The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has hit back at suggestions that the team of judges it sent to last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo lacked expertise in anti-doping issues.
The criticism had been made by independent observers appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in their report on the games. Their report had said that some members of the CAS Anti-Doping Division (CAS ADD) had an “insufficient level of anti-doping knowledge”.
Responding, the CAS said that the comment appeared to be based on “a subjective assessment by an employee of the WADA legal department”, adding that the issue had never been raised directly with CAS ADD.
“All six CAS ADD arbitrators on duty on the occasion of the Tokyo games were selected by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) on the basis of their solid experience, national and international, and background in the area of anti-doping regulations,” CAS said in a statement.
“It is the understanding of the CAS ADD that the mission of the independent observers is to check that the anti-doping policies and procedures are correctly applied, but not to express personal opinions on the performance of the arbitrators, or on the quality of the CAS ADD decisions,” it added.
Ahead of the forthcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, the CAS ADD has called on WADA to ensure that its independent observer “has experience of CAS procedures and remains independent from WADA, in order to guarantee an independent evaluation process”.
WADA has the right to file an appeal against any CAS ADD awards.
The Lausanne-based CAS was set up in 1984 to settle sport-related disputes through arbitration. It also establishes temporary courts in Olympic Games host cities.