Deals & Cases
Representation of WADA before Swiss Supreme Court
Lenz & Staehelin successfully represented the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as a defendant in three setting aside proceedings before the Swiss Supreme Court. The setting aside proceedings concerned three decisions taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) during the CAS arbitration proceedings opposing WADA (Appellant) to a well-known Chinese Olympic swimmer, Mr. Sun Yang, and the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) (Respondents) in relation to a decision of a doping panel of FINA. In the proceedings before the Swiss Supreme Court Sun Yang sought to challenge the composition of the CAS Panel (Art. 190(2)(a) PILA) and its jurisdiction (Art. 190(2)(b) PILA).
In a first decision, 4A_265/2019 dated 25 September 2019, the Swiss Supreme Court dismissed Sun Yang's application as being moot failing actual interest in challenging the appointment of an arbitrator who had previously resigned (Michael Beloff QC).
In a second decision, 4A_413/2019 dated 28 October 2019, the Swiss Supreme Court declared Sun Yang's application inadmissible on the ground that the time limit to appeal to CAS, as well as the powers to act of WADA counsel in the arbitration, are issues pertaining to admissibility rather than jurisdiction.
In a third decision, 4A_287/2019 dated 6 January 2020, the Swiss Supreme Court declared Sun Yang's application inadmissible on the ground that the letter by which the CAS Panel had denied the objection to the admissibility of WADA's appeal brief while informing the parties that the reasons supporting that decision would be communicated in the final award is not subject to setting aside proceedings. The Swiss Supreme Court also rejected several other grounds for setting aside raised by Sun Yang, partly referring to its findings in the two previous decisions of September and October 2019.
The Lenz & Staehelin team included partner Xavier Favre-Bulle and associate Elena Neidhart (both International Arbitration).