A decision has been issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (the "CAS") that the appeal filed by César Ramirez against the decision issued by the Independent Tribunal that he (a) had committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (“ADRV”) under Article 2.1 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”), and (b) must serve a period of ineligibility of four years, has been dismissed.
Mr. Ramirez, a 28-year-old player from Mexico, provided a urine sample on 12 April 2018, which was found to contain metabolites of: nandrolone (19-norandrosterone); boldenone or boldenone-related steroids; drostanolone; and stanozolol. An Independent Tribunal issued a decision on 18 March 2019 that Mr. Ramirez had committed an ADRV under Article 2.1 of the Programme and that, therefore, a period of ineligibility of four years should be imposed on him, beginning on 12 April 2018 and so ending at midnight of 11 April 2022.
Mr. Ramirez filed an appeal to CAS and a hearing was held on 19 September 2019. Mr. Ramirez argued that (a) his ADRV was not intentional, as the substances concerned had been administered without his knowledge, (b) he bore no significant fault or negligence for that violation, and (c) his sanction should be reduced because he promptly admitted the violation, the offence was not serious, because he was aiming to speed up his recovery from injury, and his degree of fault was not significant.
The CAS Panel rejected Mr. Ramirez’s arguments and found that (a) Mr. Ramirez committed the ADRV with which he was charged, (b) that ADRV was intentional, (c) the sanction imposed by the Independent Tribunal was confirmed, and (d) there is no reason to depart from the mandatory sanction of four years.
The CAS Panel, therefore, dismissed Mr. Ramirez’s appeal in full and determined that he is ordered to pay the ITF CHF5,000 as contribution towards the expenses incurred in connection with these arbitration proceedings. Mr. Ramirez is eligible to compete from 12 April 2022.