Doping, Olympic Credibility & Athlete Eligibility.

It is key for the credibility of Olympic sports that the eligibility of an athlete suspected of doping practices be answered in the same way for all sports and competitions. In other words, either an athlete is eligible, or they are not. 

Confusion Caused by CAS and IOC Decisions on OAR Participation.

From World Sports Advocate: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) upheld 28 appeals and partially upheld the remaining 11 on 1 February 2018 in 39 of the 42 cases filed by Russian athletes against decisions taken by the International Olympic Committee’s (‘IOC’) Disciplinary Commission concerning alleged anti-doping rule violations (‘ADRV’) in relation to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The CAS found that in the 28 cases, the evidence collected was insufficient to establish that an ADRV was committed by the athlete concerned and as such their sanctions have been annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 reinstated."

“Several implications may be drawn,” notes Ramoni. “First, there are now three categories of athletes with respect to Russian doping cases; firstly, the ones who have been sanctioned and are serving a period of ineligibility; secondly, the ones who have not been sanctioned and are deemed ‘clean,’ and therefore are entitled to compete at the Olympic Games; and thirdly, the ones who have not been sanctioned, but who nevertheless are considered as being ‘suspicious’ and are therefore not invited to the Games. This is truly confusing; if anti-doping authorities have enough information against some individuals, they should immediately be provisionally suspended. If not, the concerned athletes should be deemed ‘clean’ and eligible. It is key for the credibility of Olympic sports that the eligibility of an athlete suspected of doping practices be answered in the same way for all sports and competitions. In other words, either an athlete is eligible, or they are not.”

 

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 Image: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images      

Image: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images