skip to Main Content

Sarah Her-Lee v Table Tennis New Zealand


Appeal against decision of NSO – athlete appealed against decision by Table Tennis New Zealand (TTNZ) not to nominate her as member of the women’s table tennis team for selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games – 5 other players nominated instead – whether nomination criteria properly followed or implemented – S appealed that selectors didn’t properly follow nomination criteria by putting insufficient weight on her participation in “key events” specified in the nomination criteria and too much weight on individual world rankings of the various players – argued that while she had been actively participating in international competitions and some key events, not all the other women picked ahead of her had been internationally competitive until very recently or not at all – While the selectors were required to consider results in specified key events, they were also able to consider other factors under the nomination criteria, including any other factors they think are relevant – 4 nominated players had current world rankings considerably higher than S and one who did not have a current world ranking had previously held world rankings also considerably higher than S ever had – whether limited recent international competitive experience of some of the nominated players made nomination decison unfair or invalid – evidence was that reasons for the breaks in international competition included having children and graduate study – TTNZ gave evidence its high performance officer had been monitoring performance of all the players who were all still actively competing, albeit at club level in China in one case – nothing to suggest that TTNZ didn’t properly apply the nomination criteria including by applying discretionary considerations under that criteria – Tribunal didn’t accept submission that S hadn’t been provided a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the nomination criteria because she hadn’t been selected for the world teams events earlier in 2014 – The Tribunal rejected there was apparent bias resulting from the effects of a 2013 dispute between S and a nominated player who was then the team coach – a team event, which includes doubles, entails co-operation and compatibility between team members and officials, and the nomination criteria recognise this as a factor that may be relevant in nominating a team – Tribunal rejected a natural justice argument based on the number of selectors – appeal dismissed.

Back To Top