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McNaught springs into legal action

McNaught's next challenge could be in the Swiss courts Keystone Archive

Swiss showjumper Lesley McNaught has threatened to take the sport's national federation to court over its decision to ban her from the European championships.

This content was published on February 20, 2001 - 18:48

The Olympic silver medallist was recently suspended from the squad following accusations that she had repeatedly refused to fulfil team obligations. The federation said that McNaught had frequently ignored her team leader's directions and had displayed an unprofessional attitude to organisers and sponsors.

On Tuesday, though, McNaught's lawyer Ulf Walz said he had been instructed to sue the federation if the suspension was not lifted.

"The federation's judgement was an arbitrary one," Walz insisted. "There was no scrap of reason. If our appeal (to the federation) is turned down, we will take the case to a civil court."

Walz said that McNaught would be seeking at least SFr one million from the federation if the ban led to her losing her main sponsor.

The federation has argued that McNaught waived her right to appeal when she failed to show up for the original hearing in Bern. According to team boss Martin Walther, "Lesley McNaught was given the chance to be heard but decided not to take that chance."

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