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Fundamental rights of athletes in the EU post-lisbon

Pijetlovic, K (2013) Fundamental rights of athletes in the EU post-lisbon. In: Protecting Human Rights in the EU: Controversies and Challenges of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Springer, pp. 161-186. ISBN 3642389015

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Abstract

© 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights reserved. As a preliminary matter, this chapter first addresses the issue of the Union's new competences in sport that entered into force as a result of Lisbon Treaty amendments and the question of whether the practice of sport itself can be considered a fundamental right. Thereafter, it is argued that the chapter ought to be applicable to the rules and practices of the sport-governing bodies due to their state-like competences and the scope of regulatory latitude. However, it is only in the context of the Union's economic provisions, i.e., under the judicial test for regulatory rules in sport devised by the Court in Meca-Medina and the equivalent internal market objective justification framework that the Charter may be utilised to supplement athletes' legal arguments. As such, it provides a counterbalance to the Article 165(1) TFEU concept of the specificity of sport that sporting federations rely on to justify their restrictive measures. A number of the sporting rules are examined along the lines of this framework, including beginning-of-season standard agreements (a.k.a. contracts of adhesion), the content of which the athletes have no opportunity to affect as the social dialogue in many European sports is still underdeveloped; fair trial issues in the system of distribution of sporting justice; and the rights to privacy and to rest involved in the anti-doping control.

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