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Inappropriate Tweets & The 'Duty Of Curiosity': Why The Swiss Federal Tribunal Ordered The Sun Yang Case Be Reheard

Inappropriate Tweets & The 'Duty Of Curiosity': Why The Swiss Federal Tribunal Ordered The Sun Yang Case Be Reheard
Friday, 19 March 2021 By Despina Mavromati

Chinese elite swimmer Sun Yang (the Athlete) has managed to occupy the headlines of international sports arbitration in recent years.  After public hearing at the Court of Arbitration For Sport (CAS), which included several motions filed with the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT)[1] during the CAS proceedings itself, the SFT’s most recent judgment constitutes the first in the CAS history where the SFT annulled a CAS award for bias of its Panel Chair, Mr. Franco Fratini. The CAS Award had imposed an eight-year ban on the Chinese swimmer Sun Yang due to an anti-doping rule violation.  Now the case will be reheard.

This article examines the SFT’s decision and its implications, looking at:

  • The Athlete’s requests to the SFT;
  • Whether the Athlete should have raised concerns earlier (the “duty of curiosity”);
  • How the impartiality of an arbitrator is assessed;

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About the Author

Despina Mavromati

Despina Mavromati

Dr. Despina Mavromati, LL.M., is an attorney (Bar of Thessaloniki / Ordre des Avocats Vaudois) practicing in the field of international sports law and arbitration. She is the founder of a Lausanne-based practice (SportLegis Lausanne) and represents athletes, clubs, and sports federations in all aspects of arbitration, trials, and drafting policies.

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