Pro Bono Victory Allows Welsh Athletes to Return to Training for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Hogan Lovells has successfully represented one of two Welsh athletes who were disqualified from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games having tested positive for banned substances. Both athletes had taken a supplement energy drink which, during the production of the batch, had been accidentally contaminated with the banned substance.

Our London Litigation team represented Gareth Warburton, a middle distance runner specialising in the 800m who competed for Team GB at London 2012. As a result, Gareth's two year ban from competing was reduced to only six-months. Notwithstanding that UK Anti-Doping, the national organisation responsible for ensuring clean sport in the UK, and the National Anti-Doping Panel tribunal found that Gareth was not a cheat and had not knowingly taken any banned substance, the short, six-month ban was deemed appropriate on the basis that he should have disclosed that he was taking the supplements during the testing procedure and should have made additional enquiries to ensure the safety of the supplements before taking them.

Gareth's ban has already been served, meaning he is free to begin competing immediately and continue his training for the Commonwealth Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The case was covered by the BBC and in The Sunday Times (those with a subscription can access the article here and an interview with the two athletes which was featured in the sports section can be viewed here).

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