Representative Matters

  • U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation - Preti Flaherty represented the nine "push athletes" on the 2010 Men's Olympic Bobsled team who were the "Affected Athletes" in a claim brought by four other bobsled push athletes. The claimants challenged the 12-part selection criteria used by the US Bobsled Federation to choose the push athletes to this year's team, and proposed a race-off against our clients as an alternative remedy. We argued successfully that the selection procedure was wholly rational, and should be respected, and that a race-off on the eve of the Games would be totally unfair to our clients. Having already been named to the team, we argued that a race-off would be highly disruptive to the Men's US Bobsled team which has a great chance to win a gold medal for the first time since 1948.
  • U.S. Biathlon Association - Preti Flaherty represented four women "Affected Athletes" on the US 2010 Olympic Biathlon team in an emergency arbitration involving a claim brought by a Belarussian athlete against the US Biathlon Association, arguing that she should be eligible to compete for Team USA in the 2010 Olympics in the sport of Biathlon. Our clients would have been knocked off the team if the claimant had succeeded. The argument centered around the Belarussian athlete's two-year "redshirt" period, which began after she competed in the 2006 Olympics for Belarus. She then competed in a race in March of 2008, just 5 days short of her two years. The case turned on whether she had competed for the US or Belarus in that March 2008 race. Preti Flaherty argued successfully that since she had never sought or received a waiver from the US Biathlon Association to compete during her two-year "redshirt" period, it was impossible for her to have competed for the US in 2008 as she had claimed. As a result, she had actually competed for Belarus by default, and could not compete for the US until late 2010, when two years had passed since her last race for Belarus. The arbitrator agreed, stating that she was not eligible to compete for the Team USA in the February 2010 Olympics, which kept all of Preti's clients on the US Team.