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Ryan Taylor v New Zealand Olympic Committee


Appeal by shooter (T) against his non-selection by NZOC for London Olympic Games – quota place had been won for Olympics in women’s air rifle but no shooters in that category achieved qualifying standards – NZ Shooting Federation (NZSF) requested NZOC agree to reallocation of quota to Men’s 50m Prone Rifle and nominated T for Olympic selection in that event – NZOC decided T did not satisfy selection criteria (capability of top 16 in world in Olympic context and prospect of top 8 finish at Games) and did not agree to quota reallocation – quota reallocated to Women’s Trap by International Federation and shooter R selected – after T’s appeal filed, NZOC received corrections to some data it had been supplied with from NZSF and further information concerning T and competitors – NZOC subsequently reconsidered and revoked its original decision by a further decision deciding T had satisfied section criteria for Olympics – NZOC terminated R’s selection and selected T instead – NZOC therefore supported T’s position on appeal that he should be selected – R as interested party challenged whether Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear appeal, whether NZOC could reconsider its decision in relation to T and if Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear appeal, submitted Tribunal should exercise a discretion not to determine appeal. Tribunal held it had jurisdiction to determine appeal – Tribunal held original decision of NZOC was also a selection decision as well as a reallocation decision – T’s appeal was a selection appeal under NZOC/NZSF agreement and he had a right of appeal – Tribunal rejected arguments that T failed to comply with some procedural aspects under agreement meant the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction – Tribunal held NZOC selectors were acting within their powers when making decision to select T and terminate R’s selection – Clause 7.6 of NZOC/NZSF agreement allows selectors to terminate selection of an athlete and select another athlete in that athlete’s place – Tribunal also noted that if positions of T and R were to be considered together on basis that both satisfied selection criteria, T had precedence under quota reallocation in that he was in Priority 2 (quota to remain within discipline) and R in Priority 3 (quota to stay within sport) – NZOC’s decision could not be impugned – Tribunal expressed sympathy for R but it is required to determine appeal in accordance with the provisions of the agreement – Tribunal had doubts that it had a discretion to not hear and decide the appeal but even if it had such a discretion, this was not an appropriate case to exercise it – Appeal upheld.

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