CYK’s sports law team acts on a wide variety of sport-related disputes, investigations and anti-doping matters, whilst leveraging our market-leading reputation for disputes work including arbitrations, bribery and corruption investigations, contractual disputes, fraud, regulatory matters and obtaining and resisting injunctive relief.

We have extensive experience of disputes across the sporting spectrum, examples of which include:

  • acting for top-tier football clubs in relation to disputes regarding the image rights of their players
  • advising high-profile athletes on matters relating to privacy and defamation
  • advising and representing elite and professional athletes in relation to anti-doping allegations and defending charges brought against those athletes by UKAD
  • acting in agency-related disputes
  • contentious issues and disputes arising out of player transfers

CYK’s sports law team also has considerable arbitration experience, including matters involving the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).


CYK has represented elite, professional and amateur athletes in relation to anti-doping charges brought by the relevant anti-doping agencies.  Recent examples include CYK representing:

  • an elite-level athlete who was alleged by UKAD to have committed a Whereabouts Failure as a consequence of a missed test. There is a presumption in law that where an athlete has failed to make an adequate or timely Whereabouts Filing, they have acted negligently in doing so. This was a rare case, however, in which the athlete was able to persuade UKAD that they were unable – despite their reasonable efforts – to avoid committing the Whereabouts Failure.  Accordingly, UKAD decided not to record the missed test as a Whereabouts Failure.
  • an athlete who had only recently turned professional and who was charged by UKAD with an Anti-Doping Rules Violation (ADRV).  The case involved complicated and novel legal and factual issues concerning the question of when and how an amateur athlete ‘officially’ turns professional in the eyes of the relevant amateur and professional sporting bodies.  As a result, issues were raised about whether UKAD had properly exercised its jurisdiction over the athlete at the time the anti-doping test was conducted.  The case also involved the athlete making a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption application to the UKAD TUE Committee.
  • a professional athlete charged with committing an ADRV.  A key issue was the meaning of ‘Out-of-Competition’ in the Anti-Doping Rules and the factors that need to be taken into account when determining the length of any suspension.
  • an athlete under investigation by UKAD following the apparent presence in their urine sample of a prohibited substance. This was a technical and complex case which involved detailed expert evidence as to, amongst other things, the half-life of the substance in question and the manner in which it can be inadvertently transmitted between subjects through physical contact.

Rule K FA Arbitration

Please follow the link here to read our step-by-step procedural guide to Rule K FA Arbitration ››