posted Oct 13th, 2005 -
The NSL News covered the "Pete Allum Case", which is related to international FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) and IPC (International Parachuting Commission) eligibility rules, comprehensively earlier this year. The issue came up when the former British national competitor Pete Allum joined the Italian national team Sinapsi PD at the end of 2004.
NSL News stories at that time explained the rule situation and the implications on the athletic side. After a half-year break, the NSL News story on June 9 resumed the coverage when the FAI came to an opposite decision compared to previous confirmations to the Italian IPC delegate, Sara Sacchet.
The NSL News did not succeed by then to find the minutes of the FAI May meeting and study the official version of what happened in Lausanne on Friday, 20 May 2005. Fact is that the FAI's Air Sport General Commission (CASI) had practically voted against Pete Allum's eligibility and that Italy had officially filed an appeal against this decision a short time later.
The next CASI meeting was scheduled for October 11 in Paris, France. The appeal was on the agenda for this week's meeting, and the FAI President had even prepared an International Tribunal of three members (B.J. Worth, Alvaro de Orleans Bourbon, Tormod Veiby), in case the conflict would require additional consultation due to a possible conflict of interest within the commission.
In the meantime, the minutes of the May meeting had also been posted at the FAI/IPC website and covered the specific issue and the decision in short words. The minutes did not offer any new information:
Minutes of the CASI May meeting:
12.) Three Year Rule for changing nationality. IPC had asked for clarification on the "three year rule" in GS 18.104.22.168.1 for persons changing countries and NACs. The IPC Bureau had proposed a period of 1095 days (three years of 365 days each) and other wording was also on the agenda that allowed participation in the third year rather than after a fixed number of days. After discussion, it was agreed that a fixed period would apply but because of difficulties over leap-years, the three year period would be taken from the day of the closing ceremony of the first competition to the day of the opening ceremony of the second."
The agenda for the CASI Plenary Meeting that was held at the Aero Club de France in Paris on Tuesday October 11th, 2005 at 9:00 am included a more comprehensive explanation of the rule situation and the eligibility case in question. The agenda for this week's meeting also includes a new language for the eligibility rule that would allow Pete Allum to compete for Italy in 2006 and clarify the time frame for all other air sports:
Agenda for the CASI Plenary Meeting
GS 22.214.171.124.1. The 3-year rule, appeal by Italian Aero Club.
The Aero Club d'Italia has made a formal appeal to FAI against the decision of CASI at the May Plenary on the "three year rule" about changing the nation of representation in FAI events. They point out that if, in "year 3", a regular annual Championship has its dates brought forward by, say, a month, a pilot who wishes to change National representation will have to wait four years and not three. There is also the possibility of a Championship being held in the Northern Hemisphere one year and in the Southern Hemisphere in the next year. The Aero Clubd'Italia has a particular situation with a member of their Parachuting team, but the point is general. It is understood that the Italian position would be satisfied by something similar to the alternative wording that was in the agenda for the May Plenary that, according to the Secretary General, also reflects how these situations have been dealt with before. In addition, the present wording in 126.96.36.199.1 refers only to persons with Multiple Nationality rather than allowing also for persons who wish to change the NAC that they represent.
The following proposed wording takes both points into account:
"188.8.131.52.1. A citizen (184.108.40.206.1) or resident (220.127.116.11.2) of a country may be issued with a FAI Sporting Licence by the NAC of that country to represent that NAC in FAI Sporting Events (3.1) and to take part in other FAI activities that require a Sporting Licence. However, if a person wishes to represent a different NAC in any FAI activity, the new NAC shall not be represented until 1 January of the third year in number after that in which the previous NAC had been represented."
For the record, the minutes of the last Plenary, para 12, state: "IPC had asked for clarification on the "three year rule" in GS 18.104.22.168.1 for persons changing countries and NACs. The IPC Bureau had proposed a period of 1095 days (three years of 365 days each) and other wording was also on the agenda that allowed participation in the third year rather than after a fixed number of days. After discussion, it was agreed that a fixed period would apply but because of difficulties over leap-years, the three year period would be taken from the day of the closing ceremony of the first competition to the day of the opening ceremony of the second."
The Italian position seems to be well explained, and neither the minutes of the May meeting nor the agenda for this week's meeting in Paris mention the fact that Pete Allum is in the center of this attention, at least within the skydiving community. There is a good reason for this neutrality. The new language would apply for all FAI air sports, and the "Pete Allum Case" was only the trigger for specific attention to a flaw in the system.
Several interested readers remembered that it was about time to hear more about the final verdict and asked for up-to-date information. Thus, the NSL News tried to find out what is currently happening in Paris and could not get any answers so far. However, it can only be a matter of hours until this information will be available since the meeting should already be over by now. The latest FAI/IPC news will be posted as soon as possible.