British Olympic drug ban is illegal, confirm CAS

Monday, 30 April 2012
By Duncan Mackay at the BOA Headquarters in London

CAS buildingApril 30 - The British Olympic Association's (BOA) controversial doping bylaw is illegal and must be scrapped, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) officially announced today.

The order to drop a rule introduced in 1992, reported first on insidethegames yesterday, leaves the way clear for convicted drugs cheats like sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar to be selected to represent Britain at London 2012.

"The CAS Panel has ruled that the BOA bye-law [sic] related to the selection of British athletes for the Olympic Games was not in compliance with the World Anti-doping Code," a statement on the CAS website said.

"Such decision confirms the jurisprudence established last year in the case between the US Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC)."

The case against the BOA had been brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency, who claimed that the bylaw was against the World Anti-Doping Code.

It followed a CAS decision last October that the IOC's controversial Rule 45 - or "Osaka Rule" - banning convicted drugs cheats from future Games was illegal.

That decision by the three-man panel was almost inevitable following the appeal last October from the USOC over the exclusion of defending Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt.

"The [BOA] Bye-Law [sic] is a doping sanction and is therefore not in compliance with the WADA Code," the CAS judgement said.

"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 decision was welcomed by John Fahey, the President of WADA, who also criticised the campaign to keep the bylaw run by BOA chairman Colin Moynihan.

"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," he said.

"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."

To read the full judgement click pdfhere.

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