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White & Case Helps Athletes Resolve Legal Disputes at Sochi Olympics


White & Case is attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi to help athletes resolve any legal disputes which may arise during the games. 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) opened a temporary office in Sochi where three cases brought by athletes who challenged their exclusion from particular events under the games' quota allocations system have already been resolved.

White & Case lawyers represented Austrian skier Daniela Bauer in the first case on a pro bono basis. Bauer claimed that she had met the qualification requirements and that a quota place had been promised to her.

A panel chaired by Patrick Lafranchi of Switzerland, sitting with Canada's Robert Decary QC and Matthew Mitten of the US, dismissed the application last week and found that the respondents had not discriminated against Bauer and that the federation had a legitimate sports performance justification for not recommending her nomination.

However, the White & Case team was able to prove that Austria does not have a clear criteria for the selection of athletes to qualify to take part in the Olympics. The panel has subsequently recommended that the Austrian National Olympic committee change its rules to avoid any ambiguities in the future.

White & Case Moscow-based Associates Anton Vasin, Alan Bayramkulov and Daria Vasilieva are on the ground in Sochi and, with the support from Counsel Pavel Boulatov in Moscow, are providing pro bono advice to athletes bringing claims before the CAS ad hoc division.