Sports Misconduct Disputes: Complaints, Investigations, Mediation, Arbitration, & Internal Reviews

Have you been subjected to abuse or misconduct in an organized sport? Have you been accused of such abuse or misconduct and need to defend yourself in related legal proceedings? It can be distressing to find yourself in either situation. Contact Runyowa Law if you need guidance or legal representation in sports-related disputes across Canada.

Directly, and through its affiliates, Runyowa Law provides dispute resolution services to members of organized sport communities across the country. Tavengwa Runyowa represents clients privately but is also an independent roster member of the Abuse-Free Sport – Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner’s (OSIC) Legal Aid program. To find out more about Abuse-Free Sport and its legal aid program, click here.

Runyowa Law also provides mediation, arbitration, and investigation services for provincial and national sports organizations (NSOs) that are faced with allegations of misconduct. Additionally, we also offer internal policy and governance review services for sports organizations that wish to ensure that their structures are robust, transparent, effective, and accessible to the communities they serve.

Runyowa Law can help you with the following steps in advancing your interests before sport dispute resolution bodies:

  1. Legal advice on whether, and which, sporting organization to file your complaint with;

  2. Understanding the numerous steps in the dispute resolution process and what your rights are within your specific context;

  3. Preparing, reviewing, and filing your complaint or responding materials with sport dispute resolution bodies at the provincial or national levels.

  4. Understanding the legal, reputational, and social implications of engaging in a dispute before your respective sport authority;

  5. Formally representing you in legal proceedings before sport regulatory bodies and tribunals to advance or defend claims of misconduct.

In recent years, abuse and misconduct in organized sport has come into sharper public focus. These problems affect all sports at the amateur and professional levels. Abuses and misconduct in sport include harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment, assault, neglect, grooming, psychological maltreatment, boundary transgressions, subjecting persons to undue risk of injury, and for certain persons, failing to report such misconduct by others.

To promote the integrity and safety of organized sport, governments and regulatory organizations across Canada have enhanced their efforts to create and strengthen mechanisms to prevent, mitigate, and sanction misconduct. These efforts are intended to address disputes between an array of participants in organized sport including athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, and officials. To effectively advance this goal, these efforts must ensure that those who come before sport dispute resolution bodies can do so without fear of retaliation, or undue concerns about stigmatization and alienation within their communities.

Every person who participates in a sport-related dispute is entitled to a safe environment to report abuses or respond to allegations of misconduct. Every participant is entitled to a system that is fair, intelligible, rigorous, and which allows them to tell their story without prejudgment. Regardless of the forum in which you participate in sport-related disputes, Runyowa Law will assertively fight to advance your legal interests.

Legal services can be expensive. Unfortunately, many athletes and participants in organized sports do not have incomes that correspond with their talents and professional efforts. Runyowa Law recognizes this problem and is committed to finding ways that maximize clients’ limited resources. This may mean focusing your resources on the most complicated or important stages of your dispute; helping you to organize your evidence and story so that you can effectively present your case; and helping you to identify and advance your legal interests.

To help our clients achieve the most cost-effective and consequential objectives within their budgets, Runyowa Law may provide flat-rate fees and limited scope representation that can help you maximize your limited resources. In an ideal world, it may be preferrable to have a lawyer at every stage of your case. Nevertheless, even when limited in scope, such targeted legal services can empower you to confidently and effectively represent yourself at every stage of your proceeding. Runyowa Law considers limited scope and flat-fee retainers on a case-by-case basis. Contact us for more information.


The information on this website is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or a contract for legal services with Runyowa Law Professional Corporation. If you need formal legal advice in a covered practice area, please contact Runyowa Law Professional Corporation at 1-306-206-2800