ALPINE SKIING – ANTI-DOPING THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) UPHOLDS THE APPEAL OF STEFAN LUITZ
Lausanne, 15 March 2019 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the German alpine skier Stefan Luitz and the International Ski Federation (FIS). The athlete’s appeal against the FIS Doping Panel decision dated 9 January 2019 (the Challenged Decision) has been upheld and the Challenged Decision is annulled. Accordingly, Stefan Luitz is no longer disqualified from the giant slalom at the FIS Alpine World Cup Event in Beaver Creek on 2 December 2018, and the order that he forfeit any medals, points and prizes obtained at such event is revoked.
On 2 December 2018, Stefan Luitz participated in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom in Beaver Creek, USA. Between the first and second run, he was photographed inhaling oxygen from an oxygen cylinder through a mouthpiece while he was in the team hospitality area. Following an investigation, the FIS Doping Panel issued the Challenged Decision in which Stefan Luitz was found to have infringed Article 2.12 of the FIS Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) prohibiting such device at FIS Events and disqualified him from the giant slalom event at Beaver Creek. On 29 January 2019, Stefan Luitz filed an appeal at the CAS against the Challenged Decision. A hearing took place in the presence of the parties on 11 March 2019 at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The CAS Panel in charge of this matter noted that Article 20.4 FIS ADR provides that the World AntiDoping Code (WADC) and its International Standards shall prevail over the FIS ADR in case of a conflict. Since the WADC and Prohibited List provide that the inhalation of supplemental oxygen does not constitute an Anti-Doping Rule violation, the CAS Panel considered that Article 2.12 FIS ADR was in conflict with, and thus overridden by the WADC. The CAS issued only the operative part of the decision today.
The reasoned award with the grounds for the Panel’s unanimous decision is being finalised and will be notified to the parties as soon as possible.