CAS dismisses IOC’s blanket ban of athletes

Geneva, Aug 5 (IANS) The international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne has ruled that some of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s criteria for Russian athletes to participate at the Rio games are “unenforceable” as they do not respect the right of natural justice.

Two Russian rowers, Anastasia Karabelshikova and Ivan Podshivalov have won their appeal against an IOC ban from the Rio Olympics on the grounds that they had already served suspensions over past doping accusations.

READ MORE: 271 Russian athletes cleared for Rio Games – president of national Olympic committee

The case has been sent back to the International Rowing Federation (FISA) to render their decision “without delay.”

“The IOC Decision deprives the Russian athletes of the presumption of innocence and rather establishes a presumption of guilt, but one that is rebuttable by the athletes on an individual basis,” the court ruling said, referring to paragraph three of the IOC Executive Board decision of July 24, 2016.

The controversial paragraph said that the Russian Olympic Committee “is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.”

This wording, CAS ruled, “contains a simple, unqualified and absolute criterion” which is difficult to reconcile with the “stated aim to provide the athletes with an opportunity to rebut the presumption of guilt and to recognise the right to natural justice.”



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