Lizanne Wilmot v AusCycling
The Applicant is a dual citizen of Australia and Canada and an Australian Resident but retains Canadian Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Identification (ID) status. This dispute related to her eligibility to compete at the Australian National Track Championships as a member of a State Team. The Respondent, as the governing body of the sport of Cycling in Australia, determined that the Applicant was not eligible to race as a member of an Australian State team, but rather she would be required to compete as an international rider given her Canadian UCI ID status. The Applicant challenged this decision based on her reading of the relevant rules and advice she had received from the Respondent.
The NST member considered the Parties’ submissions and the various rules and gave an expert opinion. The NST Member’s opinion was that, as long as the Applicant had a UCI ID with a country designation of Canada, she would remain an international competitor under the UCI Regulations and the relevant AusCycling Technical Regulations, regardless of her dual citizenship and residency. The NST member further explained that the Applicant would remain so ineligible in following years unless she changed her UCI ID.
In giving this opinion, the NST member noted that the Respondent should review its approach to managing athletes’ requests for information, particularly if that request for information has implications for the athlete in respect of eligibility to compete. The NST member recommended that any changes made to Regulations by the Respondent should be well publicised and communicated to minimise any ambiguity and adverse impact on athletes moving forward.