Another legal debacle
Eyes glass over when references of sailing and law are in the same story. Thank you, America’s Cup. Since October 2007, U.S. Olympic sailing became another legal exercise following the selection trials for the RS:X women’s boardsailing event. You say, who cares, the Olympics are over. Agreed, but sometimes when the train leaves the station, she goes all the way, as demonstrated by the recent decision of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
There is no swift way to describe the originl, but here is an attempt: At the RS:X Trials, there was a redress hearing for an incident during the final race that involved Nancy Rios. The preliminary results showed that Farrah Hall had won, but once the redress hearing was resolved, Nancy Rios had the lowest point total. Following the Protest Committee’s redress decision, Hall could submit a redress protest if she felt their decision was improper. She did not, but then the next day, well after the time limit, she tried, but her request for a time extension was denied.
Hall’s team of advisors and lawyers proceeded to pursue every option to help her get to the Olympics, but ultimately it was determined that all the protest procedures in place were sufficiently followed, and the decisions made by the Protest Committee were confirmed. The only caveat now is how the USOC does not approve of the procedures as stated in the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), and wants US SAILING to revise them to be consistent with other amateur athlete laws.
Are the procedures problematic? Not according to US President Jim Capron. “We believe that the rules for protests and redress hearings are compliant, and think the USOC hearing panel applied a standard that is inapplicable to field of play decisions.” US SAILING has until July 1, 2009 to demonstrate how it intends to fix the rules, and until September 1, 2009 to implement satisfactory corrections.
USOC decision: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/09/0222
Farrah Hall’s statement: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/09/0223a
US SAILING statement: http://linkbee.com/F7QX
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