CAS Opens Legal and Anti-Doping Field Offices in Tokyo For 2020 Olympic Games 

The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) opened two field offices in Tokyo on July 13th, one for legal disputes and one for anti-doping cases during the Tokyo Olympics.

The CAS Ad hoc Division, which has been present at the past 13 Summer and Winter Olympics, will be for resolving legal disputes. It is headed by:

President: Michael Lenard OLY, USA 

Co-President: Elisabeth Steiner, Austria 

Co-President: Giulio Napolitano, Italy

The second field office will be in charge of anti-doping matters during the Olympic Games, which has only been operating since the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

President: Ivo Eusebio, Switzerland 

Co-President: David W. Rivkin, USA

This field office is significant because normally, anti-doping cases can take months. But during the Olympics when a doping accusation is made, sometimes CAS only has hours to figure out a case.

This was the case during the 2016 Rio Olympics when Chinese butterflier Chen Xinyi was informed of her positive doping test results mid-meet. She had contested the 100 fly already where she placed 4th in the final and was signed up for the 50 free the next day.

A Chinese state-run news agency confirmed the test results the next day, which showed she tested positive for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide.

Chen and the Chinese Swimming Association took her case to the CAS field office to expedite test results for her second sample, and CAS aimed to finish the investigation before the conclusion of the Olympic games while Xinyi agreed to a provisional suspension.

CAS was able to test her second sample, which also tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, and she was expelled from the Rio Olympics.

Russian athletes were also on a time crunch in Rio after the McLaren Report detailed a large, state-sponsored doping program to help shield Russian athletes from bans. Seven athletes (four who tested positive for banned substances and three who were named in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s McLaren report) were pulled from the Olympics.

Russian National Record holder Yuliya Efimova was one of these swimmers. She had a doping hearing on August 1, 2016 which was postponed to August 4th. She appealed through CAS, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Efimova was eventually cleared by FINA, alongside four other Russian athletes. She went on to race the 100 breaststroke where she won the silver medal.

Freestyle specialists Vlad Morozov and Nikita Lobinstev of Russia also appealed to CAS during the Rio Olympics, but their cases went through the IOC’s Ad hoc Division. Both of them were cleared to compete.

Both CAS field offices will be operating out of Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, but due to COVID-19 safety measures the cases will be held by video-call.

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