We rerun here a piece that followed the AAA Landis Decision, which remains completely apropos.
THE LANDIS DECISION EXPLAINED
William F. Hue*
By request, a PDF version of this article has been placed in the archive.
The public presumes that judicial bodies will fairly and impartially administer justice. Those responsible for the promulgation of anti-doping disciplinary procedures in sport were aware of that perception when they created their adjudicative system. Arbitration Panels in anti-doping disciplinary matters serve a single master, the WADA Code. The Code’s single goal is to rid international sport of dopers. The arbitration procedure is an important component of the WADA anti-doping mission because the Code seeks legitimacy by granting authority to review prosecutions to an “independent” arbitration panel. However, disciplinary panels under the Code are not “independent”. They do not exist to administer justice or to determine truth. Rather, the Panels exist to affirm the requirements of the Code, as mandated by the Code’s own provisions. The Code expects much from the panel to which it vests this important role. Each of the three members of the Arbitration Panel in the Floyd Landis case fulfilled specific mandates. The 2-1 award was a textbook result, virtually predestined by the system itself. Because Landis took advantage of a unique clause in the USADA Code to open the process to the public, a clause many WADA members propose to close in the future, the process has been exposed for what it truly is; a rubber stamp endorsement of the anti-doping movement. As an adjudicative body, the Arbitration Panel simply serves the master. In the Landis Case, the master mandated a 2 to 1 Award in favor of USADA. This article takes a critical look at the process compelling the result.