News 16th August 2016

Sports Integrity Briefs – 16 August

• The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled against a February decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to reduce para athlete Blake Leeper’s doping sanction from two to one years, which would have allowed him to compete in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. ‘The only valid decision in the case of Blake Leeper’s anti-doping violation from June 2015 is the two-year suspension handed down by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) on 6 November 2015’, read an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) statement. ‘The case was originally heard by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), which suspended Leeper for two years, starting 21 June 2015. However, Leeper and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) claimed to have reached a subsequent settlement agreement that, on the basis of mitigating circumstances, reduced his sanction to one-year. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) deemed this subsequent settlement not to conform with the IPC Anti-Doping Code, at which stage the athlete turned to the Court of Arbitration in Sport.’

• UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has reduced the two-year sanction issued to Scottish footballer Jordan McMillan by one month, after the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) ruled that information he had supplied to Scottish police constituted ‘substantial assistance’.  McMillan was initially sanctioned in September 2015 after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine, however went to Scottish police with information on how he had inadvertently ingested the cocaine. As the appeal decision reveals, the information provided by McMillan allowed Scottish police to charge an individual with a criminal offence, although it is understood there was insufficient evidence for him to be prosecuted. ‘Against this analysis the suspension of the period of Ineligibility falls to be at the lower end of the scale’, reads the decision.

• The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has confirmed that it is not investigating a crash involving Rio 2016 men’s omnium silver medalist Mark Cavendish. “The race has been video reviewed and the crash has been considered as part of the race”, said a UCI spokesperson. “The Korean rider [Park Sang-hoon] has been released today from the hospital”. Dutch journalist Thijs Zonneveld alleged that Cavendish threatened to sue him after he asked for comment on the incident.

• The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) confirmed that it has filed an appeal against the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) decision to exclude all Russian para athletes from the Rio 2016 Paralympics with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The IPC confirmed that it had received notification of the appeal, however it appears from a later RPC statement that the CAS hearing has been pushed back to Monday 22 August, with a decision to be made by 23 August. The Rio Paralympics will be held from 7-18 September, after the IPC dismissed suggestions that questions over funding would result in the cancellation of the Paralympics, or removal of certain sports.

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