Regarding the suspensions and sanctions by the world association United World Wrestling (UWW) against wrestlers of the German Wrestling League (GWL) and its federations, the GWL states:
The current suspensions and sanctions are just an obvious try to sabotage the finals of the German Wrestling League. The world association had already threatened suspensions at the start of the GWL to stop athletes from stepping onto the mats. The UWW lost the case in all aspects at court and it will be the same now!
The clear decision by the EU Commission against the International Skating Union (ISU) showed that we are 100% on the right side with our legal position. In this instance the commission had announced severe penalties against the ISU if they would not retract their sanctions against two Dutch athletes who participated in competitions which were not sanctioned by the ISU.
This shows that we are not a wild or illegal league. We are a legitimate organised professional league, initiated by various top clubs to represent the wrestling sport as it deserves.
And the results of the German Wrestling League after the premiere season speak for itself. World class athletes, a united front to the public, live broadcasts of almost all fights, league encompassing public relations and most of all: once again a firm space for the wrestling sport on TV .
We will of course go to court to challenge the decision by the UWW and to claim our right and that of the athletes. To this end our lawyers have already sent a letter to the Federation of GWL Wrestlers to inform them of the unlawfulness of suspensions. We will of course also look into any possible damages this has caused the German Wrestling League to claim compensation and finally we will now initiate legal processes against the German Wrestling Association and United World Wrestling to achieve permanent legal certainty for athletes.
It would be desirable that all involved within the UWW and the GWL will finally come to their senses and acknowledge the straight cut legal status.
This will only benefit the sport of wrestling.
English Text version of the lawyer letter addressed to the UWW, which was also shared with the affected federations:
Please be advised that we are representing the German Wrestling League (GWL), its member clubs and its operating companies.
We are in possession of the UWW’s letter dated 31 January 2018 addressed to the presidents of national Wrestling Clubs requesting comments. In this letter suspensions are announced against those international wrestlers who took part in the GWL events.
Suspensions of international wrestlers because of their participating in events of the GWL are formally and materially unlawful. The Chairman of the disciplinary commission, Mr Aldo Albanese, who is to impose the suspensions is deceased. Furthermore the right to comment was violated as a time limit of two days is unreasonably short.
There is no legal basis to suspend international athletes neither in the constitution nor in the regulations of the UWW. The suspension of international wrestlers because of their participation in events of the GWL also violates higher laws, that of the national and European competition law. The UWW misuses its monopolised position in that she prohibits the GWL from organising their own ring events. Furthermore it inhibits the athletes economic freedom to participate in independent competitions. The European Commission found in its attached resolution dated 8 December 2017 that it is against EU Competition Law if hard sanctions are imposed against athletes who participate in events not sanctioned by the international federation. The international federation is now held to amend these rules within 90 days. Should the sanctions be imposed the athletes and in turn the GWL are entitled to injunctive relief and compensation payments by the UWW and the international wrestling associations due to violations against the competition law.
We have already been instructed by the GWL to enforce these entitlements.
Dr. Sven Nagel, LL.M.Eur. ,
Attorney-at-law and specialised solicitor for trade and company law