IAAF Considers Court of Arbitration
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ Track’s world body may send all future disputes to an independent arbitration panel to try to cut costs and regain credibility
The ruling council for the International Amateur Athletic Federation spoke with Matthew Reeb, secretary of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, to learn how the independent court functions, and discuss costs and other issues.
``It’s something we are thinking over very carefully,″ IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai said Tuesday. ``Mr. Reeb’s presentation was received very favorably. He understood the concerns of the IAAF.
``Now it’s a question of basic rules and the constitution needs to be changed. That would need a two-thirds majority by the IAAF Congress to make any changes.″
The next congress meeting will be in July before the world championships at Edmonton, Alberta.
The IAAF has been criticized for its arbitration procedures. While it sends cases to an arbitration panel of independent experts, these experts are voted in by the IAAF Congress.
The IAAF is one of few sports federations that do not use the CAS.
``Sometimes critics say the arbitration decisions are unfair and are made by the IAAF, when they’re not,″ IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reineri said. ``They are independent members, who are only elected by the IAAF Congress.
``However, if we use CAS, no one can say anything. It will be completely independent, no ties.″
The IAAF also is convinced that using CAS would lower the high costs of arbitration.
Presently, for each case, the IAAF pays for three arbitration experts to travel to Monte Carlo and cover the expenses incurred by the arbitration case and the cost of hiring their own lawyers.
Gyulai said the IAAF has spent $600,000 this year on arbitration costs. The budget was $250,000.
``We don’t know exactly how much using CAS would save us ... but it would save something,″ he said.
Complicating matters is the fact that some members on the current arbitration panel have been voted in until 2003. The council had been mandated by the Congress in 1999 to explore the possibility of using CAS, Reineri said.
Meanwhile, the council sent two drug cases to the anti-doping commission.
It sent to arbitration the case of 19-year-old javelin thrower Carolin Soboll, who tested positive for nandrolone after taking a creatine product made in the United States that was tainted with steroids.
The other case involved Romanian triple jumper Rodica Mateescu, the runner-up at the 1997 World Championships, who tested positive for steroids.
The council did not review a detailed dossier from USA Track & Field.
The Council was expected to examine the case, which erupted at the Sydney Games, where USATF came under attack by both the International Olympic Committee and IAAF for suppressing details of at least 10 positive drug tests, including three for the same steroid allegedly used by shot putter C.J. Hunter.
Arne Ljungqvist, chief of the IAAF’s medical commission, accused USATF of concealing up to 15 positive cases in the past two years.
On Tuesday, Ljungqvist said the doping commission had received the documents but had yet to finish examining them.