CAS judges “lack of anti-doping expertise” at the Tokyo Olympics

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GENEVA — The Court of Arbitration for Sport has been criticized for choosing judges to work at the Tokyo Olympics who were not expert enough to handle doping cases.

Days before CAS opened its Special Olympics grounds at the Beijing Winter Games, it was singled out in a high-profile report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency that widely praised operations at the Tokyo Olympics l ‘last year.

Some CAS judges in Tokyo had an “insufficient level of anti-doping knowledge” regarding the rules and previous cases, independent observers appointed by WADA said on Friday.

“Some questions posed by panel members in at least one of the hearings underscored this,” the observer team said.

the 44 page report did not identify the members of the CAS anti-doping division in Tokyo — a chairman, co-chairman and six arbitrators — who were thought to lack specialist knowledge for the few cases they handled.

Of the six arbitrators at the Tokyo Games, only one returns among the four selected by the CAS for anti-doping cases in Beijing. the the court published the list in a statement this week.

This appears to follow advice published by WADA observers that at future Olympics the CAS Anti-Doping Division “is made up of members who are more familiar with the World Anti-Doping Code and anti-doping regulations or that members have access to a anti-doping training or educational materials prior to the Games.”

A new member of the CAS team in Beijing will be Australian lawyer John Boultbee, former general secretary of rowing’s governing body who now chairs the organization’s anti-doping tribunal.

The “insufficient knowledge” in Tokyo would be “specifically their understanding of certain provisions of the Code, the international results management standard, as well as CAS jurisprudence on strict liability, the burden of proof and the responsibility for this burden. the WADA-nominated team said.

Observers did not suggest that an athlete in Tokyo had been tried unfairly, but they objected to not being told of two hearings where a provisional suspension was to be imposed.

“It is important that a (observer) attend hearings to ensure that the procedural rights of the parties are upheld,” the WADA-appointed panel said.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based court did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report’s findings.

CAS said ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23 that its anti-doping judges “selected to participate in these special CAS structures are all experienced lawyers, judges or professors specializing in sports law, anti-doping regulations and arbitration”.


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