Court of Arbitration for Sport
(in French) Tribunal arbitral du sport
Court of Arbitration for Sport - Lausanne 2.jpg
Headquarters, in Lausanne, Switzerland
LocationLausanne, Switzerland
Authorized byInternational Olympic Committee (Olympic Charter)
Appeals toFederal Supreme Court of Switzerland
CurrentlyJohn Coates
The entrance of the headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne, Switzerland
The entrance of the headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne, Switzerland

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS; French: Tribunal arbitral du sport, TAS) is an international body established in 1984 to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland and its courts are located in New York City, Sydney, and Lausanne. Temporary courts are established in current Olympic host cities.

The International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) was established simultaneously, and a single president presides over both bodies. The ICAS, which has a membership of 20 individuals, is responsible for the financing of and financial reporting by the CAS, and it appoints the Director-General of the CAS.[2]

Jurisdiction and appeals

Generally speaking, a dispute may be submitted to the CAS only if an arbitration agreement between the parties specifies recourse to the CAS. However, according to rule 61 of the Olympic Charter, all disputes in connection with the Olympic Games can only be submitted to CAS,[3] and all Olympic international federations (IF) have recognised the jurisdiction of CAS for at least some disputes.[4]

Through compliance with the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code, all signatories, including all Olympic international federations and National Olympic Committees, have recognised the jurisdiction of CAS for anti-doping rule violations.[3][5][6] Starting in 2016, an anti-doping division of CAS judges, who specialize in doping cases at the Olympic Games, replaced the IOC disciplinary commission.[7] These decisions can be appealed to CAS's ad hoc court in the Olympic host city or, if the ad hoc court is no longer available, to the permanent CAS.[8] The inaugural anti-doping division handled eight cases, of which seven were doping cases within its jurisdiction.[9]

As a Swiss arbitration organization, decisions of the CAS can be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.[10] Appeals of arbitration decisions are generally not successful,[11] and no evaluation of the merits takes place, with the evaluation mainly based on whether procedural requirements have been met, and whether the award is incompatible with public policy. As of March 2012 there have been seven successful appeals. Six of the upheld appeals were procedural in nature. Only once has the Federal Supreme Court overruled a CAS decision on the case's merits, in the case of Matuzalém, a Brazilian football player.[12] CAS decisions can be the subject of further appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.[13]

The Federal Court of Justice of Germany ruled against the German speed-skater Claudia Pechstein, recognising a lack of jurisdiction to revisit her case. The Federal Court ruled that CAS met the requirements of a court of arbitration according to German law and that CAS's independence from the parties was secured by the method of selecting arbitrators and the possibility to appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.[14][15]


With the intermixing of sports and politics, the body was originally conceived by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch to deal with disputes arising during the Olympics. It was established as part of the IOC in 1984.[1]

In 1992, the case of Gundel v. La Fédération Equestre Internationale was decided by the CAS, and then appealed to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, challenging CAS impartiality. The Swiss court ruled that the CAS was a true court of arbitration but drew attention to the numerous links between the CAS and the IOC.[16]

In response, the CAS underwent reforms to make itself more independent of the IOC, both organizationally and financially. The most significant change resulting from this reform was the creation of an "International Council of Arbitration for Sport" (ICAS) to look after the running and financing of the CAS, thereby taking the place of the IOC. As of 2004, most recent cases that were considered by the CAS dealt with transfer disputes within professional association football or with doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is planning to move its headquarters from the Château de Béthusy to the south part of the Palais de Beaulieu (both in Lausanne).[17]

ICAS Board

Designation Name Country
ICAS/CAS President John D. Coates AC  Australia
ICAS Vice-Presidents Michael B. Lenard OLY  United States
Tjasa Andrée-Prosenc  Slovenia
President of CAS Ordinary Division Carole Malinvaud  France
President of Appeals Arbitration Division Corinne Schmidhauser OLY   Switzerland
CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb   Switzerland

ICAS members

Name Country
Abdullah Al Hayyan  Kuwait
Tjasa Andrée-Prosenc  Slovenia
Antonio Arimany  Spain
John D. Coates AC  Australia
Moya Dodd  Australia
Ivo Eusebio   Switzerland
Monique Jametti   Switzerland
Michael B. Lenard OLY  United States
Carole Malinvaud  France
Yvonne Mokgoro  South Africa
Giulio Napolitano  Italy
Ellen Northfleet  Brazil
Mikael Rentsch  Sweden
David W. Rivkin  United States
Patrick Robinson  Jamaica
Corinne Schmidhauser OLY   Switzerland
Tricia C.M. Smith OLY  Canada
Elisabeth Steiner  Austria
Hanqin Xue  China

Jurisprudence examples of note


Prior to that, the case of skater Claudia Pechstein had been decided (2009/A/1912 & 1913) on similar grounds.[19] Writing in the 2011/2 CAS Bulletin regarding the institution of the ABP program, CAS Counsel Despina Mavromati differentiated between the two types of cases and wrote:

It is noteworthy that CAS had already issued an award suspending an athlete based on the longitudinal profiling of the biological markers before the adoption of the ABP by the IFs [international federations]: in CAS 2009/A/1912 & 1913 [Pechstein], the Panel suspended an Olympic athlete after the biological data showed irregular blood values. According to CAS, those abnormal values were not caused by an error in a laboratory, as the athlete asserted, but due to the banned manipulation of the athlete’s blood. The essential difference between ABP judgments and the CAS 2009/A/1912 & 1913 consists in that in the latter case, the athlete's blood data was drawn from a sample the athlete gave at the federations championships and therefore not from data gathered by an official systematic program run by the athlete's union.[19]

"The Panel is aware of the impact its decision will have on a fine, young, elite athlete. It finds, in balancing the interests of Miss Raducan with the commitment of the Olympic Movement to drug-free sport, the Anti-Doping Code must be enforced without compromise."[20]

2016 Summer Olympics ad hoc court

The ad hoc court for the 2016 Olympics had registered 18 cases by 3 August, surpassing the record two days before the Opening Ceremony. 11 of the cases were related to the various bans on Russian athletes related to the allegations of state-sponsored doping documented in the McLaren report.[38] By the end of the Games the total number of cases was 28, 16 of which were related to the eligibility of Russian athletes.[9]

Other cases

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b History of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, official website of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (page visited on 5 May 2016).
  2. ^ "Code : Statutes of ICAS and CAS". Court of Arbitration for Sport. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b International Olympic Committee: Olympic Charter
  4. ^ Richard H. McLaren, Twenty-Five Years of the Court of Arbitration for Sport: A Look in the Rear-View Mirror, 20 Marq. Sports L. Rev. 305 (2010)
  5. ^ World Anti-Doping Agency: 2009 World Anti-Doping Code Archived 24 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Hilary Findlay and Marcus F. Mazzucco: The Supervisory Role of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Regulating the International Sport System
  7. ^ Karolos Grohman: CAS to take over doping cases at Olympics Accessed 18 June 2016.
  8. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: Arbitration Rules Applicable to the CAS Anti-doping division Accessed 18 June 2016.
  9. ^ a b Court of Arbitration for Sport: Report on the activities of the CAS Divisions at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Accessed 31 August 2016
  10. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: Media release 23 July 2012
  11. ^ CAS Bulletin 2011/2 Appeals against Arbitral Awards by the CAS by Stephan Netzle
  12. ^ Roy Levy: Swiss Federal Tribunal overrules CAS award in a landmark decision: FIFA vs Matuzalem Archived 25 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b Ronay, Barney (5 March 2020). "Michel Platini's appeal over ban rejected by European court of human rights". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  14. ^ Christian Keidel: German Federal Tribunal rejects Claudia Pechstein’s claim for damages against International Skating Union (ISU) Archived 22 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 17 June 2016.
  15. ^ CAS hosted: English translation of German Federal Tribunal decision
  16. ^ BGE 119 II 271 (Gundel v La Fédération Equestre Internationale)
  17. ^ Aïna Skjellaug, "Privé de sa tour Taoua, Beaulieu présente son plan B", Le Temps, Wednesday 18 May 2016 (page visited on 18 May 2016).
  18. ^ Court Upholds Cyclist's Ban Based on Biological Passport New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2013
  19. ^ a b CAS Bulletin 2011/2 The Athlete Biological Passport Program by Despina Mavromati
  20. ^ Essentials of Sport Law, by Glenn M. Wong, Fourth Edition, Note 5.3.9
  21. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport:CAS 2012/A/2731 BOC & BTC & Márcio W. Ferreira v/ WTF & COM & FMT & Damian A.Villa Valadez See §104 in particular.
  22. ^ Aino-Kaisa Saarinen; Finnish Ski Association (FSA) v. Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) CAS/2010/A/2090
  23. ^ USOC v. IOC CAS/2011/O/2422
  24. ^ "London 2012: Dwain Chambers eligible after court ruling". BBC Sport. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  25. ^ BOA v. WADA CAS/2011/A/2658
  26. ^ a b Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes Accessed 25 July 2016.
  27. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sports: ROC et al. v. IAAF Archived 5 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 4 November 2016.
  28. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: Athletics: The application filed by Darya Klishina (Russia) is upheld by the CAS Accessed 15 August 2016.
  29. ^ "Russia's sole athlete Darya Klishina cleared to compete after appeal". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  30. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS dismisses the appeal filed by the Russian Paralympic Committee Accessed 23 August 2016
  31. ^ "Rio Paralympics 2016: Russia banned after losing appeal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  32. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: RPC v. IPC Archived 9 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine (The sections referred to are from paragraph 79 onwards). Accessed 31 August 2016.
  33. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sports (1 February 2018). "The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) issues its decision in the matter of 39 Russian athletes v/ the IOC" (PDF). Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  34. ^ "Winter Olympics 2018: Court overturns life bans given to Russian athletes". BBC. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  35. ^ International Olympic Committee (1 February 2018). "IOC Statement on CAS decision". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  36. ^ Walden, Jim (5 February 2018). "Opinion | In the latest chapter of the doping scandal, Russia gets a pass". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  37. ^ "Peru's Guerrero to miss World Cup". BBC Sport.
  38. ^ a b c Court of Arbitration for Sport: Media Release: 18 cases registered – Status as of 3 August 2016 Accessed 3 August 2016
  39. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS OG 16/09 Archived 22 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 5 August 2016
  40. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: Rowing: The Appeal of Anastasia Karabelshikova and Ivan Podshivalov is partially upheld by CAS Accessed 4 August 2016
  41. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS OG 16/13 Archived 22 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 4 August 2016
  42. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS OG 16/04 Archived 27 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 9 August 2016
  43. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Russia's Yulia Efimova beaten to gold by Lilly King of USA". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  44. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS OG 16/12 Archived 8 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 9 August 2016
  45. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport: CAS OG 16/19 Archived 27 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 9 August 2016
  46. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport. "CAS suspends IAAF Hyperandrogenism Regulations" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  47. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport. "Chand v. IAAF - Interim award" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  48. ^ "Dutee Chand, Female Sprinter With High Testosterone Level, Wins Right to Compete". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  49. ^ "Dutee Chand to run in World Championships, gets favourable order from CAS". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  50. ^ Court of Arbitration for Sport. "The application of the IAAF hyperandrogenism regulations remain suspended" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  51. ^ Singh, Navneet. "Advantage Dutee Chand as CAS suspends world athletics body's gender policy". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  52. ^ "IAAF publishes briefing notes and Q&A on Female Eligibility Regulations | PRESS-RELEASE | World Athletics".
  53. ^ "Semenya loses appeal against IAAF rules". BBC Sport.
  54. ^ "Gibraltar have failed in their attempt to become a member of Uefa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  55. ^ "CAS tells Fifa to reconsider Gibraltar's membership 'without delay'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  56. ^ "Fifa: Kosovo and Gibraltar become members of world governing body". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  57. ^ IFA take case to CAS
  58. ^ CAS/2010/A/2071. "Irish Football Association v/ Football Association of Ireland, Daniel Kearns and FIFA" (PDF).
  59. ^ "Manchester City overturn two-year ban from European competition on appeal to Cas". BBC Sport. 13 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.