Press releases 23rd October 2017

IAAF appeal against UAE Athletics Federation & Ms. Desalegn upheld by CAS

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) today welcomes the decision delivered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the case of the IAAF vs. UAE Athletics Federation and Betlehem Desalegu (the Athlete). Ms Desalegn was charged by the IAAF for a doping offence in 2016 on the basis of an abnormal longitudinal profile in the context of the IAAF’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) Programme.

Following a decision of the UAE National Anti-Doping Agency, Ms Desalegn was initially cleared of a doping offence on the eve of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The IAAF immediately exercised its right of appeal to CAS and re-imposed a provisional suspension upon the athlete to preserve the integrity of athletics competition in Rio. In a subsequent decision, the UAE Athletics Federation imposed a reduced sanction of 15 months which was again appealed to CAS by the IAAF.

The AIU is pleased to note that CAS found that the Athlete had committed an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) as a result of likely use of a Prohibited Substance or Method and imposed a full 2-year period of ineligibility and disqualification of her results from 6 March 2014 through to 22 July 2016. The CAS award will shortly be published on the AIU website. This is the 94th doping case successfully brought forward by the IAAF in the context of its ABP Programme, by far the most successful to date across all sports and all countries.

• This media release was originally published by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on 23 October 2017. To access the original, please click here.

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