The ISU notes with surprise and disappointment today’s decision by the European Commission to open antitrust proceedings against the ISU’s rules on eligibility.
As the ISU explained in detail to the Commission, these rules are inherent and proportionate to the integrity of Skating. This is particularly important when betting is involved, as in the case at hand. The rules are also crucial for ensuring that skaters’ health and safety are not compromised by unauthorized skating events, a particular concern in speed skating. These legitimate concerns – and not commercial considerations – have always been at the heart of the ISU’s eligibility rules.
The ISU had co-operated fully with the Commission on this matter and will continue to do so. The ISU is now considering its legal options. In any event, the ISU notes that the opening of proceedings does not imply any wrongdoing on behalf of the ISU and is without prejudice to the outcome of the case. The ISU is confident that its rules comply with EU competition law and are necessary to protect skaters from the grave risks posed by corruption in sport.