Application of the 2015 WADA Code through the Example of a recent CAS Award (Sharapova v. ITF)

8 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2016 Last revised: 21 Nov 2016

See all articles by Despina Mavromati

Despina Mavromati

BianchiSchwald LLC/ Université de Lausanne

Date Written: October 11, 2016


Maria Sharapova, a top-level professional tennis player (the Athlete) had tested positive for Meldonium on 26 January 2016. Meldonium is a prohibited, non-specified substance included at S4 in the “Prohibited List” since 1 January 2016. On 7 March 2016, the Player publicly announced her unintentional Anti-Doping Rule (ADR) violation (by ingesting “Mildronate”) through a press conference. The Independent Tribunal (the Tribunal) appointed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) imposed a two-year ineligibility period on the Athlete. In appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced her sanction to fifteen months. Beyond the publicized character of the case due to the Athlete’s reputation, the CAS award offers interesting findings on the application of the 2015 WADA Code, in particular regarding the degree of fault, the issue of delegation of anti-doping obligations to third parties and the length of the sanction.

Keywords: Court of Arbitration for Sport; sports arbitration; tennis; doping; strict liability; WADA Code; 2015 WADA Code; CAS Award; degree of fault; delegation; length of the sanction; CAS Code; CAS full power of review; applicable law; prohibited list; CAS jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Mavromati, Despina, Application of the 2015 WADA Code through the Example of a recent CAS Award (Sharapova v. ITF) (October 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Despina Mavromati (Contact Author)

BianchiSchwald LLC/ Université de Lausanne ( email )

12, Avenue des Toises
Lausanne, CH-1002

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