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Pechstein v. International Skating Union

Federal Court of Justice of Germany
Case KZR 6/15 (2016)


Claudia Pechstein (plaintiff) was an elite German speed skater. In order to compete in international competitions, Pechstein was required to comply with the International Skating Union’s (the union) (defendant) anti-doping regulations. Pechstein also signed an arbitration agreement that provided that any disputes would be brought before a court of arbitration and that the jurisdiction of ordinary courts of law would not apply. Pechstein submitted to a drug test, which indicated that she had violated the union’s anti-doping regulations. Pechstein was thus suspended from competition. Pechstein appealed to the court of arbitration, which dismissed her appeal. Pechstein then brought a complaint to German court, claiming that her ban was unlawful and ordering the union to pay her damages. The lower court ruled that the arbitration agreement was invalid, that the court of arbitration lacked sufficient justification, and that the court of arbitration’s market power created a presumption of abuse under German antitrust law. The issue was appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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