Powerboat Racing World posted an article last December, headlined – ‘EU’s Vestager rules on anti-competitive practices’.
The post reported that EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, had warned sports federations across Europe that Brussels would step in if they abused their positions as she issued a ruling critical of the International Skating Union (ISU).
Vestager ordered the ISU to scrap ‘disproportionately punitive’ sanctions for athletes who participate in events the body has not authorised.
I posed the question at the end of the article, ‘How does this affect Powerboat Racing’?
Today, we have the answer.
The UIM took heed of the EU ruling and on Friday, 16th March at their Council Meeting in Monaco took the following measures, Thomas Kurth, UIM Secretary General has today posted this information on their website:
The UIM Council decided that the application of Art.3.2.6 of the UIM By-Laws:
“…National Authorities, Officials and drivers who organize or participate in events that are not sanctioned duly according to […] rules shall be subject to disciplinary measures according to Art. XII of these By-Laws.”
Art.104 of all Rulebooks
“…All races not organized according to UIM rules are not to be recognized and all officials and drivers who take any part in such races are suspended or excluded if offence recurs. The same applies to motor boating events not approved by National Authorities, etc…”
Art.109.06 (CIRCUIT Rulebook) and Art. 120.06 (OFFSHORE & AQUABIKE)
“…Anybody who takes part in an unauthorized meeting loses his/her licence. etc…”
is temporarily suspended, in as far as suspension or other penalties are foreseen for participation in unauthorized/not sanctioned events.
By taking this measure, the UIM Council accommodates the decision of the European Commission of December 2017 concerning similar rules of the ISU who, like the UIM, is based outside the European Union and is the sole body recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to govern their sport.
The ISU impose penalties up to a lifetime ban on athletes participating in speed skating competitions that are not authorised by the ISU. The European Commission based its decision on their findings whereas these ISU rules were in breach of EU antitrust law.
The temporary suspension of the above Articles of the UIM By-Laws and Rulebooks shall remain in effect until said provisions shall be cancelled and/or amended in order to meet the legal requirements.
A few eyebrows were raised when PRW reported on Tuesday, ‘Victory will compete at Key West’.
The Dubai team were already aware of the UIM’s new policy and knew it was safe to race in the SBI ‘unsanctioned’ or ‘Black Race’ without penalty from the International Governing Body.