LAUSANNE, 15 March 2018 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between the Polish weightlifter Tomasz Zieliński and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). Zielinkski had tested positive for a banned substance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The appeal filed by Tomasz Zieliński on 5 June 2017 against the decision issued on 15 May 2017 by the IWF Hearing Panel has been dismissed and the decision by the IWF Hearing Panel has been confirmed. Accordingly, the four-year period of ineligibility starting on 9 August 2016 and imposed on him by the IWF is confirmed.
During the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (the Rio Games) Tomasz Zieliński underwent an out-of-competition doping control which produced an adverse analytical finding for 19- Norandrosterone, a prohibited substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) referred the matter to the CAS Anti-Doping Division (CAS ADD) that was constituted to handle any doping-related matters arising during the Rio Games. On 9 August 2016, Tomasz Zieliński was provisionally suspended by the CAS ADD. On 12 August 2016, the CAS ADD issued a decision declaring Tomasz Zieliński ineligible to compete at the Rio Games and referred the matter to the IWF for results management.
On 13 September 2016, the IWF confirmed the provisional suspension imposed on Tomasz Zieliński. On 15 May 2017, the IWF Hearing Panel found that the athlete had committed an anti-doping rule violation and issued a decision imposing a four-year period of ineligibility on him, starting on 9 August 2016. Tomasz Zieliński appealed this decision to the CAS.
Taking into account the written and oral submissions of the parties, the CAS Panel in charge of this matter found that it could not conclude otherwise than that the athlete had committed the anti-doping rule violation intentionally. Furthermore, the Panel did not find any reasons to reduce the four-year period of ineligibility.