Accessing the NST

Find out how to determine if individuals or sporting bodies can use us, and what resources we have to help.

Eligible individuals

Individuals – usually, athletes and athlete support personnel – can use us if they meet the criteria in the flowchart.

All parties to a dispute must agree to bring it to us. This agreement may be:

  • automatically incorporated in a sporting body’s regulations, rules or a contract 
  • a specific agreement to refer a specific case to us 

Individuals who would like to refer a dispute to us should first check with their sporting body to see if it will be possible. 

The NST is available and keen to assist sports who wish to amend their rules to include the use of the NST. Contact the Registry at enquiries@nationalsportstribunal.gov.au to arrange a discussion.

Eligible sporting bodies

Our focus is to help resolve disputes arising in sport at the national level.

Accordingly, a sporting body can use us if it is one of the following:

The Sporting Body Policy outlines how the NST determines which organisations (who are not an NSO, NSOD or recognised by the International Sporting Federation) are listed in the Specification of Sporting Body Instrument.

Sporting organisations below the national level (for example, a state association) can only use us if:

  • the dispute arises under the rules of the national-level sporting body, and
  • the national-level sporting body agrees to refer to the dispute to us and to be a party to the dispute

Sports with their own tribunals

Sporting bodies with their own in-house tribunals can choose to use us in various ways:

  • use our first-instance divisions (the Anti-Doping Division and the General Division) for eligible disputes
  • conduct first-instance matters in-house and use our Appeals Division when their members challenge their in-house decisions
  • conduct arbitration in-house but use us for alternative methods — mediation, conciliation and case appraisal

Agreement to use the NST

During our pilot period (March 2020 to March 2022), sporting bodies and individuals can access us on a case-by-case basis in all 3 divisions if all the parties to the dispute agree in writing.

This applies even if a sport’s rules or policies do not refer to us, or even specifically refer to another method of dispute resolution.

Anti-doping disputes

We will usually be the hearing body for anti-doping matters, unless an NSO has its own internal tribunal that is approved by Sport Integrity Australia.

Sporting bodies who have not yet recognised us in their rules can still use us:

  • on a case-by-case basis
  • if the CEO of Sport Integrity Australia agrees

Resources for sporting bodies

We have a range of resources for sporting bodies to help them:

  • assess whether they can use us
  • integrate us into their current dispute resolution processes

These include:

  • a self-assessment tool for National Sporting Organisations – use this to check if your organisation can use our General Division or Appeals Division
  • model clauses for sporting bodies to use in their constituent documents, policies and so on, if they want to recognise us as the tribunal to resolve their disputes

Sporting bodies can contact us for these resources and we will talk through how to use them.