Wales wait on Euro verdict

Last updated at 07:51 13 May 2004

Wales expect to find out this morning whether their attempt win a late entry to Euro 2004 has been successful.

Manager Mark Hughes and an eight-strong party of lawyers, medical experts and FA of Wales officials, returned from Lausanne yesterday not knowing the verdict of the the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the independent body which heard their appeal to have Russia thrown out of the championships because of Igor Titov's failed drugs test.

The first two hours of yesterday's hearing were taken up by UEFA's claim that the court did not have the jurisdiction to handle the case.

The hearing continued, however, but the verdict has been reserved until today when it will be released on the CAS website.

Unexpected twist

The FAW delegation were expecting UEFA, whose tournament starts in a month, to take the stance they did but did not expect the legal deliberations to take so long.

FAW secretary general David Collins said: "It is a complex case and the judges need to give it full deliberation.

"We had a very detailed hearing with some tough questions asked from both sides, and the verdict will be delivered on Thursday morning.

"Jurisdiction is a huge hurdle. We always understood that UEFA could challenge that and in their written statements that is the very first point - to challenge CAS."

Hughes said: "It is disappointing. I would rather have known yes or no. The first two hours were spent on the issue of jurisdiction. After that the court did hear our appeal and we fought a good case and gave it everything we had.

"But there was no indication of what the outcome will be, they obviously first have to decide whether they have the power to hear the case after UEFA's approach to the court.

"If they do rule they have the right to hear the case, then they will make a judgement on what we have said to them. We feel we had a good hearing and it has been worth all the money to make our point over drugs."

Disgraced player

The Welsh complaint concerns Titov, who tested positive for bromantan after the first leg of their play-off against Russia. The midfielder was an unused substitute for that match but played in the second leg four days later.

Collins added: "If CAS ultimately finds in our favour, this will have a huge impact on football.

"I would forecast that every national association in the world, including UEFA and FIFA, will have to rewrite its doping regulations."

The CAS panel consists of UEFA-nominated Italian judge Massimo Coccia, Welsh choice Peter Leaver QC - a former chief executive of the Premier League - while Dr Michael Geistlinger, an Austrian, is chairman of the panel.

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