.
On 27 March 2019, WADA filed an appeal at the CAS requesting that a four-year period of ineligibility be imposed on the athlete. The Panel of arbitrators in charge of the matter issued a decision on the basis of the parties’ written submissions. The Panel, taking into account that (i) the values detected in the Athlete’s ABP were highly abnormal and indicated a high probability of doping; (ii) no contradictory evidence existed (i.e., that Ibai Salas Zorrozua did not provide any credible, physiological or pathological reason or condition to explain the abnormality in the ABP values); and (iii) the timing of the detection relative to his competitions, held that Ibai Salas Zorrozua committed an anti-doping rule violation and imposed a four-year period of ineligibility. Since Ibai Salas Zorrozua was free to compete pending the outcome of this case, the Panel determined that the period of ineligibility should commence from the date of the CAS award.