Mutu & Pechstein v. Switzerland: Decision Analysis

On 2 October 2018, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled in Mutu & Pechstein v. Switzerland that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is impartial and independent.

The European Court has also highlighted that the CAS must, when demanded by parties, proceed to a public hearing in anti-doping matters.

ECHR, 2 October 2018, nos. 40575/10 and 67474/10, Mutu and Pechstein v. Switzerland



In August 2003, Mr Mutu (the Player), a professional footballer, was transferred to Chelsea for a total of EUR 26 million. In October 2004, the English Football Association conducted anti-doping checks which showed cocaine traces in the sample provided by Mr Mutu. Chelsea consequently terminated their contract with him. In May 2006, Chelsea filed an action for damages with FIFA, with the Player being ordered to pay the club over EUR 17 million. In July 2009, the CAS dismissed the Player’s appeal against this decision. He then appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT), but saw his request dismissed as it was found that the CAS was independent and impartial.


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