In an operative award issued on 28 September 2022, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has found that England Wheelchair Rugby League’s Wayne Boardman is able to return to competition with immediate effect.
The athlete had tested positive for oxandrolone and was subject to a provisional suspension pending the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) hearing. Under the 2021 UK Anti-Doping Rules, the default sanction was a four-year prohibition from participation in any capacity in wheelchair rugby. However, the NADP panel found that the athlete bore no fault or negligence for the violation, and accordingly held that the period of ineligibility should be eliminated entirely.
On appeal by UKAD, CAS overturned the NADP’s finding that there had been no fault or negligence. However, it accepted the athlete’s alternative argument that he bore no significant fault or negligence, and held that the applicable sanction should be one of 13 months (at the lower end of the possible scale). It further accepted the athlete’s argument that the ban should be backdated to the date of sample collection. The result is that Mr Boardman is able to return to competition with immediate effect and participate in the upcoming Rugby League Wheelchair World Cup 2022.