28th July 2021

The CAS Ad Hoc Division reinstates the provisional suspension of Swiss track and field athlete Alex Wilson with immediate effect

The Ad Hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the following matters: CAS OG 20/06 World Athletics (WA) v. Alex Wilson, Anti-Doping Switzerland & Swiss Olympic CAS OG 20/08 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) v. Alex Wilson, Anti-Doping Switzerland & Swiss Olympic.

  1. The applications filed by World Athletics and by WADA on 22 and, respectively, 24 July 2021 are upheld.
  2. The Decision lifting the provisional suspension, rendered on 2 July 2021 by the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic, is set aside.
  3. The provisional suspension imposed on Alex Wilson by Anti-Doping Switzerland on 28 April 2021 shall be reinstated with immediate effect.

Alex Wilson (the Athlete) is a track and field athlete from Switzerland registered to compete in the men’s 100m and 200m events at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. On 15 March 2021, he underwent an out-of-competition doping test, analysis of which revealed the presence of trenbolone (specifically, its metabolite epitrenbolone), a substance featured on the WADA Prohibited List (anabolic androgenic steroids). The Athlete submits that the source of the prohibited substance is the ingestion of contaminated meat in the USA in March 2021.

On 28 April 2021, the Athlete was informed of the Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) and a provisional suspension was immediately imposed on him by Anti-Doping Switzerland. Further to an appeal lodged by the Athlete, such provisional suspension was subsequently lifted on 2 July 2021 by the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic (the Appealed Decision), whose decision was communicated to WA.

On 22 July 2021, WA filed an application with the CAS Ad Hoc Division in Tokyo requesting that the Appealed Decision be set aside and that the provisional suspension be reinstated with immediate effect. On 24 July 2021, WADA also filed an application with the CAS Ad Hoc Division requesting the same relief.

The Panel of arbitrators appointed to decide this dispute, composed of the Hon. Dr Annabelle Bennett, President, (Australia), Dr Ismail Selim (Egypt) and Ms Yasna Stavreva (Bulgaria), held a hearing on 25 July 2021 by video conference. The Panel noted that the test applied by the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic was whether the positive finding could have been caused by the consumption of contaminated beef.

Such criterion is not in line with the applicable rules of Anti-doping Switzerland which provide that the test is to determine whether it is likely or probable that the positive finding was caused by the consumption of contaminated beef. The Panel was therefore satisfied that the conditions to impose a provisional suspension were met.

The Panel concluded that the provisional suspension imposed on the Athlete on 28 April 2021 should not have been lifted by the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic. It follows that the decision of the Disciplinary Chamber of Swiss Olympic dated 2 July 2021 is set aside and the provisional suspension shall be reinstated with immediate effect. The present CAS decision does not prejudge in any way the decision which will be rendered by Swiss Olympic later on, once the disciplinary proceedings will have been completed.

• This media release was published by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 28 July 2021. Click here for the original.

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