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Martin Hunt v Target Shooting New Zealand


Appeal against decision of NSO – appeal by M against a decision of Target Shooting New Zealand (TSNZ) over who won the 2015 New Zealand International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Men’s 50m prone championship – M had top score in final of the national ISSF men’s 50m prone championship and anticipated receiving the winner’s medal – final involved top 8 shooters from qualifying rounds – 8 shooters then all went through a number of rounds with the lowest scoring shooter in each round eliminated until there were only 2 left – Those 2 shooters then fired 2 shots each – M had a higher score than the other shooter (R) in that final round – ISSF rules stated that “Qualification scores entitle an athlete to a place in the Finals, but do not carry forward. Finals scoring starts from zero in accordance with these rules” – however, the winner’s medal awarded to R on the basis that the TSNZ Trophy Steward Guidelines provided for qualifying round scores to be added to the final score – when R’s qualification scores were added to the final scores he had a higher score than M – TSNZ said this approach had been used for a number of years and prevailed over the ISSF Rules on determining a winner – after an unsuccessful protest and internal appeal to TSNZ, M appealed to the Tribunal – challenge to the processes by TSNZ – parties accepted the advice of the Chairman of the Tribunal that there had been breaches of the principles of natural justice and then requested the Tribunal to interpret the Rules – Tribunal noted in 2013 the ISSF introduced a new approach to the running of some events and the manner in which the winner was determined and this applied to the 50m Men’s prone championships – while it hadn’t been possible to run 2013 and 2014 events under the new regime, the 2015 championships were operated substantially in conformity with the new ISSF approach – The Tribunal stated: “In our judgment it makes no sense to adopt a new different and quite radical approach to the running of a competition but to continue to award medals on the basis of the discarded approach…We consider that it was a natural and necessary corollary of the new approach to the event that the award of medals would reflect the change” – M told the scores had been aggregated because it was in the Constitution and was a TRNZ Rule – Tribunal found nothing in the Constitution or Guidelines to support this and noted that the Guidelines were not rules but guidelines about the running of a championship and did not proclaim how a determination of a medal winner was to be made – Tribunal said: “We find nothing which was an impediment to the winner’s medal being awarded to the winner of the contest as it was conducted in the real world. Common sense, fairness and transparency require no less…Having been requested to do so by TSNZ, we find that the 2015 National ISSF Men’s 50m prone champion was Martin Hunt and he is the recipient of the Winner’s medal” – appeal upheld.

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