The Pechstein Case: International Sports Arbitration Versus Competition Law. How the German Federal Supreme Court Set Standards for Arbitration

21 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018

See all articles by Rupprecht Podszun

Rupprecht Podszun

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Faculty of Law; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Date Written: September 6, 2018

Abstract

The German Federal Supreme Court in 2016 decided a case brought by athlete Claudia Pechstein against the International Skating Union on a doping matter. The question at issue was whether the arbitration clause in the athlete’s contract for participating in the World Championships, entered into with the only ice skating association, was actually amounting to an illegal abuse of dominance under competition law. A lower court had – sensationally – held that the underlying arbitration clause was a violation of competition law. The Federal Supreme Court, however, upheld the doping ban handed down by the sports institutions. Yet, in this interesting opinion the Federal Supreme Court sets standards for international arbitration.

This paper is a comment on this decision. In the first part of the paper, I set out what was at stake in the Pechstein case. In part II, I turn to the results for individual athletes vis-à-vis their sports associations. In part III, I try to define the standards set by the Court for arbitration. In part IV, I look at the antitrust angle of the case. In the concluding part (V), I sketch the importance of the decision for international arbitration.

Keywords: Pechstein Case, sports arbitration, abuse of dominance, CAS

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Podszun, Rupprecht, The Pechstein Case: International Sports Arbitration Versus Competition Law. How the German Federal Supreme Court Set Standards for Arbitration (September 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3246922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3246922

Rupprecht Podszun (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Faculty of Law

Universitätsstr. 1
Düsseldorf, D-40225
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de/de/pub/wissenschaftler/wissenschaftliche_mitarbeiter/rupprecht_podszun.cfm

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