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and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily
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Another Russian Doping
Crisis? Inconsistencies Uncovered in the Data from the Moscow Lab
Storm clouds are brewing
once more in the Russian Doping Saga, after several inconsistencies were
uncovered by WADA from data retrieved from the Moscow
Laboratory. More specifically, a certain number of positive tests had been
removed from the data WADA retrieved from the Moscow Laboratory compared to the
one received from the original whistleblower. WADA launched a formal compliance
procedure on 23 September, giving three weeks for Russian
authorities to respond and provide their explanations. WADA’s Compliance Review
Committee is set to meet on 23 October in order to determine whether to
recommend declaring Russia non-compliant.
Russian authorities are
not the only ones now facing questions in light of these new revelations. Criticism
of WADA’s decision to declare Russia compliant back in September 2018 have been
reignited by stakeholders. That original decision had been vehemently criticized (see also Edwin Moses’ response), particularly by athlete
The fallout of these data
discrepancies may be far reaching if Russian authorities are unable to provide
a satisfying response. There are already whispers of another impending Olympic
Games ban and the possibility of a ban extending to other sports signed to the
WADA Code. In the meantime, the IAAF has already confirmed that the Russian
Athletes would compete as ‘authorised neutral athletes’ at the World Athletics
Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Legal Challenges Ahead to
Changes to the FIFA Football Transfer Market
FIFA is set to make amendments to its player
transfer market that take aim at setting new boundaries for football agents.
These changes will prohibit individuals from representing both the buying and
selling club in the same transaction and set new limits on agent commissions (3
percent for the buying club and player representative and 10 percent for the
selling team). FIFA is already in the process of creating a central
clearinghouse through which all transfer payments would have to pass through,
including agent commissions. FIFA will be making a final decision on these
proposed changes at the FIFA Council meeting on 24 October.
If these proposed changes
are confirmed, they will almost certainly be challenged in court. The British
trade organization representing football agents, Association of Football
Agents, has already begun its preparations for a costly legal battle
by sending a plea to its members for donations. It claims that it had not been
properly consulted by FIFA before this decision had been made. On the other
hand, FIFA claims that ‘there has been a consultation process with a
representative group of agents’ and that FIFA kept ‘an open dialogue with
agents’. Regardless, if these proposed changes go through, FIFA will be on
course to a looming legal showdown.
CAS Public Hearing in the
Sun Yang Case: One Step Forward for Transparency?
On 20 August, 2019, the Court of Arbitration for Sport
(CAS) announced that the hearing in the appeal procedure of the Sun Yang
case will be held publicly. It will be only the second time in its history that
a public hearing has been held (the last one being in 1999, Michelle Smith De
Bruin v. FINA). WADA has appealed the original decision of the FINA Doping
Panel which had cleared Sun Yang from an alleged anti-doping rule violation.
The decision to make the hearing public was at the request of both parties. The
hearing is set to take place November 15th and is likely to be an
important milestone in improving the CAS’ transparency.
Sun Yang, who has already served a doping ban for a previous violation
in 2014, has also been at the center of another controversy, where Mack Horton,
an Australian swimmer, refused to shake hands and stand on
the podium with Sun Yang at the world championships in Gwangju.
Sports Law Related Decisions
Official Documents and Press Releases
In the news
Asser International Sports
Law in Sport