Sport arbitration


The German Court of Arbitration for Sport may empanel both arbitral tribunals of first instance as well as arbitral appeals tribunals (second instance).

First instance

In order to save time and costs, parties may agree to bring their dispute directly before the German Court of Arbitration for Sport. All disputes, e.g. arising from or in connection with athlete agreements, sanctioning of anti-doping violations and/or other violations of rules of an association, can be filed with the German Court of Arbitration for Sport. In this context, arbitral tribunals under the auspices of the German Court of Arbitration for Sport act as the equivalent of a court of first instance and discharges the sport associations from their dispute settlement responsibilities.

Court of appeal (second instance)

Most sports federations in Germany provide for a court ("Verbandsgericht"), which deals with violations of the rules of the federation by athletes, other members of the federation or a third party. The decisions of the court are generally not final, as they can be appealed to a state court or to an arbitral tribunal.

The German Court of Arbitration for Sport is a proper arbitration institution and may be called upon to constitute arbitral appeal tribunals (after exhaustion of the association's internal legal recourse). These tribunals may review decisions in their entirety (both factually and legally), and, in particular, further clarify the facts of the case. They may annul or confirm the decisions of the association in whole or in part. In all anti-doping disputes, a decision by an arbitral tribunal under the auspices of the German Court of Arbitration for Sport can be further reviewed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

Interim relief

In sport, things often have to happen quickly, and obtaining a decision - even of a provisional nature – should be swift.

In order to protect the rights of parties, the German Court of Arbitration for Sport provides a mechanism that renders a (provisional) decision within the shortest possible time. Interim relief may be guaranteed even if the arbitral tribunal has not yet been constituted. For this purpose, the DIS has established a list of arbitrators which is used for assigning a so-called "emergency arbitrator".

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