The Court of Arbitration for Sport is the supreme tribunal for all sports-related disputes across the globe. Ordinarily based in Switzerland, the Court established a specialist ad hoc division in London for the Games. Its charge: to quickly, freely, and finally determine any and all disputes that may arise throughout the competition.
In total, 11 disputes by athletes and nations were decided by the Court in London. The issues varied, but in all cases the Court pulled together a panel of arbitrators from around the world to make a decision – usually within 24 hours – offering real-time solutions for athletes at the Games.
The women’s triathalon was such a case. Sweden, whose athlete received the silver medal after a photo finish, challenged the referee’s decision, believing they deserved gold. The Court upheld the ‘field of play’ principle and decided not to intervene. Rightly or wrongly the referee had made the call. Further argument was reserved for the fans alone.