Top Dutch speed skaters want EU to act on Ice Derby ban

Some of the Netherlands top speed skaters, including world and Olympic champions Ireen Wust and Sven Kramer, are campaigning to be allowed to take part in a lucrative event in Dubai.

The international skating union ISU has banned skaters from taking part in the Ice Derby, in which long and short-track specialists will race against each other on a 220 metre track.

‘This event takes place outside the traditional season, is a lucrative event for skaters and officials and uses a completely different format to the the ISU’s ‘patented’ races,’ the skaters say in an open letter to the European Commission.

‘In short, there is no reason to threaten anyone who takes part with a life-long ban,’ the skaters say. The letter is published in Wednesday’s Volkskrant.

The letter focuses on European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The skaters say the ISU’s action conflicts with European competition rules which ‘guarantee and protect’ the rights of European citizens, workers and athletes.