BOA Doping Bylaw Scrapped by CAS

April 30, 2012

The controversial British Olympic Association’s (BOA) doping bylaw has been overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today.

Former drug cheats, including sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar will be allowed to compete for a place in the British team following the decision by CAS.

The Lausanne-based panel have, as expected, ruled that the BOA bylaw which stops athletes convicted of serious drugs offences representing Britain at the Olympics is against the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and must be scrapped.

“The CAS Panel has ruled that the BOA bye-law [sic] related to the selection of British athletes for the Olympic Games was not in compliance with the World Anti-doping Code,” a statement on their website said.

“Such decision confirms the jurisprudence established last year in the case between the US Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee.”

WADA had challenged the ban at a hearing in London last month claiming its controversial anti-doping bylaw non-compliant with its code, which the BOA are signatories too.

It followed a CAS decision last October that the International Olympic Committee’s controversial Rule 45 – or “Osaka Rule” – banning convicted drugs cheats from future Games was illegal.

The decision will leave the way clear for Chambers, banned for two years in 2003 after testing positive for a cocktail of anabolic steroids, to compete in the 100 metres at London 2012 and also join the 4x100m relay team.

It also opens the door for cyclist David Millar, banned for two years in 2004 after admitting taking the banned blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin, to compete.

The CAS ruled that the bylaw was against the World Anti-Doping Code.

“The Bye-Law is a doping sanction and is therefore not in compliance with the WADA Code,” the judgement said.

“The CAS confirms the view of the WADA Foundation Board as indicated in its Decision.

“Therefore, the appeal of BOA is rejected, and the decision of the WADA Foundation Board is confirmed.”

UK Athletics response was “UK Athletics has always supported the BOA byelaw but welcomes the clarity the CAS decision brings to this issue. Athletes affected by the ruling are now eligible for the team, in both individual and relay events, and will be subject to the same selection criteria and process as every other British athlete.”

by Ismail Uddin