NEWS: 4 year ban imposed on footballer following doping offences

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Committee and the Saudi Arabian football player Mohammed Bin Mohammed Noor Adam Hawsawi. 

The appeal has been upheld by the CAS Panel: the decision rendered by the Saudi Anti-Doping Appeal Panel on 17 April 2016 is annulled and a four year period of ineligibility, beginning on 15 December 2016, has been imposed on Mohammed Noor, with credit given for the period of ineligibility already served (30 November 2015 through 17 April 2016).

In November 2015, the player underwent an in-competition doping control. The A and B samples returned adverse analytical findings for Amphetamine, a prohibited substance classified as a non-specified stimulant under class S6 of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List. The player was provisionally suspended on 30 November 2015. On 28 February 2016, the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Hearing Panel found that Mohammed Noor committed an anti-doping rule infraction and imposed a period of ineligibility of four years.

The player appealed that decision to the Saudi Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (the Appeal Panel) which issued a decision on 17 April 2016 recognising the presence of the prohibited substance in the player’s sample and declaring that the period of provisional suspension until the issuance of its decision (i.e. from 30 November 2015 until 17 April 2016) “will be sufficient, and the player has the right to resume his sport activity and go back to his sport from the date of this decision”. 

On 9 May 2016, FIFA filed a statement of appeal at the CAS requesting the annulment of the Appeal Panel’s decision and the imposition of a four-year period of ineligibility. After various exchanges of submissions, a hearing took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne/CH, on 1 December 2016.

The Panel found that the Player failed to identify any basis for impugning the reliability or accuracy of the testing laboratory’s analysis of his A and B Sample. Moreover, the Player could not identify any particular deviation from the WADA International Standards for Laboratories. Therefore, the appropriate sanction for the Player’s anti-doping rule violation is a four-year period of ineligibility.

The Panel has only just issued its decision. The full arbitral award will be finalised and issued to the parties in the coming weeks and then published on the CAS website. 

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