CAS 2007_A_1405 & 1418 Nat Cooper & Karl Grant vs British Weightlifting Association

CAS 2007/A/1405 & 1418 Nat Cooper & Karl Grant v. British Weightlifting Association (BWLA)

Weightlifting
Doping (testosterone; human chorionic gonadotropin)
Contamination of the sample through using of the doping control room as a changing room
Chain of custody
Sample degradation through high temperature

1. Even if there is something in the air arising from the use of the doping control room as a changing room, and even if this finds its way into the athlete’s sample, it is highly unlikely to have any effect whatsoever on the measure of HCG. Further, had some degradation occurred, this would be likely to reduce the level of HCG and not to augment it.

2. It is axiomatic that the links in the chain of custody must be robust; there must be no chance that the samples which arrive at the doping control centre were not those taken at the doping control room or that they can have been tampered with en route. So long as the bottles containing the A and B samples arrive at the Doping Control Center with seals unbroken and there are no signs of tampering, and so long as the appealing parties produce no evidence to suggest that it could have – or indeed did – take place en route (any more than before the journey), the links in such chain of custody are considered as robust.

3. In general, it is admitted that temperature of the storage and transport environments have no impact on the stability of the sample.
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In August 2005 the British Weight Lifting Association (BWLA) has reported anti-doping rule violations against two Athletes after their A and B samples tested positive for prohibited substances:
- de weightlifter Nat Cooper for testing positive for the substance Testosterone;
- de weightlifter Karl Grant for testing positive for the substance Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG).
As a result the British Disciplinary Panel imposed a 2 year period of ineligibility on the Athletes.

Hereafter in January 2008 Mr Nat Cooper and in May 2008 Mr Karl Grant appealed the BWLA decisions with the Court of Arbitraton for Sport (CAS). In their defence the Athletes indicated that they wished to reinstate various matters which they had elected not to pursue before the Disciplinary Committee in first instance and also to raise new allegations.

The Athletes argued that there were departures of the WADA ISL and IST based on the following contentions:

(A) The sample taking was imperfect so that it is uncertain that the sample tested was that of the athlete charged or that if it was, it was uncontaminated.
(B) The links in the chain of custody were unsound with the same consequence.
(C) The samples were not properly preserved until testing so that they degraded.
(D) The testing was imperfect so that the results, even of the athlete’s uncontaminated sample, were unreliable.

Considering the allegations and evidence the Sole Arbitrator Panel is entirely confident that the samples provided by the Athletes were the samples properly taken and duly bottled. The Panel establish that the Athlete' samples arrived at the London Lab with the seals unbroken and without signs of tampering. The Athletes showed no evidence to suggest that it could have - or indeed did - take place en route. Neither was there evidence that demonstrates that there was any break in the chain of custody or any indication of any impact upon the integrity of the Athletes’ samples.

The Panel further establish that there was no break in the chain of custody recorded by the London Lab as alleged by the Athletes.
The Panel does not accept the allegation that the samples were exposed to excessive temperatures leading to degradation while this has no impact on the stability of the samples.

The Panel deems that the Athletes have not succeeded in sustaining any of the allegations in relation to the London Lab’s procedure for analysis. In any event the Athletes produced no evidence whatsoever that even if any of their alleagations had any foundation, the relevant error caused the positive test results.

Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 15 October 2008:

1.) The appeals of Nat Cooper and Karl Grant are dismissed.
(…).

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Legal
CAS Appeal Awards
Date:
15 October 2008
Arbitrator
Beloff, Michael J.
Source
Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS) - Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
Country
United Kingdom
Language
English
ADRV
Adverse Analytical Finding
Legal Terms
International Standard for Laboratories (ISL)
International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI)
Sole Arbitrator
Substantial delay / lapsed time limit
Sport/IFs
Weightlifting (IWF) - International Weightlifting Federation
Other organisations
British Weight Lifting Association (BWLA)
Laboratories
London, United Kingdom: Drug Control Centre
Analytical aspects
B sample analysis
Reliability of the testing method / testing result
Sample stability
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Substances
Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)
TE ratio (testosterone/epitestosterone)
Testosterone
Various
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Contamination
Doping control
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