15th May 2018

Sports Integrity Briefs – 15 May 2018

• The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected a joint appeal by Munir El Haddadi and the Moroccan football association (FRMF) against a 13 March FIFA decision to reject an application to change the FC Barcelona player’s nationality from Spanish to Moroccan. It is understood that FIFA rejected the application because the 22 year old took the field in the 77th minute as a substitute during Spain’s UEFA European Championship qualifier in September 2014 against FYR Macedonia. The decision means that El Haddadi will only be eligible for the Spanish national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

• The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has sanctioned Colombian player Barlaham Zuluaga Gaviria with a three year ban and a US$5,000 fine for failing to cooperate with an investigation. ‘In failing to co-operate with the TIU investigation the player excused himself from an interview on the grounds of illness and did not provide his mobile phone for forensic download’, read a TIU statement. ‘Despite repeated requests, he subsequently failed to reschedule the interview and eventually supplied an alternative phone that did not contain the data originally requested’. The full TIU ruling is available below.

• The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published the Independent Observer Report from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. In a section entitled ‘The hangover from Sochi’, the Report (PDF below) reveals that athletes had ‘doubts and concerns about the effectiveness of the anti-doping program and the ability for it to detect cheats’. The Report reveals that ‘the integrity of the sample collection kits and perceived vulnerabilities of the sample collection bottle were questioned by multiple athletes across multiple events’. Ahead of PyeongChang 2018, reporters exposed vulnerability with the sample collection bottles, meaning that they could be compromised by determined individuals. The Report also reveals that there was a ‘lack of coordination between the GAISF DFSU and POCOG, in the first week of the Games’. 

• The Swedish sports confederation (Riksidrottsförbundet) has agreed a partnership with the police to combat sport-related crime. “Sport engages people, turnover significant sums of money and has a strong position in society”, said National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg in a statement. “Unfortunately, criminals and other groups see this as an opportunity to use sport for criminal purposes. Together, we must actively counteract this. The police have a responsibility to protect time and to ensure the constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of association can be completed without threats and violence.” The full agreement, in Swedish, is available here.

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