- Sport: Tennis
- Issue: Arbitration
- Type: Anti-Doping
- Tribunal: William Norris KC, Professor Dorian Haskard, Abigail Gauci
- Decision date: 22 December 2023
- Outcome: No ADRV
A decision in the case of International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) against Tara Moore and Barbara Gática has been issued by the Independent Panel.
On 6 April 2022, during the Women’s Tennis Association 250 Copa Colsanitas tournament in Bogotá, Colombia, Ms Moore, an English tennis player, and Ms Gática, a Chilean tennis player, each provided In-Competition urine samples that resulted in Adverse Analytical Findings. The analysis of Ms Moore’s sample identified the presence of two Prohibited Substances, Boldenone and Nandrolone. Ms Gática’s sample was also analysed and Boldenone was found to be present. On 13 January 2023, both players were sent Notices of Charge for committing Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) for Presence and Use of the above-noted Prohibited Substances.
The Independent Tribunal, comprised of Mr William Norris KC (Chair), Professor Dorian Haskard, and Ms Abigail Gauci, was appointed to hear this matter.
Both players admitted to the Presence of the Prohibited Substances in their systems but denied that the Presence was caused by deliberate doping. The players justified the Presence; alleging that it had probably resulted from their consumption of meat in various restaurants in Bogotá, including at the tournament venue. The Independent Tribunal was especially convinced by the scientific evidence that proved that Boldenone and Nandrolone were regularly used in Colombian meat production, that three (3) out of the twenty-one (21) players tested at this event tested positive for Boldenone, and that those three players had no known link between them other than participating in the same tournament and likely all eating at the tournament venue.
The Tribunal concluded that it is probable that both players returned Adverse Analytical Findings because they consumed contaminated meat. Further the Tribunal stated that the players bore No Fault or Negligence as there is no basis for saying that the risk of contamination should have been known by the players.
The Independent Tribunal thereby determined that no ADRV had been established pursuant to Rules 2.1 and 2.2 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. Consequently, the charges were dismissed, no period of Ineligibility was imposed on the players, no results were disqualified, and the Provisional Suspensions applied to each were lifted with immediate effect.
Sport Resolutions is the independent secretariat to the International Tennis Integrity Agency’s Independent Tribunal.
A copy of the full decision can be accessed via the related links tab on the right-hand side.