The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS; Tribunal Arbitral du Sport or TAS in French) is an arbitration body set up to settle disputes related to sports. Its headquarters are in Lausanne; there are additional courts located in New York City and Sydney, with ad-hoc courts created in Olympics host cities as required.
It was originally conceived by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch to deal with disputes arising during the Olympics. It was established as part of the IOC in 1984.
Ten years later, a case decided by the CAS was appealed to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, challenging CAS impartiality. The Swiss court ruled that the CAS was a true court of arbitration, but drew attention to the numerous links which existed between the CAS and the IOC. In response, the CAS underwent reforms to make itself more independent of the IOC, organizationally and financially. The biggest change resulting from this reform was the creation of an "International Council of Arbitration for Sport" (ICAS) to look after the running and financing of the CAS, thereby taking the place of the IOC.
Generally speaking, a dispute may be submitted to the CAS only if there is an arbitration agreement between the parties which specifies recourse to the CAS. Currently, all Olympic International Federations but one, and many National Olympic Committees have recognised the jurisdiction of the CAS and included in their statutes an arbitration clause referring disputes to it.
Its arbitrators are all high level jurists and it is generally held in high regard in the international sports community.
As of 2004, the majority of recent cases considered by the CAS dealt with doping or transfer fees paid within professional football (soccer).