The CAS Ad Hoc Division rendered its decision on appeals of the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union filed against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee of RUSADA dated February 9, 2022 to eliminate the provisional suspension of the athlete.
Considering the exceptional circumstances of this case, indicated in the official press release posted on the website of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the arbitrators concluded that preventing the figure skater from competing in the Olympic Games “would cause her irreparable harm”. The arbitrators allowed the athlete to further participate in the Olympic Games in Beijing. Currently, the athlete continues to compete without any restrictions.
Regarding the information disseminated in the media on the delay of the athlete`s sample analysis, we consider that it is necessary to state the following.
When planning testing and conducting doping control, RUSADA strictly complies with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code and international standards, in particular with the International Standard for Testing and Investigations and the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information.
The athlete's sample, collected on December 25, 2021, was delivered to the laboratory in the time sufficient to perform the analysis within the standard time frame.
After the expiry of the terms specified in the international standard, the laboratory informed the agency about the delays in the analysis and in the provision of the reports by the laboratory due to another wave of COVID-19, grown number of cases among the laboratory`s staff and quarantine rules. At the same time, the laboratory indicated the deadlines for reporting of the results of analysis in its messages, enabling to obtain this information from the laboratory until the end of January 2022, i.e., before the Olympic Games in Beijing. In January the laboratory also informed that the analysis would be prioritized, however, the report on the adverse analytical finding was submitted on February 7, 2022. The disclosure of other details regarding the framework of the athlete`s sample analysis is unacceptable and may result in the violation of the interests of the parties, in particular the interests of the “protected person”.
After receiving the laboratory`s report, RUSADA immediately initiated the results management procedure, the process of preparation of the documents necessary, and notified all relevant parties. At the athlete`s representatives request for an expedited provisional hearing, RUSADA made all reasonable efforts to organize and carry out the Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee`s hearings as soon as possible.
Currently, RUSADA continues the results management process and investigation into the case, as a result of which an independent disciplinary body will evaluate all the circumstances related to the potential anti-doping rule violation.