Sports court to start Russian Olympic doping appeals Monday

The Court of Arbitration of Sport will begin appeals hearings on Monday for 39 Russian athletes disqualified from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games for doping and banned for life from the Olympics. (AP)
Updated 17 January 2018
0

Sports court to start Russian Olympic doping appeals Monday

LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration of Sport will begin appeals hearings on Monday for 39 Russian athletes disqualified from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games for doping and banned for life from the Olympics.
Two key witnesses, Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov and World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren, will testify by video or telephone link to the closed-door hearings, CAS said in a statement Wednesday.
The court said the combined hearings should last for six days at a conference center in Geneva, near the European headquarters of the United Nations.
One panel of three judges will hear 28 cases and a second trio will judge 11. Two of the judges — Christoph Vedder and Dirk-Reiner Martens, both from Germany — will sit on both three-man panels, CAS said.
Verdicts are expected by Friday, Feb. 2, one week before the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea.
A further three appeal cases in biathlon will not be heard next week, the court said.
All 42 athletes deny being part of a state-backed doping program for the Sochi Olympics.
The first group of athletes whose hearings have been combined are in bobsled, cross-country skiing, skeleton and speed skating. They include athletes who have continued to compete in World Cup races not controlled by the IOC.
The second group of 11 cases is from bobsled, luge and women’s ice hockey.


Premier League set to use VAR from next season

Updated 55 min 18 sec ago
0

Premier League set to use VAR from next season

LONDON: The Premier League is set to use the Video Assistant Referee system from next season after clubs “agreed in principle” to the move on Thursday.
During a meeting attended by key members of all 20 Premier League clubs, officials were presented with an update on the non-live VAR trials taking place.
They were also given “key learnings” from VAR’s use in the FA Cup and League Cup this season.
VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where 335 incidents were checked by VAR officials, and is already underway in some other European leagues.
A formal Premier League request will now be made to the International Football Association Board and FIFA, the world governing body.
A statement from the Premier League said its testing program would continue for the rest of the season, “with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently.”
How VAR decisions are communicated to fans in the stadium will be addressed, with the development of a “clear protocol” to be established.
In April, Premier League clubs voted against the introduction of VAR for the 2018-19 season.
But there have been growing calls from managers and players for VAR to be introduced into the English top-flight for several years.
On Saturday, Southampton forward Charlie Austin called for VAR after he was denied a goal for offside against Watford, a decision he called a “joke.”
Also last weekend, Slavisa Jokanovic, since sacked as Fulham manager, was furious after Aleksandar Mitrovic was denied a goal by a controversial offside decision, with Liverpool going straight down the other end to take the lead.
VAR is used to check goals, penalties — both awarded and not, direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity when a player is wrongly booked or sent off.
The referee has the information relayed through his earpiece by the VAR team.
For some incidents, he can review the footage on a pitch-side television monitor before deciding whether to change his initial call.