CAS overturn British lifetime Olympic ban for drug cheats

 

The British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for drugs cheats has been formally declared unenforceable.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have issued a formal ruling that the BOA's by-law does not comply with the world anti-doping code.

The decision will allow sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar to be selected by Team GB for the London 2012 Games.

CAS said in a statement: "The by-law is a doping sanction and is therefore not in compliance with the WADA code. The CAS confirms the view of the WADA foundation board as indicated in its decision.

"Therefore, the appeal of BOA is rejected, and the decision of the WADA foundation board is confirmed."

The BOA have also been ordered by CAS to "pay all of the costs of the arbitration" - the organisation has already incurred substantial legal costs in hiring top barrister Lord David Pannick to represent them, albeit at reduced rates.

Hugh Robertson, sports and Olympics minister, expressed his disappointment at the outcome, and called for tougher sanctions for doping offences generally.

Robertson said: "I supported the BOA's position, as our national Olympic committee, in having the autonomy to set its own eligibility criteria for Team GB athletes.

"I accept this ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport but it is very disappointing.

"Moving forward, I fully endorse UK Anti-Doping's first submission to WADA as part of its review of the World Anti-Doping Code. I want the code to be further strengthened and I would particularly like to see tougher sanctions for proven drug cheats.

"The UK takes its responsibilities in the fight against doping in sport seriously. As we host the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year, we are promoting this message through the international 'Win Clean' campaign."

UK Athletics confirmed that any athletes such as Chambers who had been affected by the lifetime ban would now be eligible for selection.

A statement said: "UK Athletics has always supported the BOA by-law but welcomes the clarity the CAS decision brings to this issue.

"Athletes affected by the ruling are now eligible for the team, in both individual and relay events, and will be subject to the same selection criteria and process as every other British athlete."

Millar is likely to be part of the Olympic cycling team in London but British Cycling refused to speculate on that possibility.

A spokesperson said: "Our team for the Games is being selected in June and across all disciplines we'll pick the team based on which riders are fit and available, and who we believe have the best chance to deliver medals.

"Ahead of that we won't be speculating on who may or may not be selected."

BOA chairman Lord Moynihan described the outcome as a "hollow victory for WADA" and said they would be pushing for tougher sanctions for doping offences in the global code.

Moynihan also confirmed that Chambers and Millar are now eligible to be selected by their sports, and would be treated the same as all the other Team GB members if selected.

The financial burden could have been worse for his organisation - WADA had asked CAS for the BOA to pay their costs, claiming those costs "have been unnecessarily increased by the voluminous and largely irrelevant submissions and evidence submitted by the BOA on this appeal".

The CAS judgment also made clear they were not opposed to the BOA's ban, merely that as signatories to WADA's global anti-doping code the current system would not allow them to operate such a sanction.

CAS said the BOA bylaw was similar to the IOC's Osaka rule, overturned in October, which had said serious drugs cheats had to miss the next Olympics irrespective of whether their ban had expired.

WADA president John Fahey welcomed the ruling but blasted the BOA for "the many hysterical and inaccurate public statements" from the organisation during the case.

Fahey said: "The decision totally rejects the BOA appeal and upholds the WADA foundation board's declaration of non-compliance.

"The WADA decision was taken only after the full deliberation and consideration of independent legal advice and WADA regrets the many hysterical and inaccurate public statements from the BOA in the course of challenging the WADA decision.

"WADA has spent the last decade harmonising the fight against doping in sport across the world by creating one set of rules in consultation and in accordance with the wishes of all its stakeholders, both sport and government.

"In order to achieve this harmonisation, the rules have had to be proportionate and respectful of the rights of individuals within the framework of international law. They are not based on emotive arguments or the wishes of any one signatory or individual.

"As with all signatories, the BOA has the right to make submissions to amend the code through the code review process that is currently ongoing."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam