Sports Arbitration: German Arbitration Journal – Notes on the Pechstein Case

von Peter Bert

In this blog, we have dealt with sports arbitration in general, and the Munich Pechstein case in particular, on several occasions. This week, the most recent issue of the German Arbitration Journal (Zeitschrift für Schiedsverfahren) landed on my desk. It has two articles discussing the Pechstein case, which you might find of interest.

Christian Duve and Karl Ömer Rösch take a somewhat critical view of the decision of the Munich Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht). They argue that, as part of a public policy (ordre public) analysis, the anti-trust law could have been into account, however, in their view, the public policy would not have been violated. In a second article, Peter Heermann also discusses the Munich decision. In addition, he looks into the future, discussing the German draft anti doping legislation, that addresses sports arbitration. Here are the English language abstracts for the respective articles:

Christian Duve and Karl Ömer Rösch: Ist das deutsche Kartellrecht mehr wert als alle Olympiasiege?, SchiedsVZ 2015, 69

“In a recent decision the Higher Regional Court of Munich held that the arbitration agreement between professional speed-skater Claudia Pechstein and the International Skating Union was void. The Court held that the Skating Union had abused its market power by requiring the athlete to consent to the arbitration agreement, since the presiding tribunal had been constituted by a monopoly of sports associations. It thereby raised the question whether arbitration agreements in sports constitute a breach of anti-trust law.

This paper presents the different views of the Regional and Higher Regional Courts of Munich on the validity of arbitration agreements in sports (I.). Subsequently, the authors will explain why German anti-trust law could only have been taken into account in the context of an ordre public review. However, the ordre public would not have been violated (II.) ...

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