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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued an award in relation to the governance of the sport of Stand-Up Paddleboard. The CAS Panel unanimously rejected the International Surfing Association’s claim to an exclusive right to govern the sport at world level.

In rejecting this claim to exclusivity, the CAS Panel upheld the ICF’s arguments that there is no basis in Swiss law, under the rules of the relevant international pan-sport organisations or otherwise to grant or recognise such purported exclusivity.  The Panel’s decision clears the field for the ICF and ISA both to continue to develop the nascent and varied sport of SUP (which ranges from point-to-point racing on flat water to surf-based competition judged on qualitative criteria) at national, regional and world levels. A majority of the Panel (with one dissent) continued to find that the CAS Panel could stand in the IOC’s shoes and apply the IOC’s recognition criteria to determine, inter-partes and without prejudice to the IOC’s powers of determination, that the ISA shall, at present, be the relevant governing body for SUP at Olympic level.   

Adam Lewis QC and Tom Mountford acted for the International Canoe Federation.

A copy of the decision can be found here

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