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ISA, ICF refer StandUp Paddle dispute to CAS

The International Surfing Association (ISA) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) have referred their long-running dispute over the ownership of the Standup Paddle (SUP) discipline to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Both governing bodies feel SUP belongs under their respective classifications and so far no compromise has been reached.

SUP athletes use a surf board and paddle to navigate courses and the ICF feels the use of a paddle classifies the discipline as a form of canoeing.

The ISA has held SUP events for years and in May signed a partnership with the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals (APP) World Tour seeking to drive the development of the discipline, with the ultimate goal of securing its status as an Olympic sport.

“We are pleased that the issue regarding the governance of SUP … is now before CAS,” ISA president Fernando Aguirre said in a statement reported by the Reuters news agency.

“As a committed member of the Olympic family, we believe CAS is the appropriate forum to have this case heard fairly.”

The decision to refer the dispute to CAS comes as surfing prepares for its Olympic debut at the 2020 summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. The ISA has campaigned unsuccessfully for SUP’s inclusion at the next summer Games.