The Need Of Arbitration In The Field Of Sports Law

Author: B.Jayasuriyan, Saveetha School Of Law


Sports field is one of the fields of fame where people were made to express their sportsmanship in order to attaining greatness. But due to the intervention of politics, corruption, drugs, etc the sacredness of sports are put on to a jeopardical situation and when such issues were taken to the judiciary due to the piled-up cases the justice gets delayed which affects the athletes both in terms of career and life. So, in order to avoid such circumstances, the process of Arbitration was used, which is an outside court settlement falls under the ambit of Arbitration and Dispute Resolution.

Keywords: Sports, Arbitration, India, Athlete, ICAS


The field of sports is one of the interesting and developing fields worldwide, and when it comes to the ambit of sports it not only lies upon the aspects of sporting activities and entertainment but also involves athletes, sports academies, sports clubs, federations, and other aspects in which that are related to. In order to understand the need of arbitration we need look from the past incidents. Earlier sports were considered to be one of the grounds to express the sportsmanship of the people which led to fame but now due to the intervention of drugs, politics, and other illegal activities the sacredness of sports and sportsmanship was getting destroyed.So,in order to claim justice people took forward these kinds of issue to the court by means of litigation. But the litigation process took a long time on the process of adjudicating the issues which led to delayed justice. So, in order to avoid such delay, the aspect of arbitration shall be an effective tool on solving the disputes in a time efficient manner.

Arbitration and Sports

In general, arbitration shall be defined as an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) method in which that takes place outside the court. In this process an arbitrator will be appointed by the parties (mutually selected) and such arbitrator after getting through the facts and the arguments presented will give a decision which is legally bindable on both sides. The process of arbitration is not only time efficient but also protects the goodwill, respectability and also maintains the privacy and confidentiality which shall not be in the case of the traditional method. And moreover, the aspect ADR involves not only arbitration but also includes mediation, where the aspect of negotiation would take place between a neutral third party.

Need for Arbitration in Sports Field

Arbitration shall be an effective tool on the aspect of dealing with the issues in which that falls under the ambit of sports as in which it is because

  • It is time efficient and has swiftfulness, professionalism and diversity.
  • The arbitrators appointed in such possess expertise in such field a so that they can easily look into remedy and shall analyse the issue in a much effective manner.
  • Protects privacy, integrity, and maintains goodwill.
  • No / Less complicated procedures and it is a steady process.

India And Sports Arbitration

Currently, the Indian judiciary is piled up with the pending cases and the field of sports gets developed day by day and the issues with regard to such are also increasing with it. So due to such the justice shall be delayed. In India, there are certain governing authorities which are made by several organisations in order to deal with these issues as in which it includes the National Sports Policy of India, Sports Authority of India (SAI), The Sports Broadcasting Laws and the Sports Law and Welfare Associations of India. 

Later in the year 2011 a body called the India Court of Arbitration for Sports (ICAS) was made to introduce the ADR mechanism in the realm of sports to resolve the disputes which arose in a much efficient manner than the traditional method. Moreover, in the case of Indian wrestler Narasingh Yadav an indefinite hold was put on the wrestler’s career. And the verdict was decided when CAS upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal. Not only this case, there are several other cases which resulted in prolonged hearings.

Implementation Issues

There is a lack of awareness in India on the aspects of rules and procedural aspects of arbitration for the sports managers and due to such most of the people don’t prefer such a process and some are left with issues on taking such into further stages or to handle.


India is one of the developing countries and the sports industry gets developed day by day which results in numerous issues and when such were taken into judiciary due to the piled up pending cases the aspect of getting the justice gets delayed which ruins the entire career of the athletes so in order to avoid such delays the process of arbitration will be an effective tool on handing such disputes in a much efficient manner.


  1. Nair, P. “Surveying a Decade of the ‘New’ Law of Arbitration in India.” Arbitration International, vol. 23, no. 4, 2007, pp. 699–740, doi:10.1093/arbitration/23.4.699.
  2. Paulsson, J. “Arbitration of International Sports Disputes.” Arbitration International, vol. 9, no. 4, 1993, pp. 359–70, doi:10.1093/arbitration/9.4.359.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: