Sport | Other Sports

High-profile cases: CAS comes into play

  • Compiled by Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 May 21, 2012
  • Gulf News

Alberto Contador and Dwain Chambers
  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • Alberto Contador and Dwain Chambers


Alberto Contador, the fifth racer in history and the first Spaniard to win all three Grand Tours of road cycling, had a career that was marked by occasional doping allegations. The most noteworthy one was the Operacion Puerto doping case that led his Astana-Wurth team to withdraw en masse from the 2006 Tour de France even before it began. Contador was eventually cleared of any wrong-doing. In September 2010, Contador announced that he had tested positive for Clenbuterol in a control taken during that year's Tour de France, but although he was suspended during an investigation, he was cleared. A review by the Cas (Court of Arbitration for Sport) initially set for June 2011 was later deferred several times until February 2012, when the drug governing body decided that Contador be stripped of the results obtained in the 2010 Tour de France and later, which also caused him to lose his 2011 Giro d'Italia victory. He will stay suspended till August 5.


Frank de Boer, younger twin brother of Ronald de Boer, is currently the manager of AFC Ajax since December 2010. He began his career as a left back at Ajax before switching to centre back, a position he made his own for many years in the Dutch national team. He won both the UEFA Cup and Champions League with Ajax. But, after signing a six-year contract extension with Ajax for the 1998-99 season, he and his twin brother took successful legal action to have it voided. Both of them then joined FC Barcelona for £22 million (Dh127.83 million), where Frank tested positive for the banned substance, nandrolone. He was reinstated after a successful appeal with Cas. The de Boer twins then made a switch to Qatar with Al Rayyan, from where they announced their retirement in 2006.


Frenchman Richard Gasquet is the most high-profile recent case in modern tennis. In mid-December 2009, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced that the Cas had dismissed the appeal by Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) and the ITF against the decision dated July 15, 2009 of an independent anti-doping tribunal. The tribunal found that Gasquet's sample provided during the 2009 Miami Open contained benzoylecgonine, a metabolic of cocaine. The tribunal also found that Gasquet had ingested the cocaine inadvertently, but at the same time imposed a period of ineligibility of 75 days rather than the 12-month sanction that is the minimum required under the Wada Code for No Significant Fault or Negligence cases.


Perhaps the one case in modern-day track and field that shook the world was the shocking revelation of Canadian champion Ben Johnson taking anabolic steroids. Till then, Johnson had enjoyed a high-profile career during which he won two Olympic bronze medals and an Olympic gold, setting consecutive world records in the 100 metres at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Johnson was disqualified for doping, losing the Olympic title and both the records. Since 1991 after his suspension ended, Ben Johnson has attempted several comebacks with no success so far. He now lives with his daughter and grand-daughter in Ontario, conducting training sessions for sprinters.


Cesar Cielo is considered Brazil's most successful swimmer in history after winning two Olympic medals, four World Championships gold medals and breaking a world record within a one-year span. However, in May 2011, Cielo tested positive for the banned substance, furosemide, a diuretic often used to help lose weight, but is also a masking agent which may hide the presence of other drugs. Cielo claimed the positive drug test was a result of a cross-contamination, leading Fédération Internationale de Natation (Fina) to appeal the swimmer's case to the Cas, who kept the warning for Cielo. The Cas decision to allow Cielo to compete in the 2011 World Swimming Championships in Shanghai generated controversy among other competitors, notably Kenyan Jason Dunford who flashed a ‘thumbs down' to the audience after Cielo's win in the 50-metre butterfly.


The Dwain Chambers verdict is the latest in a series of cases where the Cas has passed a landmark judgment on one of the best known athletes. The Cas, in the first week of May this year, overruled a life ban imposed on Chambers by the British Olympic Association (BOA), paving the way for the British sprinter to participate in the London Olympics. There are, of course, fears of a backlash among the British contingent should he feature in their squad for the Summer Games.

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