The details of how Lizzie Deignan won her appeal to the Court of Arbitration and so was able to compete in the Rio Olympic road race for Great Britain remain unexplained because the full reasoned decision has still to be published, the Daily Mail has revealed.
According to a report in the British tabloid newspaper by Matt Lawton – who first revealed news of the case last summer, sources have said 'Deignan's camp' has blocked the release of the full verdict.
Under CAS rules, all parties involved in an appeal hearing have to give their permission to publish the full reasoned decision that gives details on the legal and juristic aspects of every case and the reasons why a final verdict was reached.
Deignan was provisionally suspended by UK Anti-Doping on June 9 last year after a third whereabouts failure in 12 months was declared. She faced a two-year ban for but fought to ride in the Olympic road race and won her appeal to CAS, who ruled that the first missed test doping occurred after the control officer did not try hard enough to make contact with Deignan at her hotel in Sweden on August 20, 2015.
Deignan and her legal team claimed during the CAS hearing that the doping officer could have done more to make contact after the hotel receptionist refused to reveal her room number and because her mobile phone was switched to silent mode. CAS ruled in her favour, allowing Deignan to compete in Rio and highlighting the need for better procedures for doping control officers.
UKAD and CAS supportive of publication
The Daily Mail claims that UKAD and CAS were supportive of publication of the reasoned decision. It is understood UKAD and the wider anti-doping community would like to use the details in the report to bolster its way of working because the doping control officer was deemed not to have tried hard enough to contact Deignan.
The Daily Mail reports sources who claim it is the Deignan camp who have blocked its release even though any personal information that Deignan does not want published can be redacted. The British newspaper states that it contacted Deignan’s agent for comment on Thursday but had not received a response at the time of going to press.
Deignan's presence in Rio after the CAS verdict angered some of her rivals who argued she had 'no excuse' for the missed tests. Deignan finished fifth behind gold medallist Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands.
She admitted she felt devastated by the case but has since fought back and continued to ride successfully with the Boels Doleman's team.
"People will think I'm a cheat for the rest of my life and that's because of not ticking a box on a form, and I don't mean to make it sound trivial – it's not – it's a fight we all have to take responsibility for and as world champion I should take it higher than anyone else. But something happened to me and my family that I couldn't control and that's more important to me than cycling," Deignan told the BBC before the Olympic road race, referring to one of the reasons for the missed test.