Applicability of Swiss Law in Doping Cases

19 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2017

See all articles by Despina Mavromati

Despina Mavromati

SportLegis / Université de Lausanne

Date Written: April 17, 2017


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) are both foundations under Swiss private law and have their registered seat is in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition to WADA and CAS, the majority of international sports federations are equally based in Switzerland. Although the adoption of the WADC in 2003 brought about a harmonization of the different anti-doping regulations and the creation of an international regime for anti-doping rule violations, Swiss law continues to play a major role in the adjudication of doping-related procedures before the CAS. The importance of Swiss law is undoubtedly more evident when it comes to the procedural aspects, since the CAS is based in Switzerland and has to comply with the more general legal framework governing international arbitral institutions seated in Switzerland. When it comes to the law applicable to the merits, Swiss law applies “subsidiarily” in all cases where the federation whose body issued the appealed decision is seated in Switzerland. This paper aims to determine the relevance of Swiss law in both the procedure and the merits of doping-related cases, through some examples at the different stages of the anti-doping proceedings before the CAS and before the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT).

Keywords: Doping; Applicable Law; Swiss Law; Swiss Federal Tribunal; Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS); Procedural Law; Substantive Law; World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA); Right to Be Heard; Admissibility of Evidence; Independence of Arbitrators; Jurisdiction; Public Policy; Provisional Measures

Suggested Citation

Mavromati, Despina, Applicability of Swiss Law in Doping Cases (April 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Despina Mavromati (Contact Author)

SportLegis / Université de Lausanne ( email )

Lausanne, CH-1003

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