EU Athletes is pleased with today’s decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered in Case C-124/21 P International Skating Union v Commission which dismisses the appeal filed by the ISU and upholds the cross-appeal from Mark Tuitert, Niels Kerstholt and EU Athletes.
The Court of Justice affirmed that the eligibility rules of the International Skating Union (ISU), granting its authority to approve international skating events and penalise athletes participating in unauthorised competitions, violate EU law. Such regulations provide the ISU with an unfair advantage over its competitors and result in adverse outcomes for athletes.
Importantly, the Court of Justice maintains that the Commission was accurate in challenging the arbitration rules that limit skaters’ access to court proceedings.
This case holds immense significance for every athlete and player as central to its essence lies athletes’ rights to engage in competition and leverage their commercial opportunities. It also addresses athletes’ access to justice and their entitlement to protection under EU laws as citizens and workers.
EU Athletes has been supporting Dutch speed skaters Mark Tuitert and Niels Kerstholt since their initial complaint in 2014, through the #ChanceToCompete campaign and as the interveners throughout the procedure. We extend our congratulations to Mark and Niels for embarking on this challenging journey and for making an immense contribution to enhancing the situation of athletes.
We would like to express gratitude to the legal experts: Ben van Rompuy and Antoine Duval as well as to Bas Braeken, Jade Versteeg and Timo Hieselaar from Bureau Brandeis.
Natalia Orive, the President of EU Athletes, said: “I am proud of our involvement in this landmark case as it contributes to EU Athletes mission of protecting and advancing the rights and interests of the players. It is important to reiterate that the sport organisations cannot abuse their position at the expense of athletes.”
Paulina Tomczyk, the General Secretary of EU Athletes, added: “Today’s decision is a great win for Mark and Niels, but also for the player association movement that has been actively supporting their fight for almost a decade. I believe it is a step in the right direction to ensure good governance and respect of athlete’s rights in sport.”
The educational videos in English, Danish, French, Italian and Spanish were designed as a part of the Erasmus+ project PROtect Integrity Online co-funded by the European Union. The videos incorporate the key messages from the previously revised Code of Conduct for Athletes and aim to educate the athletes as well as the broader sporting community on fighting against match fixing and corruption in sport.
The educational videos were created for eight player associations participating in the project and EU Athletes:
AJFS (men’s futsal, Spain):
AJFSF (women’s futsal, Spain):
RPI (Rugby, Ireland):
HSF (Handball, Denmark):
GIBA (Basketball, Italy):
AIP (Volleyball, Italy):
SNB (Basketball, France):
AJPH (Handball, France):
In the light of the unacceptable behaviour of Luis Rubiales, the President of RFEF (Spanish Football Federation), during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, as well as the subsequent events, EU Athletes strongly condemns such act as inappropriate, damaging to the values of sport and contrary to the rights and dignity of athletes.
EU Athletes is committed to the principles of good governance and the ongoing fight for gender equity in sport and beyond. We express our support to Jennifer Hermoso and other Spanish national team players and are glad to see the solidarity from the players and other sport stakeholders.
We believe that in order to eradicate such behaviours from sport and wider society it is essential to make sure that they do not go unpunished. Not only Mr Rubiales, but all sport officials responsible for or involved in attempts to disregard the incident, silence, coerce or blame the player should face appropriate consequences.
Contact: Paulina Tomczyk, General Secretary email@example.com
As a part of the Erasmus+ PROtect Integrity Online project, the new version of the Code of Conduct for Athletes was developed in cooperation with the project partners.
Two versions of the Code of Conduct were produced: a leaflet and a poster. The poster focuses on 5 key messages to educate players on fighting against match fixing and corruption in sport, while the leaflet includes short description in addition to the messages. The text has been reviewed to keep the messages clear, grab attention, and call to action. These materials will support the implementation of integrity education organised by the player associations involved in the project and will be used both online and during in-person team visits.
For instance, Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) has already started implementing anti-manipulation education to players with the help of the Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct is available in five languages and can be downloaded here.
The project researcher Pim Verschuuren from the University of Rennes 2 completed the Report on Mapping and Recommendations for Developing Education Materials. The report includes a review of existing education practices, literature review on integrity education, analysis on the anti-doping educational framework, and recommendations for the design, implementation and evaluation of education strategies.
The findings of the report have been considered during the update of the Code of Conduct and will continue to guide the development of education materials and the implementation of the education in the following months.
The Report on Mapping and Recommendations for Developing Education Materials is available here.
On the 7th of June 2023, all 10 partners of PROtect Integrity Online Erasmus Plus project gathered at Italian Basketball Players Association (GIBA) office in Bologna, Italy. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare to the key phase of the project: implementation of integrity education to professional athletes from 5 countries and 5 major team sports, covering more than 3 000 athletes every year.
The project focused on development and finalisation of deliverables which will be essential to the delivery of education: the report which will offer revue of the status quo when it comes to integrity education and provide recommendations for developing education programmes, Code of Conduct for Athletes in 5 different language versions, as well as supporting materials such as posters, leaflets and educational videos.
8 player associations will start the team visits this summer, making an important contribution to fighting against the match fixing and protecting the integrity of sport.