In January 2022 the International Tennis Federation (ITF) reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer for 3 Whereabouts Filing Failures within a 12 month period.
Yet, on 23 June 2022 the ITF Independent Tribunal determined that the Athlete had not committed an anti-doping rule violation in respect of his 3rd Whereabouts Failure.
Hereafter in July 2022 the ITF appealed the Decision of 23 June 2022 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The ITF requested the Panel to set aside the Appealed Decision and to impose a sanction of 2 years on the Athlete.
The ITF holds that its appeal centres on the Athlete's 3rd Whereabouts Failure and contended that the Doping Control Officer (DCO) on 7 November 2021 attempted to test the player during the 60-minute time slot by visiting the location specified for that timeslot.
The ITF asserted that the DCO did what was reasonable in the circumstances to locate the Athlete. By contrast the Athlete denied his negligence and claimed that the DCO failed to do what was reasonable under the circumstances to locate the Athlete.
The Athlete stated that the filing task for his Whereabouts was delegated to a third party. He was not aware that on 7 November 2021 his stay in another tournament hotel in Roanne, France, did not correspond with his whereabouts filing for that day.
Following assessment of the evidence the Panel determines that de DCO did all that was required of him to locate the Athlete at the indicated hotel. Further the Panel deems that it is not the duty of the DCO to try to find the Athlete in another location than the Athlete's specified location.
The Panel is not satisfied on a balance of probability that the Athlete's behaviour was not negligent and did not cause or contribute to his failure to be available for testing.
The Panel finds it reasonable to expect that a tennis
player in the IRTP would not have delegated the filings task entirely to a third party, but that such an Athlete would have verified the whereabouts filing made for that day, and
would thus have realized that his stay at the tournament hotel did not correspond with his whereabouts filing for that day.
Considering the Athlete's degree of fault the majority of the Panel finds that that a sanction of 18 months must be imposed on the Athlete. Furthermore the Panel deems that there are no grounds to disqualify the Athlete's results prior to this Decision.
Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 17 July 2023 that:
1.) The Appeal filed by the International Tennis Federation against Mr Mikael Ymer with respect to the decision of the Independent Tribunal of 23 June 2023 is partially upheld.
2.) The decision rendered by the Independent Tribunal on 23 June 2023 is set aside.
3.) Mr Mikael Ymer is found to have committed an anti-doping violation under Article 2.4 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme.
4.) Mr Mikael Y mer is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of 18 ( eighteen) months, starting from the date of notification of this Award.
5.) No results occurring between the time of the third missed test on 7 November 2021 and the date of this award are disqualified.
6.) The present arbitration proceedings shall be free of charge, except for the CAS Court Office fee of CHF 1,000 (one thousand Swiss Francs) paid by the International Tennis Federation, which is retained by the CAS.
7.) Each party shall bear its own costs and other expenses incurred in connection with these arbitration proceedings.
8.) All other applications and requests for relief are dismissed.