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The British government is committed to non-interference in sports; therefore, there’s no specific laws regulating sports in Great Britain. The only exception is made for cases requiring the upholding of public interest (e.g. the FS Act obligating all Premier League clubs to provide sitting accomodations at stadiums).

Liability Protection

Those participating in sports aren’t fully immune from civil or criminal penalties & are required to exercise extreme caution at all times. If there’s no specific legal mechanism for resolving sporting disputes in Great Britain, participants have the right to bring civil lawsuits against each other for any damage suffered.

Participants engaging in dangerous acts (which could otherwise entail criminal responsibility) cannot face any criminal charges, providing that acts they engage in are generally practiced in their respective sport.

Banned Substances

There’s currently no particular anti-doping regulations in Great Britain. Individuals may be held responsible for using prohibited substances pursuant to general provisions of criminal law. All cases involving the use of banned substances are handled using WADA provisions. All WADA-based claims in Great Britain are settled by the CAS.

Financial Controls

There’s no statutory controls in Great Britain specifically applicable to sporting activities. Most sporting organizations are regulated by ordinary accounting rules. However, quite a few NGBs have specific financial controls in place aimed at reducing their financial losses. 

Great Britain: Resolving Sporting Disputes

There’s no specific regulatory body charged with settling sporting disputes in Great Britain. Choosing one depends on a particular dispute. Regulatory offenses or administrative transgressions committed by athletes are normally handled by disciplinary committees. If disputes fall outside committees’ competence, parties can seek arbitration in Great Britain.

Parties seeking to resolve a sporting dispute through litigation in Great Britain may resort to a stay in proceedings as per the 1996 Law.

Enforcing Decisions

Under sporting rules applicable to NGBs, any penalties, be they regulatory or disciplinary,  imposed on athletes participating in a specific sport can be contested in 1st instance courts. If, after resolving a sporting claim in Great Britain, appellate bodies support (wholly or partially) decisions rendered by 1st instance courts, appealing a disciplinary sanction will be possible based on decisions rendered by disciplinary boards.

Image Rights

The concept of image rights is totally alien to English law. Therefore, those considering protecting or using image rights in Great Britain, should resort to specific provisions contained in business agreement or common/statutory law.

Great Britain: Using Image Rights on a Commercial Basis

Sporting organizations intending to commercialize their image rights for advertising & marketing purposes are recommended to enlist the support of experienced professionals capable of giving advice on the drafting of sponsorship agreements.

Restrictions on Marketing & Sponsorship

Restrictions on sponsorship & marketing activities in pro sports mostly include government-initiated rules and ASA or CA regulations.

Marketing rules & regulations in GReat Britain are especially strict when it comes to FMCGs & gambling activities. Understanding them indepth requires seeking professional advice on structuring sports sponsorship in Great Britain.


Sports law is a highly complex area; therefore, providing advice on British sports law should be the prerogative of real legal professionals. IQ Decision UK can assist you in resolving sports disputes in Great Britain. Our legal experts will also be happy to give you a hand with any other legal issues that you’re facing in this regard.