Athlete v National Sporting Organisation
The Applicant is an athlete and member of the Respondent, a National Sporting Organisation (NSO). The matter was a dispute in relation to the non-selection of the Applicant to compete in upcoming International events. The Applicant submitted that the Respondent had erred in it’s application of the NSO’s Selection Policy, indicating that all relevant criteria had been met. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction was engaged by the Respondent’s Selection Policy and through written agreement of the parties to refer the matter to the NST for arbitration. The matter proceeded in the General Division of the NST before a sole arbitrator.
The Tribunal Member considered submissions from the parties regarding the facts and the application of the Respondent’s International events selection criteria, which included an Athlete Agreement and the Selection Policy. The International events selection criteria outlined all requirements athletes must meet in order to be invited to join and remain part of the Respondent’s National team. Ultimately, the dispute between the Parties was in relation to whether the Applicant had met the conditions as set out in these documents, and in particular the condition to commit to and attend National Team training camps.
The Applicant had been provided information in relation to meeting these requirements by the Respondent on numerous occasions. In accepting the invitation extended by the Respondent to join the National Team, and by signing the Athlete Agreement, the Applicant agreed to meet all requirements expected of athletes unless there were extenuating circumstances to consider. The Applicant did not meet the requirements and despite heavily conversing with the Respondent, did not submit any consideration for extenuating circumstances to explain failure in meeting the requirements. Notwithstanding this, the Applicant was provided further opportunity to join the Respondent’s National team due to an athlete cancellation. However, every deadline and extended deadline provided to the Applicant to accept further offers lapsed.
Given the urgent nature of the matter, a verbal decision was provided on 2 February 2023 and the written reasons followed on 9 February 2023. The NST Member found that the Respondent did not err in determining that the Applicant had not met the relevant criteria of the Selection Policy and the application was dismissed.