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The Court of Arbitration for Sport: ‘The Supreme Court of Sports


The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is what some describe as the world's ‘Supreme Court of Sports’. The CAS is essentially an arbitration body which also provides consulting and mediation services to its stakeholders, notably the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Federations, National Olympic Bodies, National Sports Bodies and the World Anti- Doping Agency.

The reason for setting up of the CAS was due to the intricacies involved in settling sports disputes. In sports there is a need to resolve disputes expeditiously and economically while understanding the intricacies of the sports. The CAS seeks to establish precedents of sports related decisions to be followed by sporting bodies worldwide.

Establishment of CAS

The CAS was established due to the plethora of disputes arising in the sports sector. It is due to this that in 1981 the President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch in conjunction with Judge Keba Mbaye (Vice President, International Court of Justice and Member and Vice-President, International Olympic Committee) formulated the first draft of rules which form the Statute for the CAS. Initially the CAS was established in a manner that its jurisdiction would not be imposed on athletes or the federations.

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