After the World Wrestling Union imposed sanctions for GWL-wrestlers just before the finals, they are now backpaddling. Put under pressure by a precautionary measure against those sanctions at the magistrate court in Vevey, Switzerland, the WWU agreed to a settlement. They agreed to retract all athlete sanctions as well as to waive all penalties against associations. The WWU also agreed to waive all party redress from the first litigation in October 2017 at the magistrate court Vevey, where they had already retracted all announced sanctions just before the trial was to start due to the death of one of the WWU members.
The general secretary of the WWU, Michel Dusson, had sent a letter to all affected associations, amongst them the German Wrestling Union, informing them that all sanctions against wrestlers of the GWL are lifted. The World Union would now review its own guidelines as well as each individual case until end of April at the latest.
However, the law of associations does not allow for changes of guidelines to be applied to past infringements. Accordingly, the settlement gives the athletes the assurance that they will again be allowed to participate in national and international fights, said the General Manager of the German Wrestling League, Markus Scheu. Indeed, the repeated retraction of sanctions against athletes does not put the WWU in a good light. Aside from the timing of these sanctions just before GWL-finals, the legal implementation of same was also more than questionable.
Only German athletes were punished by the chairman of the WWU disciplinary commission, Melcho Goranov on 2 February 2018. The same day the general secretary of the German Wrestling Union, Karl-Martin Dittmann issued detailed instructions to the county associations to collect the starting passes from the affected athletes. Athletes from all other nations only received provisional sanctions from the general secretary of the WWU, Michel Dusson. Only the German Wrestling Union implemented the sanctions.
A verdict last December by the EU Commission confirmed that sanctions against athletes who participate in private competitions are not legal according to EU competition law.
To ensure the necessary legal certainty, the German Wrestling League lodged a complaint with the county court Nurnberg-Furth. “We now assume that the the GWU leadership will get in touch with us to agree on cooperative measures as requested and resolved by delegates at the last meeting of the various county unions” said Markus Scheu.
It will be interesting to see how the GWU is going to handle the sanctions it imposed against German wrestlers specifically because of the WWU sanctions, which were approved at first instance by the GWU court, to bar them from participating in the county championships.
Foreign GWL wrestlers were allowed to start at the county championships.