Tag Archives: Court of Arbitration for Sport

Seb Coe: Track and field dopers are “architects of their own downfall”

Seb Coe says British sprinter CJ Ujah’s ongoing doping case is a painful reminder that athletics is committed to cleaning up its act.

Ujah is provisionally suspended having tested positive for a banned substance after helping Team GB win an Olympic sprint relay silver medal in Tokyo.

The case is with the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and as the year ends the 27-year old has yet to learn his fate.

Ujah insists he is “not a cheat” and has “never and would never knowingly take a banned substance”.

Lord Coe, a former chairman of the British Olympic Association, said that “of course” he would be disappointed were the case against the Londoner to be proven.

It would mean not only him, but team mates Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, losing their medals and Team GB giving up the notable achievement of matching their 65-medal haul of London 2012.

But Coe, boss of World Athletics, added that from a broader perspective the case provided further evidence of track and field’s increased determination to protect its competitive integrity.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe ( Image: PA)

“Take Great Britain out of this,” said Coe. “I would share the disappointment in any federation and in any athlete that falls fouls.

“I am sorry to say this, and I am not going to be romantic or emotional about it, they are the architects of their own downfall here. The rules are very clear. It is not arcane maritime law.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for its education programme, making sure athletes and federations understand what the roles, the rules, the obligations are.

“Take Great Britain out of this,” said Coe. “I would share the disappointment in any federation and in any athlete that falls fouls.

“I am sorry to say this, and I am not going to be romantic or emotional about it, they are the architects of their own downfall here. The rules are very clear. It is not arcane maritime law.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for its education programme, making sure athletes and federations understand what the roles, the rules, the obligations are.

“So, yes, I am disappointed in so far as every positive is not a good story. But in a way it does show that we are at least tackling this issue now and we are a federation who are not doing junk tests.

“We are not sitting there saying we have hundreds of thousands of meaningless tests. We are doing it in a very systemic and effective way. We will continue to that.”

World champions Christian Coleman and Salwa Eid Naser both missed Tokyo due to bans, as did 2016 Olympic hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal.

Ahead of the delayed Games, Coe even warned: “There is a greater chance of (cheats) being caught than probably any previous Games.”

Last night he added: “I want athletes to recognise that it really doesn’t matter where they reside, what systems they are in, whether they come from small, medium-sized, large, powerful federations.

“The philosophy is pretty simple, everybody will be treated exactly the same way. I think it is demonstrating that.”

World 100m champion set for return after serving 18-month ban

World 100m champion Christian Coleman, is set to return to running after serving his 18-month ban for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules.

The 25 year-old plans to race for the first time in nearly two years at New York’s Millrose Games next month which will start on 29 January and it will be his first since February 2020 after the pandemic and the anti-doping suspension curtailed him.

“I think it will be emotional to get out there and finally display my talents again,” the indoor 60m world record holder said by telephone from Lexington, Kentucky, where he trains.

Colemen had been given a two-year suspension by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) before it was reduced to 18 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Caster Semenya cleared to compete

Two times 800m Olympic gold medallist, Caster Semenya will be allowed to compete without restriction until the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has passed judgment on a new IAAF now World Athletics ruling.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the World Athletics could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels in order to compete against women in track events ranging from 400 meters to a mile.

However, the three times world champion in 800m has continued to challenge the ruling and lodged an appeal in Switzerland last week.

The 28-year-old asked the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside the decision in its entirety.

It has now been confirmed that the IAAF must suspend its implementation of the regulations until the Swiss Supreme Court, which will receive submissions from the body, has made a ruling.

Semenya, who ruled out retiring after winning the 800 at the Diamond League event in Doha last month, two days after the CAS ruling was announced, will be able to compete for the time being.

“I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision,” she said in a statement released Monday. “I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free.”

Dorothee Schramm, Swiss counsel for Semenya, said: “The Swiss Supreme Court has granted welcome temporary protection to Caster Semenya. This is an important case that will have fundamental implications for the human rights of female athletes.”

Russian high jumper blames officials for doping suspension

High jumper Danil Lysenko, suspended for anti-doping violations in a case that rattled Russian sport, has admitted guilt for his offences but said he blames the athletics federation for a plan to forge documents to try to evade punishment.

Lysenko, silver medallist at the 2017 World Athletics Championships, was provisionally suspended in 2018 after recording three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period, once missing a doping test and twice failing to provide his whereabouts to anti-doping authorities.

The aftermath plunged Russia’s athletics federation, suspended since 2015 for mass doping across the sport, into more turmoil after senior federation officials became embroiled in a scheme to forge medical documents and provide false explanations to justify Lysenko’s violations.

“Of course I could have said no, but I didn’t,” Lysenko, whose suspension ends in August next year, told Reuters. “I listened to the bosses and decided to do as they said.”

The 24-year-old said he had been negligent on reporting his whereabouts and had in no way attempted to conceal the use of banned substances. He also said he regretted going along with what he referred to as the federation’s plan to “help him”.

When asked to comment on Lysenko’s claim it was the federation’s idea to forge the documents, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the federation’s president at the time, told Reuters: “Let that remain on his conscience for the rest of his life. Until the grave!” He did comment further.

Shlyakhtin received a four-year suspension over the case.

The conspiracy unravelled when the Monaco-based Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which oversees integrity issues in the sport, questioned the information provided by Lysenko.

The Moscow clinic that allegedly treated Lysenko for suspected appendicitis – the original reason provided for not entering his whereabouts in an online system that allows doping control officers to locate athletes – did not exist. The timeline of a car accident to justify another violation did not stand up to scrutiny.

Lysenko did not initially tell investigators the truth because he feared for his safety if he implicated senior federation officials. He later assisted investigators in bringing charges against some officials, which led to his suspension being shortened by two years.

Five federation officials, including Shlyakhtin, were suspended over the case.

Lysenko’s coach, Evgeny Zagorulko, was also provisionally suspended. His lawyers submitted a request to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have his suspension revised in light of his assistance to investigators. Zagurolko died in April, before the court could make a ruling.

In November 2019 the case prompted World Athletics, the sport’s international governing body, to stop authorising Russians to compete internationally as neutral athletes.

It later relaunched that process but fined the federation $10 million and limited the number of Russians eligible to compete in athletics at the Tokyo Olympics to 10.

“I’m certainly aware that innocent athletes have suffered because of this situation,” said Lysenko, the 2018 world indoor champion. “I’m very sorry.”

‘THE WHOLE TRUTH’

At an athletics facility in Moscow last month, Lysenko effortlessly cleared 2.15 metres – an impressive jump for someone who drives a truck for a living.

The athlete who cleared 2.32 m to win silver at the 2017 championships sits in traffic all day, running errands for a construction company in the Moscow region. Earlier in the pandemic, he worked as a food delivery courier.

Despite not having trained in months, Lysenko is still aiming to compete at the Olympics and break the world record of 2.45 m.

“I understand that there is a lot of work to do on my technique,” Lysenko said. “I’m not in the shape I used to be.”

Lysenko considered quitting his job to train full-time in the last year of his suspension but his financial situation has not allowed it.

“I need to find money to live, to buy food,” said Lysenko.

To compete internationally after his suspension, Lysenko would still need to be cleared by World Athletics.

 

CAS overturns fine imposed on UAE Athletics president

President of the UAE Athletics Federation Ahmad Al Kamali has failed to overturn his six month’s ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for gifting watches to delegates in an attempt to win votes.

The Athletics Integrity Unit had provisionally suspended Al Kamali from any athletics-related activities October last year, preventing him from standing in election for the vice president’s role at World Athletics.

This was in breach of Article C5 (21) of the World Athletics Code of Ethics, relating to the behavior of candidates for elected positions. This was upheld by the CAS, but it cleared Al Kamali of breaching Article D2 (26) which concerns gifts and other benefits.

The court said that this was because the gifts were “not of more than nominal value”. As a result, its panel “reduced the sanctions proportionally by setting aside the fine”.

Al Kamali admitted giving watches to the delegates but said the retail value of the gifts did not exceed $40 to $50 (£30-£37).

Francine Niyonsaba’s reinvention as a world-beating distance runner

With her performances in 2021, the Burundi has impressively moved up from 800m to longer distances.

But will her record-breaking feats accelerate change which could end her career? The message dropped into my email inbox. My request to interview Francine Niyonsaba had been approved, but with one condition – I was not allowed to ask her about the increasingly hot topic of differences in sex development (DSD).

We might not have spoken about the subject directly, but it never felt far away during the conversation and there has barely been a performance from the Burundian this year which has gone by without a related comment being made.

That is because those performances have been so good. She became the first athlete who identifies as having DSD to officially break a world record when clocking 5:21.26 for 2000m to take over two seconds from the former mark.

It ended a season of high achievement which included the 5000m Diamond League title and the fifth-fastest 3000m time in history. Not bad for someone who is pretty new to the distance running game.

Francine Niyonsaba leads Ejgayehu Taye (Diamond League AG)

That she is running further, of course, is not through choice. The two-time world indoor champion as well as Olympic and world silver medallist for 800m can no longer compete at her favoured event under the World Athletics rules, upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which came into force in 2019 and were famously challenged by Caster Semenya.

They decree that DSD athletes are not allowed to compete internationally between 400m and a mile unless they take medication to reduce their high levels of testosterone.

Niyonsaba’s performances – she was also fifth in the Olympic 10,000m final in Tokyo in what was just her second time racing the distance – and those of the Olympic silver medal-winning, world junior record-breaking sprinter Christine Mboma over 200m have raised questions as to whether or not the rules should widen out to other events. As Sean Ingle of The Guardian wrote, those athletes are “faced with a devilish catch-22.

The faster she [Mboma] runs, the more she provides evidence that she has an unfair advantage as an athlete with DSD”. Understandably, Niyonsaba does not want to fuel any fire but, at the same time, she is very clearly making a point. “They tried to stop me.

Tried to end my dreams,” she tweeted after her 5000m Diamond League victory in Zurich. “But how could I allow them to snatch my dreams away? So I worked hard and resisted those forces who tried to stop me. And here I am!” Speaking with her, there is an apparent determination rather than bitterness. A preference to accentuate the positive.

Asked if she would like to return to the 800m, Niyonsaba is short and to the point. “I would never go back. I keep looking forward.”

Francine Niyonsaba wins the 2018 world indoor 800m (Mark Shearman)

Even when quizzed as to the two-lap performance (and there have been many) of which she is most proud, the 28-year-old replies: “I have forgotten about the 800m because I am now focusing on the longer distances.

“Since I was born I have not had an easy life and I love challenges. I face them with a lot of determination and perseverance. To transform myself from 800m to longer distances was not easy. “I think life is full of challenges but I always say that the challenge is not a barrier but an opportunity to do better.

I still do not know if I like the long distance more than the 800m, but I love challenges. “I won’t think too much about it because it is what it is. At first it was not easy and I got a lot of injuries but I kept believing in myself.”

She adds: “I don’t know [if I will be better at 5000m or 10,000m] but I just love running long distances. Every moment I’m racing, or training, I just love running and I’m happy doing what I do. I am going to keep training hard, trying to perform well.

The good thing about it is that I have a lot to improve – I’m still learning and am sure that I can go a lot faster in the future.”

Francine Niyonsaba (Getty)

Having spent much of her career based in Oregon, Niyonsaba has now relocated to train in Kenya “because Kenyans are often champions in the longer distance”.

There is excitement about returning to the west coast of America for next year’s World Championships. “Eugene will feel like home,” she says. “To be back in Eugene for the World Championship would be fantastic for me and I hope I will be there.”

World Athletics president Seb Coe insists the DSD rules are “here to stay”. But will they have changed by the time Oregon comes around? What’s for certain is that this is an issue which is not going away any time soon.

Source: athleticsweekly.com

President Vladimir Putin orders Sports Ministry to settle reinstatement issues with WADA

President Vladimir Putin ruled on Friday that the Russian Sports Ministry as well as all of the involved national sports organizations must resort to measures aimed at the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) with WADA and of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) with World Athletics.

The Russian Sports Ministry is now set to present a report regarding RUSADA’s reinstatement process before March 30, 2022 as well as a report on RusAF’s membership reinstatement progress before December 26, 2022. RUSADA-WADA case The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland’s Lausanne upheld on December 17, 2020 WADA’s (the World Anti-Doping Agency) previous ruling on a number of sanctions against Russian sports.

In particular, CAS upheld WADA’s decision to declare RUSADA as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. The court, however, ruled to cut the previously proposed four-year term of sanctions to the period of two years. The Swiss-based court said in a statement on December 17 that the CAS Panel “unanimously determined RUSADA to be non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) in connection with its failure to procure the delivery of the authentic LIMS data (Laboratory Information Management System) and underlying analytical data of the former Moscow Laboratory to WADA” in the period between 2012 and 2015.

The Russian authorities deny accusations of manipulation. CAS held hearings on a legal debate between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5, 2020. Appointed judges in the CAS case between RUSADA and WADA were Mark Williams (Australia), Luigi Fumagalli (Italy) and Hamid Gharavi (France). According to the CAS decision as of December 17, 2020, Russian athletes were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for the two-year period.

The national anthem of Russia was also ruled out to be played at international sport tournaments in the course of the next two years, including at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan this year. The ruling of the Swiss-based court also stripped Russia of the right to bid for the organization of all international sports tournaments for the period of two years.

WADA’s sanctions will be in force until December 2022. World Athletics and RusAF World Athletics suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. World Athletics, however, allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated.

The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag. The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to suspend RusAF’s reinstatement process based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 “with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity.”

The provisionally suspended senior officials at that time were then-President of RusAF Dmitry Shlyakhtin and several more high-ranking people from the federation for helping to falsify documents, which Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko presented as his excuse for skipping doping tests. Shlyakhtin submitted his letter of resignation on November 23.

Source: tass.com

Nesta Carter tests positive AGAIN

Jamaica’s Olympic champion Nesta Carter has tested positive again and faces an anti-doping hearing next week.

The first positive doping test caused Usain Bolt to be stripped of his Beijing 2008 Olympic 4x100m relay gold.

The Chairman of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and the sprinter’s lawyer Stuart Stimpson confirmed. “We have a matter with Nesta Carter … We do have a disciplinary hearing that was referred to me by Independent Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel (IADP),” His legal representative Stuart Simpson however declined to give details on the substance or nature of the positive test.

The IADP will be headed by Kent Gammon and will also feature Dr Japheth Ford and Heron Dale, but the hearing, referred to the body by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, will be conducted virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Anti-doping violation comes three years after Carter lost his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the International Olympic Committee’s decision to strip him and the rest of the Jamaica men’s sprint relay team, comprising Bolt, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, of their gold medals from the 2008 Beijing Games.

The World champion issued a press release in August, saying he had retired due to a private medical condition which had hindered him from training and competing since March 2021. He indicated at the time that a medication prescribed by his doctor to treat the condition violated anti-doping rules and as such he had chosen his health over athletics.

Carter, turns 36 years old on Monday, is the ninth fastest man of all time, and fourth fastest Jamaican over 100m, with a personal best of 9.78 seconds.

Alberto Salazar four years doping ban upheld

Former American track coach Alberto Salazar’s four-year suspension has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The 63-year-old was banned two years ago for a series of doping violations by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) but appealed against the decision.

Salazar ran the Nike Oregon Project , based in Beaverton, Oregon.

It was established in 2001 and was the home of British four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Farah has not been accused of doping, and left the Oregon Project in 2017.

A BBC Panorama film revealed last year that Farah was questioned about his relationship with Salazar by US investigators in 2015, but he has never failed a doping test, nor been accused of doping. Salazar also coached Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, who took triple medals at the just concluded Tokyo 2020 in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m. It eventually resulted in bans for both Salazar and Nike endocrinologist Dr Geoffrey Brown, announced in October 2019.

Before he became a coach, Salazar was one of the most talented distance runners of his generation, winning the New York City marathon in 1980, 1981 and 1982. He is also famous for the ‘Duel in the Sun’ at the Boston Marathon in 1982.

Britain to lose Tokyo 2020 relay silver medal after CJ Ujah positive test confirmed

Great Britain will be stripped of their Tokyo 2020 men’s 4×100 metres relay silver medal after CJ Ujah’s B sample confirmed his positive test.

The International Testing Agency (ITA) announced last month that Ujah had tested positive for two prohibited substances.

According to the AIU, Ujah, who is the British champion over 100m, tested positive for ostarine and S-23, both of which are listed as prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Ujah requested a B-sample analysis be carried out, which the ITA says has confirmed the initial test results.

The case will now be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport Anti-Doping Division on 8 September 2021..

“The ITA confirms that as per the athlete’s request, the B-sample analysis was carried out by the WADA-accredited laboratory of Tokyo on 19 August 2021 and the procedure confirmed the result of the A-sample,” an ITA statement read.

“The Cas ADD will consider the matter of the finding of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation [ADRV] and the disqualification of the men’s 4 x 100 relay results of the British team”.

Ujah, along with Kilty, Hughes and Mitchell-Blake, only narrowly missed out on winning gold in Tokyo.

The quartet were leading going into the final 100m but unable to hold off the Italian challenge as anchor runner Mitchell-Blake was headed on the line by Filippo Tortu.

Team GB missed out on gold by just a hundredth of a second.