1. INTRODUCTION: THE WIDESPREAD RESORT TO ARBITRATION IN SPORTS
The sports sector has a long history, worldwide, of resorting to arbitration procedures to solve disputes. Obviously, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is the first and foremost illustration of the successful use of arbitration to solve disputes related to sports.
Besides the CAS, which deals in general with all sorts of sportsrelated disputes, there are several instances of specialized sportsarbitration mechanisms at the international level.
Just to mention a few examples, disputes are referred to arbitration at the top level of sports and in competitions with important economic stakes, such as America’s Cup sailing,1 Formula One car racing2 and basketball.3
There are also many instances of sports arbitration at the national level, inside and outside of the Olympic Movement, sometimes even on the basis of national legislation. In particular, many National Olympic Committees around the world have put in place arbitration systems, as the following examples demonstrate.
In the United States, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) resorts to an arbitration system, managed by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), whereby athletes who have not been selected to represent the United States in international competitions—the Olympic Games, the World Championships, Pan-American competitions and the like―may initiate arbitration proceedings to challenge their non-selection.4 The resort to arbitration to solve certain types of disputes involving the USOC is even mandated by law, under various provisions of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, such as Section 220529 which provides inter alia as follows: