Surfing, canoe federations take stand-up paddle row to CAS

The future of stand-up paddle (SUP) will be decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as the canoeing and surfing federations battle for control of a sport with rapidly rising popularity.

Both federations, which are part of the Olympic Games program, have claimed the sport as their own as they look to tap into a completely new and growing market to boost revenues amid growing competition from other sports and recreational activities popular among youths.

"We are pleased that the issue regarding the governance of SUP ... is now before CAS," International Surfing Association (ISA) president Fernando Aguerre said in a statement on Thursday. He said CAS had agreed to mediate new discussions over the governance at the request of both federations.

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

The ISA has been organizing competitions for years in SUP, a sport where athletes stand on a board and move forward using a long paddle.

But the International Canoe Federation (ICF), which has also had SUP events on its competition calendar for years, says the use of the paddle automatically makes it part of its organization.

Surfing is one of five new sports to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The ISA had unsuccessfully tried to include SUP in those Games as a surfing discipline.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Mark Heinrich)