Lausanne, April 16, 2015: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal of the Indian swimmer, Amar Muralidharan, against the decisions taken by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) and the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP) of the Indian National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
On 26 August 2010, during the National Aquatic Championships in Jaipur, India, Amar Muralidharan was randomly selected by the NADA to provide an in-competition anti-doping control test. His sample was found to contain methylhexaneamine, a substance prohibited in-competition.
The ADDP opened proceedings against the swimmer and issued its decision on 5 November 2012, finding that he had committed an anti-doping rule violation and sanctioning him with a two-year period of ineligibility.
The athlete then appealed such decision to the ADAP which, on 3 June 2014, confirmed the ADDP’s decision. On 17 June 2014, Amar Muralidharan filed an appeal at the CAS against the NADA, the National Dope Testing Laboratory in New Delhi, India, and the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, arguing that the challenged decisions should be annulled on the grounds that his sample had not been processed in accordance with the NADA Anti-Doping Regulations (ADR) and the WADA International Standard for Testing (IST), and should therefore be nullified, and furthermore that he had been denied access to justice through the delays in hearing his case.
This case was heard on 16 January 2015. It was the first ever hearing held at the CAS Alternative Hearing Centre in Abu Dhabi.
Based on the evidence, the Sole Arbitrator found that the errors evident in the document package produced by the laboratory were purely typographical and had no impact on the reliability or integrity of the sample.
The errors, while indeed unfortunate and avoidable, were not so fundamental as to call into question the laboratory’s compliance with the IST thereby nullifying the positive sample. Furthermore, the Sole Arbitrator found that while the NADA’s delays in handling the athlete’s case were excessive, such delays did not fundamentally violate Mr. Muralidharan’s procedural rights. The full award will be published on the CAS website in the coming weeks. —- CAS
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