Mediation to Settle Dispute in Standup Paddle League
The dispute concerning which federation should be in charge of Stand-up Paddle will now head to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for support with the mediation process. The International Surfing Association (ISA) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) are at odds over who will govern Stand-up Paddle and both parties have asked that the Court for Arbitration of Sport mediate the issue so it can be resolved.
The dispute has been ongoing since November 2016, which was when surfing and stand-up paddleboard were admitted to the Olympic Program and scheduled to be an event in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
According to the press release and statement issued by ISA president Fernando Aguerre, “We are pleased that the issue regarding the governance of SUP, a discipline that is very important for ISA, is now before CAS. As a committed member of the Olympic Family, we believe CAS is the appropriate forum to have this case heard fairly. The ISA welcomes the opportunity to put forward our position as the historical rightful custodian of SUP that can continue to best ensure the development of the sport and work in the interest of all SUP athletes worldwide. "
Both federations claim to be a natural overseer of Stand-up Paddle boarding, and both have the sport on their competition program. Each has proposed at least one compromise, but had those option rejected by the other side.
The International Olympic Committee issued a statement that it is aware of the dispute, but has not taken a side in the case. According to a statement from the IOC’s media relations team, the IOC “… trusts the two bodies will work constructively to reach an agreement…”