Selection of athletes and appeals
Athletes are becoming increasingly aware of their right, in most cases, to appeal to an external body (usually Sport Resolutions) against their non-selection. It is not surprising that athletes exercise this right where the selection has been by fine margins, particularly where an Olympic or Paralympic place is at issue and a lifetime’s dreams rest on it.
To be successful the athlete must show, in essence, that the selection decision was not in accordance with the published selection policy; that the policy has been misapplied; or that there is evidence of bias or perversity. National governing bodies of sport (“NGB”s) should be careful, therefore, to ensure that their selection policy complies with best practice, is up to date, appropriate for the particular selection decision to be made, and that it is applied - to the letter.
We are able to advise NGBs to ensure compliance with this process and have acted in a number of challenges including the high profile selection appeal involving Aaron Cook and GB Taekwondo before the 2012 Olympic Games. The Littleton Sports Law Group has also produced a short video of a discussion between Edward Wheen and John Mehrzad (Littleton Chambers) about the applicable principles. For a more detailed article on this subject, originally published in the World Sports Law Report, please click here.
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