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EU: Commission goes after speedskating union for alleged power abuse

 |  October 5, 2015

The European Union has waded into a dispute between two Dutch Olympic speed skaters and their sport’s governing body, which has threatened them with lifetime bans if they take part in unauthorized events.

Mark Tuitert and Niels Kerstholt complained to the EU’s executive Commission last year about the threat by the International Skating Union (ISU) to bar athletes who compete in big-money Ice Derby events run by a South Korean firm.

The Commission said it launched an investigation on Monday into whether the union is breaking EU rules on free competition by preventing skaters from taking part in the Winter Olympics and the ISU World and European Championships if they enter non-ISU events.

“Great news. Thank you for listening to the voice of so many Athletes in this matter,” tweeted Tuitert, the 2010 Olympic 1500m champion.

It is not the first time the EU has intervened over restrictions imposed on athletes. In 1995, the European Court of Justice effectively rewrote the rules on soccer transfers, handing much more power to players, in a landmark case involving Belgian midfielder Jean-Marc Bosman.

Full content: New Europe

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