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September 28, 2000
CAS thumbs down for RaducanThe Rediff Team
Here follows the full text of the statement released by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in the Andreea Raducan:
The ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan.
On 26 September 2000, Andreea Raducan filed an application with CAS to set aside the decision made the IOC Executive Board to disqualify her from the women's (artistic) individual all-around event and to withdraw her gold medal arising from her positive doping test to pseudoephedrine. Raducan underwent this doping test after the event on 21 September.
The CAS Panel composed of Dr. Tricia Kavanagh (Australia), President, Dr. Stephan Netzle (Switzerland) and Dr. Maidie Oliveau (USA) confirmed that Andreea Raducan tested positive for pseudoephedrine and therefore committed a doping offense pursuant to the Anti-Doping Code of the Olympic Movement. Article 3-3 of the Anti-Doping Code provides that "Any case of doping during the competition automatically leads to invalidation of the result obtained (with the consequences including forfeit of any medals and prizes) irrespective of any other sanction that may be applied."
A strict liability test must thus be applied, consequences being automatic disqualification as a matter of law and in fairness to all other athletes. This is why factors such as the athlete's age (She will be 17 on 30 September), her weight, the need for medication (there are other medicines available as well as procedures to be followed if one need medication with a banned substance for health reasons), the fact the drug may not have enhanced the performance and the reliance on the team's doctor are irrelevant. This is in line with the case law of CAS where it is consistently held that:
"It is the presence of a prohibited substance in a competitor's bodily fluid which constitutes the offense irrespective of whether or not the competitor intended to ingest the prohibited substance."
As a result, the CAS Panel found that Article 3 of the Anti-Doping Code required disqualification. Reaching this conclusion it noted:
"The Panel is aware of the impact of its decision on a fine, young, elite athlete. It finds, in balancing the interests of Miss Raducan with the commitment of the Olympic Movement to drug-free sport, the Anti-Doping Code must be enforced without compromise."
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