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Jeremy Lewis and Grahame Anderson represent Great Britain world champion swimmer in funding appeal

Jeremy Lewis and Grahame Anderson represented
three time world champion and world record holding Great Britain swimmer Liam Tancock in an appeal under the auspices of the specialist sports dispute
service Sport
Resolutions
 UK in Liam’s appeal against British Swimming’s
decision not to nominate him for continued funding under their World Class
Performance Programme.

Jeremy
and Grahame were instructed by
Hill Dickinson working alongside their specialist
sports lawyer
Kevin Carpenter from the firm’s Sport, Media and Entertainment
team.

One
issue raised by the appeal was whether a sports governing body can decide to
withdraw funding even where an athlete meets the target time which it has set
for him. In this case British Swimming set a time which Liam needed to
achieve in order to show he was on target for a medal in Rio in the 100m
backstroke. Despite a season disrupted by injury, he bettered that time
and also won a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke at the Commonwealth
Games. Ultimately, though, the Arbitration Panel accepted that the sports
governing body has a wide discretion in selecting which athletes to fund.
It accepted that the selection panel had taken into account all relevant considerations
including the impact of injury disruption on Liam’s season. Since it was
not for the Arbitration Panel to substitute its judgment for that of the
Selection Panel, the appeal was dismissed.

Liam commented: As an
elite athlete, it was fascinating to be involved with the appeal and see the
round the clock efforts Kevin, Jeremy, Grahame and the British Athletes
Commission put in using their knowledge and experience to formulate and develop
our legal arguments to give us the best chance possible in the appeal. Although
I am of course extremely disappointed with the outcome I cannot thank the three
of them enough for their help. I will continue to train hard without the
funding and use the determination I have to make it to Rio to win a medal for
Team GB.

Liam has been assured by British Swimming that it remains open to athletes
to demonstrate through their performance that funding is merited. Given
his pedigree, no one should be too surprised if an unanswerable case is to be made
by Liam’s performances in the pool.

 

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