Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Grenadian sprinter Bralon Taplin against the decision issued by the Caribbean Regional Anti- Doping Organization (Caribbean RADO) on 8 November 2019 in which a four-year period of ineligibility was imposed on him following an anti-doping rule violation (the Challenged Decision). On 13 April 2019, Bralon Taplin (the Athlete) participated in and won the 400-meter event at the Grenada Invitational Athletics Competition. Following his victory, he gave interviews to various track-side media and was informed by the Chaperone from the Grenada National Anti-Doping Organisation (Grenada NADO) that he was required to undergo an anti-doping test.
However, he subsequently left the stadium without completing the doping control. On the following day, he took an early flight home and left the country.
On 20 August 2019, the Athlete was notified that he was being charged with intentionally evading sample collection on 13 April 2019 at the Grenada Invitational. Following an investigation, the Caribbean RADO Panel issued its decision on 8 November 2019 in which it found, to its comfortable satisfaction, that the Athlete sought to evade the Chaperone and Doping Control Officers and that he was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection. A four-year period of ineligibility was imposed on the Athlete.
In his appeal to the CAS, the Athlete requested that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that he be declared immediately eligible to compete on the grounds that he had not been properly notified that he had been selected for the doping control test. The CAS arbitration was conducted by The Hon. Hugh L. Fraser (Canada) who held a hearing in the presence of the parties, their legal counsel and witnesses at the offices of the Grenada Olympic Committee on 27 and 28 February 2020.
The Sole Arbitrator found that the evidence given by the Athlete that he was never approached, followed or accompanied by anyone from the Grenada NADO to be implausible. Considering all of the evidence accepted in this procedure, the Sole Arbitrator was comfortably satisfied that the Athlete was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection and confirmed the four-year period of ineligibility, which commenced on 25 September 2019, the date on which the provisional suspension began.
• This media release was published by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 19 May 2020. Click here for the original.
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