9th March 2020
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the American track and field athlete Jarrion Lawson and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) (now known as World Athletics). The CAS Panel has set aside the decision rendered by the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal in May 2019 (the Challenged Decision) and replaced it with a new decision in which Jarrion Lawson is found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for which he bears no fault or negligence and for which no period of ineligibility shall be imposed on him.
In June 2018, Jarrion Lawson underwent an out-of-competition doping control. The sample tested positive for the presence of the prohibited substance Epitrenbolone, an exogenous anabolic androgenic steroid on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Following an investigation, the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal concluded in the Challenged Decision that Jarrion Lawson had committed an ADRV pursuant to articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules and sanctioned him with a four-year period of ineligibility commencing on 24 May 2019.
In his appeal to the CAS, Jarrion Lawson requested that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that either no period of ineligibility, or a reduced period of two years’ ineligibility be imposed on him. The arbitration was conducted by a CAS Panel composed of Mr Stephen L. Drymer (Canada), President, Prof. Richard H. McLaren (Canada) and Mr Murray Rosen QC (UK) who held a hearing in the presence of the parties in November 2019 in New York, USA.
The CAS Panel found it more likely than not that the origin of the prohibited substance was contaminated beef consumed in a restaurant the day before the test. Following a very careful review and examination of the evidence and expert testimony in this procedure, the Panel was unanimously of the view that Jarrion Lawson had established that he bore no fault or negligence for his positive finding under Article 10.4 of the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules. As a consequence of such finding, the period of ineligibility was eliminated.