Sports Arbitration: Federal Supreme Court Finds Against Pechstein, Upholds CAS Arbitration Agreement

220px-Claudia_Pechstein_2008The revolution in sports arbitration has been called off, at least for now: Today, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) reversed the much discussed judgment of the Munich Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) in the case of Claudia Pechstein. Pechstein, the speed skater and five-time Olympic gold medalist, had sued the governing body of her sport, the International Skating Union (ISU) for damages suffered as a result of a doping ban Pechstein believes to be unlawful.The Federal Supreme Court ruled that the action was inadmissible in light of the arbitration agreement between the athlete and the ISU. Continue reading

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Sports Arbitration: On Air Down Under on Aussie Rules Football before the CAS

essendonLast week, I had the honour of being interviewed by Tracey Holmes for her sports programme The Ticket on Australia’s ABC Radio which was aired on Sunday. Tracey put together a  special ‘Court of Arbitration for Sport 101′ edition in the wake of the announcement that the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) will appeal an Australian case  – which has its own Wikipedia page  – against 34 past and present players of Essendon Football Club, nicknamed The Bombers, an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). Continue reading

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Sports Arbitration: Update on the Wilhelmshaven Case

SV WilhelmshavenIn February 2015, I wrote about the Wilhelmshaven case: The Bremen Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) had found in favour of SV Wilhelmshaven, a northern German amateur football club, in its dispute with FIFA and the German Football Association, DFB. I looked at the case primarily from an arbitration perspective – I viewed it as a variation of the theme in the Pechstein case: Yet another matter where the state courts criticize the system of, or rather, the design of sports arbitration. In his blog, Jan F. Orth has published a preview of a forthcoming case* note that defends sports arbitration as we know it, and predicts that the Bremen judgment will not stand the scrutiny of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof). Continue reading

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Sports Arbitration – Bremen Court of Appeals Grants Access to Courts, Finds FIFA Compensation Rules Illegal

The Pechstein decision of the Munich Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) of January 15, 2015 has made headlines. The Munich court refused to recognize an arbitral award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), since it held the underlying arbitration agreement between Claudia Pechstein, the speed skater, and her sport’s governing body to be invalid. Just two weeks earlier, another German Court of Appeals also had held a CAS award to be unenforceable. The Bremen Court of Appeals on December 30, 2014 found in favour of SV Wilhelmshaven, a northern German amateur football club, in its dispute with FIFA and the German Football Association, DFB. Continue reading

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