Court of Arbitration of Sport Decision on 2012 Paralympic Games
Published on June 12th, 2013
When the forecast on the final day of the 2012 Paralympic Sailing Regatta in Weymouth, UK on September 6th offered little chance for suitable winds, the lack of breeze in Portland Harbour ultimately scuppered racing for the day. However, a lack of racing did not stop the race scores from changing.
An overnight protest occurred in the Three-Person Keelboat event, where the Norwegian team moved up to the bronze medal after a measurement protest against the British team was upheld, dropping them from third to fifth.
The protest dealt with an incident wherein the British team was granted permission to haul their Sonar for keel repairs, but their repairs were found to have gone beyond the limited provisions that were granted. The jury’s discretionary scoring penalty to the team was 30% of boats, i.e. 4 points in race 7, the race closest in time to the incident.
Shortly after the Paralympic Games, the British Paralympic Association (BPA) submitted an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) regarding the jury’s decision. A hearing ultimately took place in London in April, and CAS has now reached a decision which was communicated to all parties on June 11, 2013.
The Sole Arbitrator concluded that the International Jury’s decisions were related to technical rules as constituted in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) handbook and that CAS does not have jurisdiction. Therefore the decisions of the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) on September 5 and 6 stand.
“IFDS is very pleased with the outcome of this hearing at which CAS confirmed the decisions of the International Race Officials,” commented IFDS President, John Twomey. “IFDS agrees with the arbitrator that medals should be won or lost on the water. It is regrettable that the actions of members of Team GBR led to the protest and penalty against the British Sonar team. I am glad that we can now draw a line under this matter and look back on the Paralympic Sailing Competition for the amazing spectacle that it was.”