The Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has dismissed an appeal by Ashley Kratzer against a decision by the Independent Tribunal, under which Ms. Kratzer was suspended for a period of four years, commencing on 28 March 2020.
Ms. Kratzer, a 20-year-old player from the United States of America (“USA”), provided a urine sample on 27 January 2020 in association with her participation in the WTA Newport Beach event, played in Newport Beach, USA from 27 January to 2 February 2020. That sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada, for analysis, and was found to contain GHRP-6. GHRP-6 is a non-Specified Substance, which is prohibited under category S2 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics), and therefore is also prohibited under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (“Programme”). An Independent Tribunal imposed a period of ineligibility of four years on Ms. Kratzer, back-dated to start on 28 March 2020.
Ms. Kratzer appealed that decision to CAS. The CAS sole arbitrator rejected Ms. Kratzer’s position that her violation was not committed intentionally (as that term is defined in Programme Article 10.3.2) and therefore the default four-year period of ineligibility must apply, without any reduction.
This is Ms. Kratzer’s first Anti-Doping Rule Violation. The decision by the CAS sole arbitrator to dismiss the appeal means that the decision of the Independent Tribunal is confirmed, such that: (1) Ms. Kratzer has committed a violation of the Programme; (2) she must serve a period of ineligibility of four years; and (3) that period of ineligibility is back-dated to start on 28 March 2020, and so will end at midnight on 27 March 2024. In accordance with Programme Article 9.1, all ranking points and prize money obtained by Ms. Kratzer at the Event are disqualified.
The CAS sole arbitrator ordered Ms. Kratzer to pay the ITF €4,000 costs.