Six national triathlon federations – Germany, Ireland, Poland, Venezuela, Costa Rica and the Cook Islands – launched the petition, calling for fresh elections.
Despite threats by the ITU to suspend their membership if they did not withdraw, the six national federations went ahead with their case, which was heard last week.
McDonald’s ITU had sought to have the case referred to the Court for
Arbitration for Sport, but last week, sitting in the Supreme Court of
British Columbia, Madam Justice Gill ruled against the ITU motion, and
stated that her court did have jurisdiction. The judge has now retired to consider the evidence in the case before delivering a verdict.
The petitioners allege that the ITU allowed elections to its ruling Congress to go ahead in Perth, Western Australia, in April this year, permitting 19 countries to vote when they were without proper authorisation. Meanwhile, delegates from 11 accredited countries – including Ireland, Poland and Venezuela – were barred from voting by ITU officials.
During the hearing, lawyers for the ITU conceded that representatives of Estonia, Poland and the Dominican Republic had been improperly excluded from the Perth Congress, but argued that delegates from Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Ireland, the Netherlands Antilles, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela were properly excluded on the basis that they were “proxies”, which are not allowed under the ITU Constitution.
“There were substantial irregularities in the manner in which Congress 2000 was conducted, which McDonald and his supporters calculated to affect the results of the elections,” the petitioners state in their court papers.
Madam Justice Gill has reserved her decision on the merits of the case.
The parties expect that she will release her decision together with written reasons before the end of this month.