In a precedent-setting case, a Torys team led by partners Sylvie Rodrigue and Sarah Whitmore successfully represented Canadian Olympic boxer Mandy Bujold and the Canadian Olympic Committee in a discrimination legal challenge before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland.
Mandy is an 11-time national champion, two-time Pan American Games gold medalist and a Rio 2016 Olympian. She was disqualified from competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after the IOC cancelled the Americas qualifier, which was supposed to be held last May, and retroactively decided to use only three events held in 2018-2019 to qualify female boxers, a period during which Mandy was pregnant or postpartum.
Mandy and Sylvie Rodrigue brought the discriminatory effect of this decision to the attention of the IOC to no avail, following which an appeal to CAS was filed.
This was a human rights case with the core issue being discrimination based on sex in violation of the Olympic Charter, Swiss law and International law. On June 30th, the Court granted the appeal and ordered the IOC to amend its qualification criteria to include an accommodation for women who were pregnant or postpartum during the period retroactively chosen to qualify athletes. As a result, Mandy qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and represented Canada.
We are proud of our team’s success in this case and are grateful for the opportunity to have been able to represent Mandy in this fight for women’s rights in sport.