News22 Nov 2005

Torri Edwards Reinstatement


At the IAAF Council meeting in Moscow (1112 November 2005), the US sprinter, Torri Edwards, was reinstated to competition subject to her completing a mandatory final reinstatement test. 

Edwards was banned for 2 years in August 2004 after testing positive for the prohibited stimulant, nikethamide.  However, in September 2005, WADA downgraded nikethamide in the Prohibited List to the category of “Specified Substances” for which the sanction, provided that the athlete can demonstrate no intention to enhance performance, ranges from a public warning to a maximum period of one year’s ineligibility.  Following an earlier CAS decision, binding upon the IAAF, that Edwards did not intend to enhance her performance (CAS OG 04/003), the IAAF confirmed her reinstatement on the legal grounds of lex mitior. 

The doctrine of lex mitior permits the application of current sanctions to a case if the sanctions are less severe than those which existed at the time of the offence.  This doctrine has been applied by CAS on several occasions in relation to anti-doping regulations. 

Prior to her reinstatement, Edwards had already served a total period of 15 months’ ineligibility, 3 months more than the maximum sanction in such a case under the new Prohibited List.  She will be eligible to compete again upon receipt by the IAAF of the negative result of her final reinstatement test.