Prior to his Wimbledon run, Schuettler was ranked #89 on the day when the entry list was determined (June 9). His low rank put him outside of the automatic entry list for Beijing (it's only a 64 player draw). But then Rainer tore through Wimbly, his ranking skyrocketed to #34, and he and the German Olympic Federation suddenly decided they wanted to put the hot hand into Beijing instead of the TWO other German players ranked higher than him (Gremelmayr and Berrer).
So they appealed to the Court for Arbitration of Sport, arguing that a number of players had now dropped out, he had the support and nomination of his Olympic Committee, and therefore he should be given a spot at the Olympics. The ITF on the other hand argued that under the well-established rules for player entry, in the event of players pulling out, the next eligible ranked player would be given a spot. In this case, that should have been Gremelmayr and then Berrer. The ITF was particularly pissed off at the German Olympic committee because they knew about this rule but blatantly ignored it by nominating Schuettler instead.
The CAS issued their decision yesterday and have allowed Schuettler entry into the Beijing Olympics. To say the ITF is pissed would be an understatement:
The ITF deplores the lack of understanding by the German Olympic Committee about entry to tennis events around the world including the Olympic Games.
However, while recognising that the German NOC may not understand how professional tennis works, there is no excuse for Mr. Schuettler who is prepared to take a place that was earned by his compatriot Denis Gremelmayr and of next alternate Michael Berrer. The ITF wishes him the best of luck even if he was not eligible for Beijing.
I actually don't have a problem with the CAS's decision and I think the ITF is just pissed that they got poo pooed so publicly. The fact is that each country should have full autonomy in deciding who they want to send to the Olympics. If the German Olympic Committee wants to let Rainer leapfrog to the front of the line they should have the right to do that and they should have to deal with the internal consequences of that decision (Gremmie and Berrer can't be happy about this).
That being said, the irony is not lost on me that the German's totally ignored the clear rules, policy, and procedures put in place by the ITF. I thought German's LOVED rules.