In a previously implied-and-anticipated move, FINA has officially decided to appeal the doping suspensions (or lack thereof) to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is the highest authority in all doping cases.
The only even moderately relevant revelation in the press release is that the appeal does not in any way affect the athletes’ ability to compete, lest the CAS deems that they should be out of competition while the appeal is being heard (which is unlikely). FINA has also said that it would push to expedite matters, upon agreeance of all parties, presumably to complete the appeals process prior to the World Championships.
The full press release is below
Lausanne (SUI), July 6, 2011 – FINA has decided to appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decisions of the Doping Panel of the Brazilian Aquatic Sports Confederation in the matters of positive doping tests to the substance Furosemide for the swimmers Cesar Cielo Filho, Henrique Barbosa, Nicholas Santos and Vinicius Waked.
The appeals will be based on the elements in file at this stage. In any event, it will be up to the CAS Panel to issue a decision in accordance with the FINA Doping Control Rules.
The athletes are presently not suspended and the appeal will, in principle, have no effect of suspending their right to participate to events pending a decision. The CAS Panel is the only authority which could make a decision on provisional suspension.
FINA will use its best efforts to obtain a decision within the shortest possible time. FINA will in particular propose to apply expedited proceedings, it being observed that this depends on the agreements of the parties.