IAAF Considers Court of Arbitration
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ The International Amateur Athletic Federation is ``seriously considering″ sending all future disputes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The IAAF Council, meeting at International Olympic Committee headquarters, spoke with CAS secretary Matthew Reeb to learn how the independent court functions, and discuss costs and other issues.
``It’s something we are thinking over very carefully,″ IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai said. ``Mr. Reeb’s presentation was received very favorably. He understood the concerns of the IAAF.
``Now it’s a question of basic rules and the constitution needs to be changed. That would need a two-thirds majority by the IAAF Congress to make any changes.″
The next Congress meeting will be in July before the world championships at Edmonton, Alberta.
By turning to CAS, the IAAF would cut costs and regain credibility.
The IAAF has been criticized for its arbitration procedures. While it sends cases to an arbitration panel of independent experts, these experts are voted in by the IAAF Congress.
The IAAF is one of few sports federations that do not use the CAS.
``Sometimes critics say the arbitration decisions are unfair and are made by the IAAF, when they’re not,″ IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reineri said. ``They are independent members, who are only elected by the IAAF Congress.
``However, if we use CAS, no one can say anything. It will be completely independent, no ties.″
The IAAF also is convinced that using CAS would lower the high costs of arbitration.
Presently, for each case, the IAAF pays for three arbitration experts to travel to Monte Carlo, the expenses incurred by the arbitration case and the cost of hiring their own lawyers.
Gyulai said the IAAF has spent $600,000 this year on arbitration related costs. The budget was $250,000.
``We don’t know exactly how much using CAS would save us ... but it would save something,″ he said.
Complicating matters is the fact that some members on the current arbitration panel have been voted in until 2003. The council had been mandated by the Congress in 1999 to explore the possibility of using CAS, Reineri said.
Meanwhile, the council sent two drug cases to the anti-doping commission.
It sent to arbitration the case of 19-year-old javelin thrower Carolin Soboll, who tested positive for nandrolone after taking a creatine product made in the United States that was tainted with steroids.
The other case involved Romanian triple jumper Rodica Mateescu, the runner-up at the 1997 World Championships, who tested positive for steroids.
The council did not review detailed dossier from USA Track & Field.
The Council was expected to examine the case, which erupted at the Sydney Games, where UASTF came under attack by both the IOC and IAAF for suppressing details of at least 10 positive drug tests, including three for the same steroid allegedly used by shot putter C.J. Hunter.
Arne Ljungqvist, chief of the IAAF’s medical commission, accused USATF of concealing up to 15 positive cases in the past two years.
On Tuesday, Ljungqvist said the doping commission had received the documents but had yet to finish examining them.
The council also said it almost certainly would use the EPO tests used at the Sydney Olympics at the 2001 World Championships. Reineri said the anti-doping commission would make a final decision on the matter in the spring of 2001 after examining whether the IOC accredited laboratory in Montreal could properly handle the tests.
The IAAF also said that it had conducted 2,613 drug tests over the past year _ 848 in competition and 1,765 out of competition _ with 33 positive results. In addition, 300 in-competition tests were conducted at the Sydney Games.
The IAAF said it had signed a deal with the World Anti-Doping Agency in July under which WADA would conduct 200 tests. To date, 185 tests have been carried out with no positive results.