Pippa Manby and Will Harman secure complete dismissal of charges against former Olympian

Pippa Manby and Will Harman of 4 New Square acted for a former Olympian in successfully defending a charge of evading, refusing and/or failing to provide a urine sample for anti-doping testing.

Following a two-day hearing, the National Anti-Doping Panel found that the athlete reasonably believed that they had retired and had not deliberately evaded the doping control personnel who attended the athlete’s home. The charges of refusing and/or failing to take a test were dismissed on the basis that there had been no notification of the test. This represents a rare instance where no anti-doping rule violation was found despite the athlete knowing that testers were at the door. The Panel gave useful guidance on the legal test for the anti-doping rule violation of evading testing upon which there was little pre-existing authority. The Panel were critical of the doping control officer and concluded that the case was a “lesson on how not to carry out a mission”. As the charges were dismissed in their entirety the decision will not be published and the athlete will remain anonymous.

This is the latest in a number of cases under Article 2.3 of the WADA Code (or equivalent provisions) which have involved barristers at 4 New Square. Daniel Saoul QC acted for the rugby player Ryan Bailey and Pippa Manby acted for the tennis player Jake Mak in recent other decisions involving charges of evasion, refusal and/or failure.