Wales and Great Britain 400-metre hurdler Rhys Williams is able to return to competition with immediate effect, following the decision of the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) on 12th January 2015, after a hearing in December 2014. Rhys tested positive in July 2014 for a prohibited substance contained in a contaminated supplement, and was subject to interim suspension pending the NADP hearing.
Under the rules applicable at the time of Rhys’ positive test the likely sanction was between one and two years on the basis of a finding that Rhys had acted with “no significant fault or negligence”. However, Rhys’ legal team of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and Adam Lewis QC was able to secure him a significantly reduced suspension of four months on the basis of their submission that a change in the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) effective from 1 January 2015 should apply in Rhys’ case to a NADP decision after that date, even though the positive test arose under the old rules. Under the new WADC, tribunals have a wider discretion upon a finding of no significant fault or negligence in contaminated supplement cases. This enables Rhys to return to competition in time for the trials for the IAAF World Championships which are due to take place in Beijing this summer, when he would not otherwise have been able to do so.
The final decision can be read in the attached document.