Disciplinary Tribunal Representation

Sports Disciplinary Tribunals
Advice and Representation

Often, evidence given at a disciplinary hearing/tribunal can be used in other matters brought before a criminal or civil court. For this reason, it is very important to get legal advice from a sports lawyer before attending and participating in any sports disciplinary matter.

Most sporting bodies have tribunals which deal with enforcing their own rules and code of conduct. These are not courts of law, but their decisions can have a lasting impact on a sporting person’s career.

Tribunals are often used as a specialist dispute resolution forum to resolve matters directly related to the rules and codes of the particular sport. Tribunals are usually less formal than courts and can be a faster way to resolve these matters.

Disciplinary matters that are dealt with include allegations or appeals, in relation to, for example:

  • match-fixing
  • doping
  • breach of member protection policy
  • breach of contract morality clause/s (bringing the sport into disrepute)
  • misconduct infringements

Sports Tribunal Hearing

Whilst a tribunal is not expected to act and run as a court of law, tribunals should provide parties with procedural fairness, follow the rules, and be transparent and impartial.

Decisions can include (but are not limited to) suspending a player or coach for a period of time or permanently and monetary fines.

Some sports tribunals, but not all, allow for appeals. Where they do not they may designate the National Sports Tribunal (NST) or The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the bodies to deal with appeals.

CAS Arbitration and Mediation

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is an international body that is set up to settle sports related disputes. CAS is an independent institution and is separate to any sporting organisation. Its headquarters are in Lausanne (Switzerland) but its courts and offices are located in major cities, including Sydney.

Sports Lawyer Disciplinary Tribunal Advice and Representation

Our sports lawyers have extensive experience representing clients at various sporting tribunals. Below are some matters our team have provided advice to, supported or represented at sports tribunal hearings or CAS.

Sports Disciplinary Tribunals

We have acted for both sporting organisations and individuals in sports tribunal hearings including:


  • Acted for Football Federation Victoria (FFV) in an appeal to the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) Appeals Board by 3 players against 5 year bans for assaulting spectators at an FFV fixture. SportsLawyer successfully argued for the bans to be upheld.
  • Acted on behalf of an AFL Club and its players in relation to AFL Tribunal and AFL Tribunal Appeal hearings.


  • Represented a World Champion sportsperson in relation to an alleged breach of anti-doping rules (under WADA Code) and succeeded in having all charges dismissed.
  • Acting on behalf of Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson in the AFL Commission hearing into the Essendon supplements matter.
  • Acting on behalf of triathlete Emma Snowsill in an Olympic selection dispute.
  • Represented a leading Australian Group 1 winning greyhound trainer in defending charges brought by Greyhound Racing Victoria.
  • Represented an eight time national go-kart champion in the Australian Motor Sport Appeal Court and succeeded in having a race penalty overturned at the national championships, resulting in the driver successfully receiving his next National Championship Trophy.
  • Represented an international level athlete in an investigation conducted by ASADA (now SIA) relating to an alleged doping offence, part of a broader investigation. After making comprehensive submissions to ASADA and providing supporting documentation in response to proposed assertions by ASADA of alleged anti-doping violations, and in support of the athlete’s position, the charges were not proceeded with and the athlete received no penalty.

CAS Arbitration and Mediation

We have appeared in CAS matters in Australia and overseas including:

  • A hearing into allegations of a breach of the national sporting body’s Member Protection Policy, which resulted in the charges against our client being dismissed.
  • Represented a swimming coach banned at the World Swimming Championships for life for alleged misbehaviour, and had the ban reduced to eight months which was time already served up to the date of the appeal, and the case set new law on defining what constitutes behaviour that “brings a sport into disrepute”; attended Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Lausanne, Switzerland to run the case.

How can we help?

We can provide advice and assistance in any sporting tribunal matter, including matters at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Our sports lawyers can assist with matters for sports disciplinary tribunals in any location in Australia.