Avis consultatif TAS 93/109 Fédération Française de Triathlon (FFTri) et International Triathlon Union (ITU)
- Anti-Doping Rules
- Application of the anti-doping rules of an IF by a national federation
- Right of a national federation to adapt the minimum sanction under the IF rules (suspended sanction instead of a firm suspension) provided that such a decision is specifically motivated
On 29 January 1993 and on 19 April 1993 the French Triathlon Federation, Fédération Française de Triathlon (FFTri), decided to impose a 1 year suspended sanction on two athletes for committing an anti-doping rule violation.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) reproached these sanctions due to under the Rules the FFTri had to impose a 2 year period of ineligibility on the athletes.
After deliberations between the parties this matter was transferred in July 2004 to the Court of Aribitration for Sport (CAS) to render an opinion about two questions:
1.) Does FFTri have the right to opt out of the obligations imposed by its membership in the International Federation by virtue of a ruling by the French Sports Ministery?
2.) Are the provisions of the ITU Rules compatible with the general principles as the autonomy of the judge, the absence of application of fixed sanctions, the proportionality of sanctions according to the facts, in consideration of the athlete's personality and, in any event, with the Anti-Doping Convention of Strasbourg?
The ITU argued that the ITU Anti-Doping Rules are conform the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and are without provisions to impose a suspended sanction on athletes.
The FFTri argued that the sanctions were imposed according to French law, International law and Human Rights.
The CAS Panel ruled about these two questions on 31 August 1994:
1.) The ITU Anti-Doping Rules don’t prohibit a national triathlon federation in cases with prohibited substances to adapt the minimum sanction available in their Rules and considering the circumstances in each case.
French law doesn’t compel at all a national federation to impose a suspended sanction due to this is an exceptional measure which must be specifically motivated.
A decision from a national federation to impose a suspended sanction in the case of a first violation, in special circumstances and specifically motivated, is not inconsistent with the ITU Anti-Doping Rules.
2.) The ITU Anti-Doping Rules are not incompatible with the general principles of law and in particular are in accordance with the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention, signed on 16 November 1989 in Strasbourg.