Team Canada disqualified from the Jumping Competition at the 2019 Pan American Games
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedures between the Canadian equestrian athlete Nicole Walker, Equestrian Canada and the Pan American Sports Organisation (Panam Sports) relating to the decision issued by the Panam Sports Disciplinary Commission on 11 December 2019 (the Challenged Decision) in which Nicole Walker was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) after an in-competition sample provided by her during the 2019 Pan American Games (the Pan Am Games) was found to contain benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine and a prohibited substance. In the Challenged Decision, the individual results obtained by Nicole Walker on 7 and 9 August 2019 were disqualified and her results from 6 and 7 August 2019 were replaced with the results of the next applicable Canadian team member for the purposes of the equestrian jumping team competition.
In her appeal to CAS, Nicole Walker requested that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that the results she obtained at the Pan Am Games be reinstated, thereby in turn reinstating Team Canada’s fourth-place position in the equestrian jumping team competition at the Pan Am Games. In its appeal, Equestrian Canada supported and endorsed its athlete’s appeal, submitting identical prayers for relief. In its appeal, Panam Sports, on the other hand, argued inter alia that the Challenged Decision should be amended as according to the applicable anti-doping rules an ADRV committed by a team member in a competition should automatically result in the consequence that the team result of that competition is also disqualified.
All three appeals were consolidated and handled together by the same Panel of arbitrators. A hearing was held by video-conference on 21 and 23 December 2020.
The CAS Panel issued its decision today in which it dismissed the appeals filed by Nicole Walker and Equestrian Canada and partially upheld Panam Sports’s appeal in ruling that the results for Team Canada in the jumping competition at the 2019 Pan Am Games are disqualified, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
The Arbitral Award with the grounds for the Panel’s decision will be notified to the parties in the coming weeks.
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