CAS upholds Salmond suspension
by Adam Steiss|20 MAR 2020
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the Anti-Doping Rule Violation suspension of Hockey Canada Vice President of Hockey Operations Scott Salmond by the independent IIHF Disciplinary Board. 

Salmond was initially suspended by the IIHF Disciplinary Board for one year after the Disciplinary Board concluded that Salmond had committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADVR), by preventing an IIHF-appointed Doping Control Officer (DCO) from collecting a urine sample from a Team Canada player who was part of the IIHF Registered Testing Pool and therefore subject to out-of-competition testing.

Subsequent to the IIHF Disciplinary Board’s decision, Salmond appealed the one-year suspension to the CAS advocating that he did not commit an ADRV, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed the one-year suspension to the CAS, advocating that the suspension should be two years in accordance with the WADA Code.

The CAS rejected Salmond’s appeal and upheld WADA’s appeal, meaning that he will continue to be ineligible for all ice hockey activity until 31 May 2020. During this period, Salmond is suspended from any and all ice hockey activities and competitions  involving an IIHF Member National Association, a member of an IIHF Member National Association and/or a professional league.

The incident occurred on 12 December 2017 in Moscow during the Channel One Cup. Following a full review of the reports from the incident, the Disciplinary Board determined that Salmond’s intervention and his strict orders to the Player established compelling justification according to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code Article 2.3 for the Player not to submit to sample collection and that, therefore, the Player had not violated Code Article 2.3. Note: this case was also appealed by WADA. 

However, this did not prevent the sanctioning of Salmond according to Code Article 2.9:

Under Article 2.9 of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation ….. by another person constitutes an anti-doping rule violation (Code Article 2).

The IIHF offered an explanation as to why Salmond’s decision was not announced prior to the CAS appellate decision.

“The unique nature of this case, whereby a team official received an ADRV for complicity, led the IIHF to withhold the announcement of the suspension until after the appellate decision,” said IIHF President RenĂ© Fasel. “The IIHF did not expect however that the reasoned appellate decision would take such a lengthy amount of time to be obtained. Nevertheless, we agree with the decision reached by the CAS.”

“The IIHF believes that all officials should be held to the same level of accountability and responsibility as players that participate in the World Championship and Olympic Games,” added Fasel. “In order to combat doping in sport, it is imperative that all stakeholders, from players to coaches to officials, support and show the utmost respect and cooperation for the anti-doping measures that have been put in place by the IIHF and WADA.”

The full decision by the CAS will be released on the CAS website in the coming days.