When Australian Sailing made the decision to not compete in the women’s skiff event at the 2016 Olympic Games, the two teams campaigning for selection have challenged the decision. Here is a statement by Australian Sailing regarding the situation:
The Olympic Nominations Appeals by two of the 49erFX crews – Tess Lloyd/ Caitlin Elks and Olivia Price/ Eliza Solly – for non-nomination of a crew in that class to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team were dismissed by the Australian Sailing Appeal Tribunal this week.
Lloyd and Elks have now lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Australian Sailing has not made comment on this matter until this point, out of respect for the crews and their option to appeal.
Olympic selection requires the highest standards of our athletes. The nomination criteria set out by Australian Sailing has evolved over the last two Olympic periods. This criteria has delivered success for our sailing team at recent Olympic Games and this has resulted in our sport receiving greater funding and more opportunities to support sailors in our Olympic pathway.
The nomination criteria was provided to all potential Olympic team members before the nomination period, clearly setting the standards required for them to be nominated for inclusion in the Australian Olympic Team. The criteria sets out the performance required, and no crew in the 49erFX and RS:X windsurfing classes achieved the baseline performance.
The nomination criteria also indicates minimum performance standards in specific regattas for the Nomination Panel to consider those who do not achieve a baseline performance. Three athletes who achieved multiple such performances were nominated in the 470 Women and Laser Radial classes. Athletes in the 49erFX and RS:X windsurfing classes did not achieve these performance levels.
Given the challenging conditions our team will face in Rio, it is also the responsibility of the Nomination Panel and Australian Sailing to ensure that those athletes that attend the Olympic Games can be fully supported in order to achieve their best performance for Australia.
All potential team members knew the process and most importantly the high standard required.
Lloyd/Elks and Price/Solly appealed their non-nomination to the Australian Sailing Tribunal. The Tribunal, in considering the appeal, stated the nomination panel gave proper regard to the objective of the Australian Olympic Committee and Australian Sailing in selecting crews that will best represent Australia and give Australia its best chance of success at the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Tribunal found the Nomination Criteria is unambiguous and clearly permitted Australian Sailing not to nominate a crew in the event no Baseline Performance was achieved by an eligible crew in a specific event.
“The Appeal Tribunal finds that the Nomination Panel gave proper, genuine and realistic consideration to the criteria”.
The Tribunal was assembled under the By-Law of the Australian Olympic Committee, was chaired by Zali Steggall OAM, with members Adam Casselden and Olympic sailor Tom King OAM.
Australian Sailing acknowledges the resources and commitment put into Olympic campaigns by athletes and the importance of developing performance sailing. With the appeals process still underway, no further comment can be made at this stage.