Court of Arbitration for Sports makes decision on Nathan claim

    01/27/05

    FIQ/WTBA News

    Court of Arbitration for Sports makes decision on Nathan claim

    P.S. Nathan 1.jpg Former WTBA President and Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress President, P.S. Nathan, has sued the FIQ at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nathan claimed that some irregularities happened during the FIQ/WTBA congresses in Malaysia in 2003.

    Nathan's claim had three issues. The CAS decided already in July 2004 that the court will not handle issues No. 1 and 2 because they are WTBA issues. In the third claim, Nathan asked if the 70-year age rule from the FIQ should apply to the WTBA. The rule says that no official should be eligible for election at the Presidium if he or she is or becomes 70 years of age in the year of the election. The final decision from the arbitrator, who sits in London, was expected in December 2004.

    Heikki_Sarso_1937.jpg Heikki Sarso from Finland, the incumbent WTBA President, who is handling the case in the name of FIQ and WTBA, has informed us that he now has received an arbitral award from the arbitrator, but it doesn't contain a decision but an advice or opinion of the arbitrator.

    "It says that if Joyce (editor's note: former WIBC president Joyce Deitch was challenging Nathan for WTBA presidency) would have been a candidate and elected the 70-year rule would apply", said Sarso. "This is really confusing as first Nathan withdrew his candidacy by resigning, then Joyce withdrew her candidacy." As there was no other candidate it was legal proposal from the floor that I should become WTBA President and I was elected by the members of the congress."

    The WTBA President doesn't think the 70-year rule is a good thing anyway. "If the congress is aware of the age and thinks the candidate is the best person to do the job, I cannot see any reason why shouldn't they be allowed to elect him or her", said Sarso.

    However, there are no obligations for FIQ and/or WTBA, and also no costs. "This is very confusing too," said Sarso. "Usually the decision includes a decision on who has to pay the costs for the claim. Now FIQ/WTBA has to pay their own costs (editor's note: about 20.000 Euro or approx. US$26,000 as earlier reported) as well as the MTBC has, but it was Nathan who caused the costs! This is very unsatisfying." It seems as if the arbitrator has considered item No. 3 rather a question than a claim.

    However, the story may still not be over. As the earlier CAS decision says that items No. 1 and 2 go back to FIQ/WTBA, the presidium members of both organizations will discuss the matter in the next meetings. The WTBA Presidium meeting is scheduled for the beginning of March (March 5-6 in Helsinki), with the FIQ Presidium meeting two weeks later (March 18-19 in Kuwait).

    It is also unknown what Nathan is planning to do next or even what his aim is. According to our information Nathan turned 71 on November 3, 2004. This means his days as President of the WTBA are over since the CAS arbitrator has stated that the 70-year age rule from the FIQ should apply to the WTBA.