For Claudia Pechstein, July 12 should have a very special place in her calendar from now on. The speed skater got justice from the Federal Constitutional Court and can now continue to sue for damages before a regular court.
As a reminder: Pechstein was banned for two years between 2009 and 2011 because of abnormal blood values, she always denied any doping. The fight against the International Skating Union ISU has long since become her life’s work – and who can blame her for that.
The now 50-year-old Berliner has achieved everything in sport, she alone was Olympic champion five times. This year she took part in her eighth Winter Games in Beijing and was even allowed to shine as the German flag bearer at the opening ceremony. But she was always haunted by the blemish that not everything could have gone right with her great successes.
In this regard, all allegations have long been refuted. But Pechstein is not only concerned with the fact that she has been robbed of her sporting opportunities for years and that her reputation has suffered considerably in view of the alleged doping past. She didn’t always really care about him anyway. It’s about how associations and the International Court of Arbitration for Sports dealt with it – and how difficult it is for an athlete to contest a judgment once it has been made.
Pechstein has always argued that she lost a lot of money as a result of the ban. Whether it’s prize money – which is not really lavish in speed skating – or advertising revenue. You can definitely follow her on this point. Whether she will finally get through with her claims in the millions can now be negotiated again – before a civil court.
And therein lies the real explosive force of the verdict. Because the Cas as the highest and almost sacred institution of sports jurisdiction is not the last and only instance in disputes. Claudia Pechstein’s success is also one for many other athletes – and one with far-reaching consequences. Regardless of whether Pechstein is actually right in the end and whether she is awarded compensation.