Following the recent publishing of misleading information in the public domain surrounding the doping case of Danilo Hondo, who received a two-year sanction from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for testing positive for the Prohibited Substance Carphedon, WADA wishes to clarify several points:
The cyclist has appealed the CAS decision of 10 January 2006 before the Court of Appeal of Canton de Vaud, Lausanne, Switzerland. This procedure is granted under the Inter-cantonal Arbitration Convention, when all parties are domiciled in Switzerland.
The athlete has not yet submitted his brief on the merits of the case to the Court of Appeal of Canton de Vaud. To date, the athlete has only requested the suspension of the CAS award while his appeal is pending.
On 15 March 2006, the suspension of the CAS Award was granted by the President of the Court of Appeal of Canton de Vaud, pending resolution of the appeal. This decision is not based on the merits of the case (which have yet to be filed by the athlete), and does not pre-judge the final outcome of the appeal.
It is therefore misleading to claim that this latter decision from the Court of Appeal constitutes either an annulment of the CAS decision, or the raising of fundamental questions on the World Anti-Doping Code.
It is deeply unfortunate that other athletes may suffer as a result of the athlete’s suspended sanction, which is not based on the merits of the case, and WADA hopes for a swift resolution of the matter before the court. WADA may, at some stage, request the President of the Court of Appeal to reconsider the court’s position on the suspension.