CAS Bulletin 2021/1

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In this Olympic year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened two temporary offices in Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (the Games) which have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been held this year from 21 July to 8 August 2021.

The Tokyo Games looked like no other, with strict sanitary controls and isolation of athletes and officials, media etc. and without foreign visitors (outside the Olympic accredited persons). Japan is a country where the proportion of infected persons is one of the lowest on the planet and the Japanese authorities decided to take all appropriate measures to allow these Games to take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in the safest environment possible.

Given the restrictions in place in Tokyo, the composition of the CAS delegation (CAS ad hoc Division, CAS ADD and staff) has been cut almost by half, with some arbitrators working remotely in case of need. Most hearings took place by video-conference, or in a mixed format, considering that the athletes were not allowed to leave the athletes’ village (other than going to the training field or to the stadium).

Like in Pyeongchang 2018, the temporary CAS divisions established on the site of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to resolve Olympic legal disputes and anti-doping cases started to operate 10 days prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Games, i.e. on 13 July 2021, until the Closing Ceremony on 8 August 2021. The Presidents and arbitrators for each division were selected by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS). The secretariat in Tokyo was headed by the CAS Director General, Mr Matthieu Reeb, and staffed by CAS employees. In agreement with the Tokyo Bar Association, pro bono lawyers based in Tokyo were available to assist and represent Games participants before the CAS Divisions.

The CAS ad hoc Division at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was headed by Mr Michael Lenard (USA), President, assisted by Dr Elisabeth Steiner (Austria) and Prof. Giulio Napolitano (Italy) participating remotely as Co-Presidents. It registered 15 procedures, mainly related to the eligibility to compete at the Olympic Games.

The CAS Anti-doping Division at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, handled doping cases referred to it in accordance with the IOC Anti-doping Rules, was presided over by Judge Ivo Eusebio (Switzerland), assisted by Mr David W. Rivkin (USA), participating remotely as Co-President. It registered 3 procedures. With respect to the CAS ADD generally, it is worth noting that, in a recent decision 4A 612-2020 involving an Olympic champion in biathlon and the International Biathlon Union in relation to an anti-doping rule violation, the Swiss Supreme Court confirmed the jurisdiction of the CAS ADD as a first instance.

We are pleased to publish in this issue an article prepared by Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, entitled “Financial Fair Play and CAS jurisprudence: a brief panoramic view”. Furthermore, an analysis of the fundamental rights of the parties before the CAS by Estelle de La Rochefoucauld, CAS Counsel is also included in this Bulletin.

The trend observed in previous years is confirmed as the number of cases before the CAS at this time of the year continues to stay at a high level, compared to previous years. 2021 will be another record year in this respect.

As usual, the majority of the so-called “leading cases” selected for this issue reflects the high proportion of football jurisprudence dealt with by CAS Panels in general.

Thus, in the field of football, the cases 6463 Saman Ghoddos v. SD Huesca & Östersunds FC & Amiens Sporting Club & FIFA and 6533 Club Al Arabi S.C. v. Sérgio Dutra


Junior deal with the termination of the employment contract and its consequences. In the case 7356 SK Slovan Bratislava v. UEFA & KI Klaksvik, the forfeiture of a match due to the impossibility to play it before the applicable deadline because of the COVID 19 pandemic in Europe is examined. The case CAS 2020/A/7061 Athletics Club v. UEFA addresses a governance issue whereas in 7092 Panathinaikos FC v. FIFA & Club Parma Calcio 1913, a sporting succession issue is analysed.

In the field of doping, the case 6978 Andrea Iannone v. FIM deals with the criteria, standard & burden of proof regarding the Ineligibility for Presence of a Prohibited Substance and burden of proof. The case 6180 WADA v. USADA and Ryan Hudson mainly examines the preliminary issue of

CAS jurisdiction based on WADA’s right to appeal a national level decision.

On the procedural level, in the case 6918 Cristina Iovu v. IWF, the admissibility of an appeal is dealt witth especially regarding the establishment of the date of reception of a decision sent by email.

Summaries of the most recent judgements rendered by the Swiss Federal Tribunal in connection with CAS decisions have been also enclosed in this Bulletin.

I wish you a pleasant reading of this new edition of the CAS Bulletin.

Matthieu REEB Director General

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