Exclusive: EU regulators set to rule against ISU over speed skating ban threat – sources


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators are set to rule against the International Skating Union (ISU) in the coming weeks over its threat to slap lifetime bans on speed skaters for taking part in unauthorized events, two people familiar with the matter said.

Mark Tuitert of the Netherlands starts as he competes in the men’s 1,500 metres speed skating race during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Issei Kato

The move could impact other sports with similar penalties, potentially making it as important a milestone as the landmark 1995 court ruling involving Belgian soccer player Jean-Marc Bosman, which paved the way for the free movement of players in the EU.

The European Commission’s ruling is expected by the end of this month or early December and will likely order the ISU to modify its sanctions, the people said. It may include a fine.

Skating’s governing body found itself in the EU competition enforcer’s crosshairs two years ago after Dutch Olympic speed skaters Mark Tuitert and Niels Kerstholt took their grievances to the EU competition authority.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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