On 14 February 2022, the CAS Ad Hoc Division (CAS AHD) controversially cleared 15 year-old figure skater Kamila Valieva (the Athlete) to compete at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games (OWG 2022) – following allegations that a prohibited substance was detected in one of the urine samples collected from her on 25 December 2021 – 41 days before the start of the Olympic Games.
The CAS AHD, however, only has jurisdiction to resolve disputes arising during, and for the period of 10 days leading up to, the Olympic Games.
How then was it able to exercise jurisdiction over a matter arising:
- 41 days before the start of the Olympic Games?
- from the 2021 Russian Figure Skating Championship – an event independent of the Olympic Games?
- from the decision of a sports body not connected with the Olympic Games?
And why was the matter not resolved in the normal course by the CAS Appeals Division following a process with due process safeguards that would have allowed for more than 24 hours for the arbitration to be completed as well as for the Athlete to enjoy greater discretion in the appointment of an arbitrator to the panel?