CAS 2005/A/884 Tyler Hamilton v. United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) & Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)
- AAA No. 30 190 00130 05 USADA vs Tyler Hamilton - Awards & Dissenting Opinion
April 18, 2005
- Affidavit Tyler Hamilton [USADA vs Lance Armstrong October 10, 2012]
September 22, 2011
- CAS 2004_A_748 ROC & Viatcheslav Ekimov vs IOC, USOC & Tyler Hamilton
June 27, 2006
- IOC 2012 IOC vs Tyler Hamilton
August 10, 2012
Doping (homologous blood transfusion, HBT)
Proof by “any reliable means”
Shifting of the burden of proof when a laboratory is not accredited for a particular test
Reliability of the HBT test
Starting date of the sanction
1. The proof of an anti-doping violation “by any reliable means” gives great leeway to anti-doping agencies to prove violations, so long as they can comfortably satisfy a tribunal that the means of proof is reliable. As a result, it is not even necessary that a violation be proven by a scientific test itself. Instead, a violation may be proved through admissions, testimony of witnesses, or other documentation evidencing a violation. As a consequence, WADA need not designate a specific test to prove that a doping violation has occurred. Rather, WADA and its accredited laboratories are free to develop tests based on appropriate scientific principles to demonstrate the existence of a prohibited substance or the use of a prohibited method. This flexibility necessarily provides WADA and other anti-doping organizations with the means to combat new forms of doping.
2. Anti-doping organisations are generally aided by the presumption that WADA-accredited laboratories are presumed to conduct sample analysis in accordance with international laboratory standards. However, when WADA has not specifically accredited the laboratory for a particular test, the burden shifts to the anti-doping organisation to prove that the test has been conducted in accordance with the scientific community’s practice and procedures and that the laboratory satisfied itself as the validity of the method before using it. If the particular test is valid, then the presumption returns and the athlete must then prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the testing was not conducted in accordance with international standards.
3. As the HBT test has been used for many years for important medical purposes and has been scientifically reliable, the methodology to be applied for testing of athletes has been published in peer reviewed articles which were deemed to provide “proof of principle”, and the test methodology has been validated and considered as fit for purpose according to ISO 17025 and WADA ISL, the HBT test must be considered as a valid and reliable test for determining the usage of the prohibited method of blood doping through homologous blood transfusion.
4. Delays in the completion of the proceeding constitute a reason of fairness to start the period of ineligibility at an earlier date than the date of the hearing decision, for example at the date of the voluntary acceptance by the athlete of his suspension from his team.
On 18 April 2005 the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Panel decided to impose a 2 year period of ineligibility on the cyclist Tyler Hamilton for the presence of transfused blood in his A and B blood samples which he provided in September 2004 in the Vuelta de España.
Hereafter in May 2005 the Athlete appealed the AAA decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Athlete asserted that regarding the used test the validation studies of this brand new test were limited, incomplete and unsatisfactory. He also contested the reliability of the alleged positive findings in connection with the Vuelta sample.
The Panel considered the evidence and arguments in this case and finds that the HBT test as applied to the Athlete’s Vuelta sample was reliable, that on 11 September 2004, his blood did contain two different red blood cell populations, and that such presence was caused by blood doping by homologous blood transfusion, a Prohibited Method under the UCI Rules. In these circumstances the Panel finds that it is not necessary to consider USADA’s and UCI’s alternative submission based on the results of the other testing of the Athlete which was said to corroborate the accuracy of the Vuelta analysis.
The Panel also has given serious consideration to the history of the requests and production of documents both before the current appeal Panel and before the original AAA hearing and whilst there may be some concerns about the way in which documents have been produced the Panel finds that there was no concealment such as would cast doubt on the validity of the test.
the Panel concludes that the presence of a mixed blood population in the Athlete’s Vuelta sample as detected by the HBT test proves that the Athlete was engaged in blood doping, a Prohibited Method, that violated the UCI Anti-Doping Rules; Chapter II, article 15.2 and Chapter III, article 21.
Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 10 February 2006:
1.) The appeal filed by Mr Tyler Hamilton against the award dated 18 April 2005 rendered by the AAA Panel is dismissed.
2.) Mr Tyler Hamilton is ineligible to compete in cycling races for two years from 23 September 2004 until 22 September 2006.
3.) All questions of costs are reserved for consideration and will be the subject of a separate award.