CAS 2007/A/1364 WADA v/FAW and James
On March 24, 2007, Mr. James was selected for an in-competition urine test on the occasion of the Welsh Premier Football League match between Haverfordwest County and WTFC. The urine sample was collected in conformity with the applicable regulations by UK Sport, the National Anti-Doping Organization for the United Kingdom, and FIFA Doping Control Regulations. The sample was sent to the Drug Control Centre of King’s College (London), a
laboratory accredited by WADA.
With a letter of 13 April 2007, UK Sport notified the FAW that the Drug Control Centre had found the “A” urine sample collected from Mr. James (sample No. A1071966) positive for Benzoylecgonine, which is classified as a stimulant on the WADA Prohibited List.
With a letter of 17 April 2007, the FAW notified Mr. James that his urine sample was found positive for Benzoylecgonine, and that he had the right to have the “B” sample analysed. The FAW also informed Mr. James that it would convene a Review Panel to decide whether a doping offence has been committed and whether an interim suspension should be put in place until the matter was concluded.
With a letter of 19 April 2007, Mr. James notified Mr. Paul Evans, the Head of Discipline and Welfare at the FAW, that he “[could] not argue with the result of the sample.” Mr. James followed up with a letter on 20 April 2007, stating that he “will not be needing the B Sample.”
At the FAW Review Panel meeting on 20 April 2007, the panel concluded that there was prima facie evidence that a doping offence has been committed. Furthermore, the panel decided that
an interim suspension was appropriate. With a letter of 24 April 2007, Mr. James was notified of the Review Panel’s decision and told that he must not participate in any football activity until all disciplinary proceedings had been completed.
On 22 May 2007, an Appeals Panel of the FAW found that the presence of a prohibited substance in Mr. James’s body was clear and unchallenged, but took note of the good character evidence submitted by Mr. James and the fact that this was Mr. James’s first offence. The Appeals Panel noted that the FAW Regulation 11.2.1 specifies a minimum suspension of 6 months and a fine for a first offence.
As a result, the Appeals Panel decided to suspend Mr. James from all participation in football for 6 months and 10 days, from 21 April 2007 until 31 October 2007. Mr. James was ordered to pay a fine of £250.00, suspended for two years from 24 March 2007 and payable only if Mr. James breached the FAW Doping Control Regulations during this period. In addition, Mr. James was ordered to pay the cost of the hearing in the amount of £300.00.
On 27 August 2007, WADA filed a Statement of Appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the FAW Appeals Panel Decision.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport pronounces:
1. The appeal filed by the World Anti-Doping Association on 27 August 2007 is upheld, and the Appealed Decision issued by the Appeals Panel of the FAW on 22 May 2007 is varied to impose a two-year sanction.
2. Mr. Ceri James is declared ineligible for a period of two years, from 25 April 2007 to 24 April 2009.
3. The award is pronounced without costs, except for the Court Office fee of CHF 500 (five hundred Swiss Francs) already paid by the World Anti-Doping Association and to be retained by the CAS.
4. Each party shall bear its own costs.