25 October 2013 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Both the player and the federation appealed to the CAS against the decision issued on 23 September 2013 by the ITF’s Anti-Doping Tribunal (IADT) in which the player was sanctioned with a nine month ban following a positive anti-doping control for a metabolite of nikethamide (N-ethylnicotinamide), a stimulant which is prohibited in competition. The player admitted that he had inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance by taking a glucose supplement out-of-competition and argued that due to the circumstances of the case, the IADT’s decision should be annulled and replaced with a warning and no period of ineligibility. The ITF, however, appealed the IADT’s decision to request that the sanction imposed on the player be increased.
The arbitration procedure was referred to a panel of CAS arbitrators (Prof. Ulrich Haas, Germany (President), Mr Jeffrey Benz, USA, and Mr Romano Subiotto QC, UK/Belgium), who heard the parties and their legal representatives at a hearing held in London on 16 October 2013.
The Panel determined that the degree of fault committed by the athlete was inferior to that established in the IADT decision. The Panel also determined that the sanction imposed was too severe in view of the degree of fault and concluded that it should be reduced to four months, commencing on 23 September 2013, less the period of provisional suspension already served by the player from 26 June 2013 to 23 September 2013. The player’s ban will therefore end at midnight on 25 October 2013.
The full arbitral award, with the grounds for the Panel’s decision, will be issued to the parties in due course.