CAS 2016_A_4707 Alex Schwazer vs IAAF, NADO Italia, FIDAL & WADA

CAS 2016/A/4707 Alex Schwazer v. IAAF, NADO Italia, FIDAL & WADA

Related case:
IOC 2012 IOC vs Alex Schwazer
August 10, 2012

The Athlete Alex Schwazer is an Italian International-Level racewalker and has a doping history as he tested positive for RhEPO on the eve of the 2012 London Olympic Games on 30 July 2012 and was sanctioned with a period of ineligibility from 30 July 2012 to 29 January 2016, and a further period until 29 April 2016 for evading a doping control on 30 July 2012.

In June 2016 the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Athlete after reanalysis of his A and B samples, provided on 1 January 2016, tested positive for the prohibited substance testosterone.

After notification a provisional suspension was ordered by the IAAF. In July 2016 the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping del CONI (TNA), the CONI National Anti-Doping Tribunal, rejected the Athlete’s appeal against the provisional suspension for lack of jurisdiction.

Hereafter in July 2016 and recommended by the IAAF the Athlete appealed his case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as expedited procedure agreed by all parties.

The Athlete disputed the results of the laboratory analysis and raised a number of objections in this respect. In particular, the Athlete argued that departures from the International Standards and the IAAF Rules have occurred which relate a) to the identification of the Athlete (confidentiality), b) the external chain of custody, c) the internal chain of custody and other reporting and administrative failures by the Cologne Laboratory. According to the Athlete these failures are so serious that taken individually or together they invalidated the analysis result.

None of the parties and none of the experts questioned the results of the analysis ordered by the IAAF on 29 March 2016 on the 1 January 2016 Sample, i.e. that both the Athlete’s A and the B Sample tested positive for exogenous testosterone.

Considering the evidence in this case the Panel concludes that there was no breach of the chain of custody and finds that the Athlete on a balance of probability failed to demonstrate that there were departures which might have reasonably caused exogenous steroids to be present in the Athlete’s 1 January Sample.
The Panel holds that even though the deadlines were short, no damage has been inflicted to the Athlete that warrants to invalidate the findings of the Cologne Laboratory.
Also the Athlete was unable to submit a plausible scenario how and when the sabotage of his sample could have occurred and he failed to demonstrate by a balance of probability that the prohibited substance unintentionally entered his body.

Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 30 January 2017 that:

1.) The appeal filed by Mr. Alex Schwazer on 14 July 2016 is dismissed.
2.) Mr. Alex Schwazer is sanctioned with an eight-year period of ineligibility starting on the date of this Award. Any period of provisional suspension effectively served by Mr. Alex Schwazer as of 8 July 2016 shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility to be served.
3.) All competitive results obtained by Mr. Alex Schwazer from and including 1 January 2016 are disqualified with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of medals, points and prizes.
4.) The present award is rendered without costs, except for the Court Office fee of CHF 1,000 (one thousand Swiss francs), which has already been paid by Mr. Alex Schwazer which is retained by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
5.) (…).
6.) All other motions or prayers for relief are dismissed.

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Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Cologne, Germany: Institute of Biochemistry - German Sport University Cologne
CAS Appeal Awards
30 January 2017
Geistlinger, Michael
Haas, Ulrich
Pintó, José Juan
Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS) - Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
Adverse Analytical Finding
Document type
Athletics (IAAF) - International Association of Athletics Federations
B sample analysis
Isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS)
Legal Terms
Case law / jurisprudence
International Standard for Laboratories (ISL)
International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI)
Model Rules, Guidelines and Protocols WADA
Multiple Violations
Period of ineligibility
Provisional Suspension
Rules & regulations International Sports Federations
Second violation
Federazione Italiana di Atletica Leggera (FIDAL) - Italian Athletics Federation
Organizzazione Nazionale Antidoping (NADO Italia) - National Anti-Doping Organisation Italy
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
TE ratio (testosterone/epitestosterone)
Chain of Custody
Doping Control
Sample Collection Procedure
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