Pechstein V. International Skating Union
Court Of Arbitration For Sport At The Target
A decision of the Oberlandesgericht München (OLG), dated January 15, 2015, created a lot of controversy on the reliability and enforceability of awards rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in particular by opening the institutional structure of the CAS up for discussion. In the dispute between the German speed skater Claudia Pechstein and the International Skating Union (ISU), the OLG decided that the arbitration agreement between the parties was null and void and therefore the award of the CAS Panel, which relied its jurisdiction on this arbitration agreement, did not have res judicata effect before German courts.1 This decision was appealed by the ISU to the German Supreme Court (Bundesgerichthof) and the latter still has not rendered its decision. If the Bundesgerichthof upholds the decision of the OLG, this could give rise to important structural reforms in the CAS. This article analyzes the findings of the OLG and lays down possible interpretations of the case from the perspective of the European Union competition law.
Keywords: Court of Arbitration for Sport, Pechstein, res judicata, institutional structure.