Abstract

MANDATORY, BINDING ARBITRATION FOR OLYMPIC ATHLETES: IS THE PROCESS BETTER OR WORSE FOR "JOB SECURITY"?

MELISSA R. BITTING

Copyright 1998 Florida State University Law Review

This Comment argues that mandatory arbitration in the traditional employment context shares similar characteristics with mandatory arbitration in the context of athletic competitions. In particular, this Comment examines the International Olympic Committee's recently instituted policy of requiring athletes, as a condition of eligibility to compete in the Olympics, to waive their right to take a dispute to court. Part II of this Comment reviews the history of the Olympic Movement in the United States and some of the issues that pressed Olympic officials to come up with alternatives to lengthy and costly court battles. Part III argues that the work of athletes is comparable to that of "traditional" employees. Part IV discusses the nuances existing within the law and outlines factors that should be considered when evaluating the arbitration process. Finally, this Comment examines the current Olympic arbitration system and concludes that while arbitration may play an important role in processing time-sensitive disputes, fairness concerns regarding the mandatory waiver of the right to have disputes reviewed by a court must be addressed.

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