25th February 2019

Russian appeals may be assisted by publication of CAS decisions

The decision of five Russian athletes to appeal doping charges issued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) may be assisted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) publication of the reasoning behind decisions to either uphold or partially uphold appeals by 39 Russian athletes sanctioned for doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The CAS did not announce the publication of the 39 decisions, all of which are dated 1 February 2018, and are understood to have been added to the ‘new decisions’ section of the CAS database last week.

Eleven Russian athletes were given a 22 February deadline by CAS which to file appeals against sanctions published by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) earlier this month. On 23 February, a Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) spokesperson told the Associated Press that Ivan Ukhov, Svetlana Shkolina, Lyukman Adams, Yekaterina Galitskaya and Yulia Kondakova had filed appeals with the CAS. 

It is not known if the five athletes, or RusAF, were aware of CAS’s publication of the 39 decisions prior to filing the appeals. If the five athletes are unsuccessful, Ivan Ukhov would lose a high jump Gold medal won at the London 2012 Olympics; Svetlana Shkolina would lose a Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championship high jump Gold; and Lyukman Adams would lose his 2014 IAAF World Indoors triple jump gold.

It is understood that six of the the other seven athletes listed in the above table will not be able to file appeals, due to the CAS outlining that the 11 athletes had 21 days from 1 February in which to launch any appeal. The AIU has previously said that the twelfth decision, regarding Anna Bulgakova, will be published at a later date.

The 39 decisions published by CAS involve the reasoning behind decisions to uphold appeals by 28 Russian athletes, and partially uphold appeals by 11 Russian athletes, against IOC decisions to sanction them for doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. As with the 12 decisions announced by the AIU, many of the 39 decisions are based on submissions by the IAAF that the athletes used prohibited substances, based on a ‘washout schedule’ submitted by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov to Richard McLaren, and recorded in the Independent Person (IP) Reports he produced for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Many Russian athletes maintain that the evidence of Dr. Rodchenkov, former Director of the Moscow Laboratory, is not a reliable basis for the issuance of an ADRV. 

New sanctions

In addition, a Russian javelin athlete and a cycling coach have been sanctioned with an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV). The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) announced that javelin athlete Herman Komorov (Герман Комаров) has been sanctioned with an eight year ban for evading or refusing to appear at an anti-doping hearing. 

Komorov, who won bronze at the Kazan 2014 Russian Championships, had previously been sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) from 25 June 2015 until 24 June 2019. RusAF said that as this new ADRV represented a second offence, his eight year ban would run from 25 June 2019, meaning he will be disqualified until 24 June 2027.

Meanwhile, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced that cycling coach Ilya Gorodnicheva has been sanctioned with a four year ban from 28 November 2018. Gorodnicheva, a former professional cyclist, was sanctioned for attempting to administer prohibited substances to an athlete. RUSADA did not announce which cyclist was involved.

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