2 Mar 2023
- CAS 2022/A/9031 Stephane Houdet v. International Tennis Federation
- CAS 2022/A/9137 International Tennis Federation v. Stephane Houdet
ITF 2022 ITF vs Stéphane Houdet
June 30, 2022
In October 2021 the International Tennis Federation (ITF) reported an anti-doping rule violation against the French wheelchair tennis player Stéphane Houdet for his whereabouts filing failures and 3 missed tests within a 12 month period. Consequently the ITF decided on 30 June 2022 to impose a 15 month period of ineligibility on the Athlete.
In first instance the Panel deemed that the Athlete had acted with a degree of fault in his obligation to be present and available for testing. Bij contrast the Panel concluded that the DCO did what was reasonable in the circumstances to locate the Athlete.
Hereafter in July 2022 the Athlete, and in September 2022 the ITF, appealed the Decision of 30 June 2022 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Athlete requested the Panel to set aside the Appealed Decision and to eliminate or reduce the imposed sanction. By contrast ITF requested the Panel to impose a 2 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete.
The Sole Arbitrator assessed the circumstances regarding the 3 missed tests and addressed the issues raised by the Parties in these matters. The Sole Arbitrator establishes that the incidents of 2 January 2021, 26 July 2021 and 21 September 2021 amounted in 3 missed tests.
The Sole Arbitrator finds that the Athlete's degree of fault in respect of the whereabouts filing of 2 January 2021 warrants a reduction of the period of ineligibility. In respect to the 26 July 2021 missed test the Athlete had admitted his negligence.
The Sole Arbitrator deemed that the Athlete's degree of fault in respect to the missed test on 27 September 2021 does not warrant a further reduction of the sanction. Further the Arbitrator agrees that there had been delays in the proceedings not attributed to the Athlete.
Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 2 March 2023 that:
1.) The appeal filed by Stéphane Houdet on 14 July 2022 against the decision issued on 30 June 2022 by the ITF Independent Tribunal is admissible and is upheld in part.
2.) The appeal filed by the International Tennis Federation on 12 September 2022 against the decision issued on 30 June 2022 by the ITF Independent Tribunal is admissible and is upheld in part.
3.) The decision issued on 30 June 2022 by the ITF Independent Tribunal is set aside.
4.) Mr Houdet is found to have committed an ADRV under Article 2.4 of the 2021 TADP as a result of three Missed Tests on (i) 2 January 2021, (ii) 26 July 2021, and (iii) 27 September 2021.
5.) Mr Houdet is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of 14 months.
6.) The period of ineligibility is deemed to have started on 27 December 2021 and concludes upon notification of this Award.
7.) Mr Houdet's results from 27 December 2021 to the date of this Award (and any medals, titles, ranking points and prize money won by virtue of those results) are disqualified.
8.) Mr Houdet's results from 27 September 2021 to the commencement of his period of ineligibility on 27 December 2021 (and any medals, titles, ranking points and prize money won by virtue of those results) shall not be retroactively disqualified.
9.) The award is pronounced without costs, except for the Court Office fee of CHF 1,000 (one thousand Swiss Francs) paid by each of Mr Houdet in respect of his appeal and the International Tennis Federation in respect of its appeal, which is retained by the CAS.
10.) Each party shall bear its own costs and other expenses incurred in connection with this arbitration.
11.) All other and further motions or prayers for relief are dismissed.