By Tom Degun

cas 18-01-12January 18 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing, which will see the British Olympic Association (BOA) defend their controversial anti-doping bylaw that imposes a lifetime ban on drug cheats, has been moved from Lausanne to London.

The hearing is still scheduled for March 12, as announced earlier this month, but the move from the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland is understood to be purely practical due to the fact that most of the lawyers involved in the case are based in the English capital.

The hearing will take place at an undisclosed venue in London but it will be held in private and therefore away from the media spotlight.

It is expected that it will take a day with the judgement set to be delivered several weeks later.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan revealed to insidethegames last week that his organisation have now submitted their documents to CAS in their challenge against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who declared its anti-doping bylaw non-compliant.

The BOA are now the only National Olympic Committee (NOC) to have a lifetime ban in place but if it is overturned, it would allow the likes of Dwain Chambers and David Millar to compete for Team GB in the Games, including London 2012.

The panel who hear the case will be led by Professor Richard McLaren, a Canadian barrister.

He also heard the LaShawn Merritt case which overturned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision which prevented athletes banned for more than six months from competing in the next Games and led to calls for the BOA to scrap its bylaw, resulting in this case.

McLaren, a former student at the London School of Economics, will be joined on the panel by Switzerland's Michele Bernasconi and American David Rivkin, who were also the arbitrators for the Merritt case.

colin moynihan_18-01-12
"I have every intention of ensuring that we win our case," Moynihan (pictured) told insidethegames.

"If things go against us in CAS, I have made it very clear that anybody who is selected for the team will be given equal and strong support.

"But we are doing everything we can to ensure that the interests of the athletes, over 90 per cent of whom have voted consistently for our selection policy, are upheld."

The BOA will claim that as the law was introduced in 1992, it pre-dates the WADA Code and that if it is lifted, the presence of athletes who deliberately cheat within Team GB would damage team morale, atmosphere and cohesion.

The BOA will also claim that the IOC has recently reaffirmed, in writing to the BOA, that it is entirely within the remit of every NOC to determine the eligibility standards for its Olympic team.

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