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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Disputes involving Olympic athletes can arise from a wide range of decisions made by a host of entities. A disputed decision may involve the eligibility of an athlete, employment of coaches and staff, organizational governance, doping, and commercial contracts. Three disputes involving athletes and the modern Olympic games show how arbitration has come to play a central role in resolving contested decisions of sporting associations. First, the case of sprinter Harry Reynolds illustrates the limitations of using national courts to challenge doping-related sanctions. Second, the eligibility struggles of Oscar Pistorius demonstrate how athletes and national sporting associations can benefit from arbitration’s efficiency. Finally, the case of Claudia Pechstein offers a recent example showing the deference given arbitration by national courts, for better or worse.

Keywords: arbitration, dispute resolution, binding arbitration, litigation, Court of Arbitration for Sport, International Olympic Committee, Olympic Movement

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