Law, integrity of sport and regulation

  • Law of (sport) federations and associations
  • Private law and contract law
  • Anti-doping law and anti-fraud law
  • Sport litigation and arbitration rights
  • Sports taxation
  • Civil/criminal liability and sport
  • Detecting fraud systems

This research theme covers the numerous and complex connections between sport, especially elite-level competition sport, and the law. Every aspect of sport, from the structure of sport federations and competition proceedings to sanctions, the status of athletes and litigation, is covered by rules and regulations (whether private or governmental): the law of associations and company law for the structure and operation of sport organizations; private law (including data protection) and contract law (employment contracts, sponsorship contracts and federations’ rules on transfers) for the status of individual athletes; anti-doping and anti-fraud regulations, whether imposed by states or by sport organizations; and arbitration rights, most notably through the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, for litigation. Other major fields of research include the taxation of organizations and individual athletes, the laws governing civil and criminal liability, whether in relation to violence by competitors, misbehavior by spectators or the fraudulent management of sport organization finances. Even building regulations, local development rules and environmental protection legislation have to be taken into account.
Collecting and managing evidence that can be used in legal proceedings requires a forensic approach that is still poorly developed in sport. In cases of fraud, a more proactive approach is needed to resolve problems. Detecting suspicious trends, analyzing the problem (Who is involved? What are they doing? Why?) and drawing up responses in the form of preventive and punitive measures whose efficacy can be measured are the bases of a methodology that requires further development. Studies of spectator and/or player violence and the implementation of longitudinally analyzed indicators for values such as transparency and stakeholder integrity complete the criminological contribution to sport.


Researchers working on this theme:


  • Andrea Bonomi - Full professor (law of arbitration)
  • Robert Danon - Full professor (tax law)
  • Anne-Christine Fornage - Assistant professor (law of obligations)
  • Alain Macaluso - Associate professor (criminal law)
  • Philippe Meier - Full professor (associations, private law, data protection)
  • Laurent Moreillon - Associate professor (criminal law)
  • Edgar Philippin - Associate professor (company law and arbitration)

Integrity of sport and regulation/doping

  • Alex Biedermann - Associate professor (forensic science)
  • Stefano Caneppele - Associate professor (criminology)
  • Pierre Esseiva - Associate professor (forensic intelligence)
  • Olivier Ribaux - Full professor (forensic intelligence) 
  • Quentin Rossy - Assistant professor (forensic intelligence)
  • Franco Taroni - Full professor (forensic science)

Publications within this research theme:

  • Mustafi, Z., & Bayle, E. (2022). Regulating the labour market for professional footballers: Post-Brexit challenges for Swiss football. In Sport and Brexit (pp. 176-195). Routledge.
  • Piffaretti, M., & Carr, B. (2022). “We React Less. We React Differently. We React Better”: A Case Study of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Olympic Referee Performance. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(1), 78-93.
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