CAS OG 12/02 Joseph Ward v. International Olympic Committee (IOC); International Boxing Association (AIBA) & Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC)
1.1 The Applicant, Mr Joseph Ward, is an 18-year old boxer of Irish nationality, competing at international level in the light heavyweight category (up to 81 kg). Mr Ward is a member of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), which in turn is a member of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
1.2 Mr Ward’s application to this CAS ad hoc Division concerns the qualification process for the boxing events of the 2012 London Olympic Games, which was administered by AIBA in agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Mr Ward did not qualify for the Olympic Games and contends that the qualification process was tarnished by an incorrect application of the qualification rules and even by an attack on his personality rights.
1.3 In the boxing Olympic qualification system, the first five slots for the 2012 London Games, for all weight categories, were assigned to the 5 winners of the World Series of Boxing Individual Championships in May 2011. Mr Ward did not obtain qualification through this avenue.
1.4 Then, in October 2011, the 2011 AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championship qualified in the light heavyweight category the best 10 boxers from different NOCs. Mr Ward was eliminated by an Iranian athlete in the third round and finished 16th in the competition, thus not qualifying for the Olympic Games.
1.5 The European boxers had another opportunity to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games by taking part in the AIBA European Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament (the “Qualification Tournament”), held in Trabzon, Turkey on 15-21 April 2012. In that Tournament Mr Ward was eliminated by a Turkish boxer and, once again, he did not reach the stage of the competition needed to qualify for the Olympic Games. The Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) protested to AIBA about the refereeing but no formal rejection of the complaint was issued.
1.6 On 18 April 2012, the IABA Chairman wrote to AIBA in order to “ask that Mr Ward be considered for inclusion in the Olympics in 2012 under the tripartite selection quota or any other avenue”.
1.7 Subsequently, the Tripartite Commission – composed of the IOC, AIBA and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) – assigned 7 of the 8 available men’s slots for the Olympic Games. Among those 7 athletes was one 81 kg boxer, Mr Bosko Draskovic of Montenegro.
1.8 As the eighth place was vacant, the Tripartite Commission returned it to AIBA which allocated it to Mr Zdenek Chladek of the Czech Republic, a boxer in the 64 kg category, as he was the next best ranked boxer, not yet qualified.