court of arbitration for sport

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Narsingh Pancham Yadav found innocent by NADA disciplinary panel: Is he home free?


Narsingh Pancham Yadav can consider himself very, very fortunate.

Few expected National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) disciplinary panel to be lenient with the grappler from Mumbai.

But NADA have been benevolent in ruling in favour of the 26-year-old wrestler exonerating him—giving him the benefit of the doubt— by accepting his version of sabotage by a fellow competitor.

Section 10.4 of NADA’s Anti-Doping Rules (2015) states:

10.4 Elimination of the Period of Ineligibility where there is No Fault or
Negligence
If an Athlete or other Person establishes in an individual case that he or she bears No Fault or Negligence, then the otherwise applicable period of Ineligibility shall be eliminated.
[Comment to Article 10.4: This Article and Article 10.5.2 apply only to the imposition of sanctions; they are not applicable to the determination of whether an anti-doping rule violation has occurred. They will only apply in exceptional circumstances, for example where an Athlete could prove that, despite all due care, he or she was sabotaged by a competitor.
Conversely, No Fault or Negligence would not apply in the following circumstances: (a) a positive test resulting from a mislabelled or contaminated vitamin or nutritional supplement
(Athletes are responsible for what they ingest (Article 2.1.1) and have been warned against the possibility of supplement contamination); (b) the Administration of a Prohibited Substance by the Athlete’s personal physician or trainer without disclosure to the Athlete
(Athletes are responsible for their choice of medical personnel and for advising medical personnel that they cannot be given any Prohibited Substance); and (c) sabotage of the Athlete’s food or drink by a spouse, coach or other Person within the Athlete’s circle of associates (Athletes are responsible for what they ingest and for the conduct of those Persons to whom they entrust access to their food and drink). However, depending on the unique facts of a particular case, any of the referenced illustrations could result in a reduced sanction under Article 10.5 based on No Significant Fault or Negligence.]

Had Yadav been found guilty, he would have been banned for the full period of four years.

Yadav and his fellow wrestlers celebrated by partaking of sweets outside the agency’s office.

But it’s not all clear for Rio as yet.

Chander Shekhar Luthra of DNA writes:

“…World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has so far refused to bow down to allegations of ‘sabotage’, keeping in mind that such a decision could well cause an irreparable loss to the ‘battle against doping’ at the international level.”

A retired Nada official said:

“What if the entire Russia stand together and say there was a deep conspiracy against their 100 athletes? What if Maria Sharapova now cites the ‘conspiracy’ angle by her opponents in her case that is being heard by Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS)?”

NADA’s rules state that appeals can be filed to both CAS and the National Anti-Doping Appeal Panel within a period of 21 days.

The latter’s unlikely—it would be tantamount to NADA challenging its own decision—but appeals can be made to CAS by WADA, the international Wrestling Federation United World Wrestling and the IOC; there exists no other apparent affected party in the above proceedings.

NADA lawyer Gaurang Kanth complained “he was not allowed to cross-examine Narsingh on the sabotage angle”.

Yadav had tested positive for the anabolic steroid — methandienone — in both his A and B samples.

NADA DG Naveen Agarwal read out the panel’s verdict:

“We kept in mind that in the past, till June 2, none of his samples were positive. It was inconceivable that one-time ingestion would be of benefit. Therefore the panel is of the view that the one-time ingestion was not intentional.”

English: Sushil Kumar, World champion (2010) a...

Sushil Kumar, World champion (2010) and Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Indian wrestler, attending annual sports meet of GGSIPU, Delhi as a chief guest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jitesh Kumar,the 17-year-old accused of spiking Yadav’s drinks is a trainee at Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium. Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar supervises the wrestlers there. An FIR has already been filed by Yadav at the Rai police station in Haryana.

Should Russia be disbarred from Rio?


The Court for Arbitration in Sports (CAS) has pronounced its verdict.

The seat of the International Olympic Committe...

The seat of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The IAAF-imposed ban on the Russian Athletics Federation stays.

No Russian track-and-field athlete will be competing in Rio—at least, not under their national flag.

The International Olympic Committee will decide the fate of the Russian contingent when it meets today.

IOC Headquater

IOC headquarters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Lausanne, Switzerland - IOC seat Česk...

English: Lausanne, Switzerland – IOC seat Česky: Lausanne, Švýcarsko – sídlo MOV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The CAS judgment is non-binding on the Committee.

WADA and predominantly western nations’ Olympic Committees are vocally in favour of a blanket ban on the rogue nation given clear and damning evidence of state-sponsored collusion in doping. They feel that the IOC must exhibit ‘zerotolerance‘  towards systematic doping by any state. 

Olympic Games 1896, Athens. The International ...

Olympic Games 1896, Athens. The International Olympic Committee. From Left to right, standing: Gebhardt (Germany), Guth-Jarkovsky (Bohemia), Kemeny (Hungary), Balck (Sweden); seated : Coubertin (France), Vikelas (Greece & chairman), Butovsky (Russia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

National Olympic Committees have been banned before—simply not for drug-related scandals.

Collective responsibility should not come at the cost of individual justice—the IOC is seeking a balance.

The Russian public believes that their country is being discriminated against by the Western world. They cannot accept that all their athletes are drugged.

A sanction against all Russian competitors would be unfair to those abiding by the rule book. 

While the IOC has several options before arriving at a final decision, a simple solution would be to allow the Russians to participate—both under their national banner and the Olympic one but have each one of their athletes subjected to both in-competition and out-of-competition testing.

This would allow clean athletes to breathe freely and hopefully deter sportspersons who are doping.

This would also send a strong message to errant national sports federations everywhere that unless they clean up their act, their athletes and their fellow countrymen will be treated like Caesar’s wife—not above suspicion.

Simply leaving the decision to international sports federations burdens them further and not all of them are fully equipped to make an informed decision on the matter.

Whatever the IOC’s decision, there will be no pleasing everyone.

That’s a given.

Soccer: Sebastian Ariosa beats cancer and club Olimpia


It’s not okay to be seriously ill when contracted out to a soccer club.

At least, that’s what Paraguayan club Olimpia seemed to believe when it suspended Uruguayan Sebastian Ariosa’s contract when the player chose to undergo chemotherapy for a chest tumour.

The defender had a five-year contract with the club beginning 2011.

The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) ruled in Ariosa’s favour awarding him 7% of his contract value ($60,000) as “moral damages” and $90,000 as sporting compensation for his team’s lack of “sportive ethics”.

This is as against an earlier FIFA edict that the Uruguayan’s contract should be paid out in full.

Both sides appealed to CAS; the Uruguayan sought other compensation.

Club officials had demanded his return to training from Uruguay while he was undergoing treatment there.

Alexandra Gomez, a lawyer for the global players’ union FIFPro, said:

“We see this as a great result. CAS stated that the club was not responsible for the condition of the player, but it was responsible for its own response to this situation.”

The court has also ordered the club to pay Ariosa his overdue salary plus interest as well as a 13th month accrued over the term of his agreement.

FIFPro , in its statement , said:

“FIFPro is pleased to announce a major legal victory has been awarded to Uruguayan footballer, Sebastian Ariosa.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found Paraguayan outfit, Club Olimpia, breached almost all of its obligations toward Ariosa, including a blatant attempt to exploit the player’s incapacity to work after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Such is the significance of this case, CAS awarded ‘moral damage’ to Ariosa, which is extremely rare. It stems from Club Olimpia’s appalling behaviour to suspend the player at a time when he was suffering greatly, fighting for his life and dealing with the effects of chemotherapy.”

FIFPRO added:

“Olimpia was in breach on all counts. Its response was to stop paying and suspend Ariosa, while demanding that the player return to training in the midst of his treatment. This behaviour corresponds with the two requirements which the tribunal considered in order to grant moral damage; exceptionality and severity.”

Ariosa now turns out for national side, Defensor Sporting.

 

 

ICC spot-fixing verdict puts Butt, Asif and Amir in a tight spot


Mohammad Asif in the 3rd ODI at the Rose Bowl,...

Image via Wikipedia

The ICC tribunal hearing into the spot-fixing scandal made public its verdict last Saturday, the 5th of February 2011.

All three Pakistani cricketers— Salman ButtMohammad Asif and  Mohammad Amir—were indicted and handed bans. The bans ranged from five to 10 years.

The youngest of the lot, Amir, was sentenced to  a five year involuntary hiatus from the sport.Asif and Butt were handed seven and 10 year bans, with two and five years suspended sentences. In effect, all three cricketers have been suspended from the game for a minimum of five years.

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