The CAS Statute of 1984 was accompanied by a set of procedural Regulations. Both were modified slightly in 1990. Under these rules, the CAS was composed of 60 members appointed by the IOC, the International Federations (IF), the National Olympic Committees (NOC) and the IOC President (15 members each). The IOC President had to choose those 15 members from outside the other three groups. In addition, all the operating costs of the CAS were borne by the IOC. In principle, the proceedings were free of charge, except for disputes of a financial nature, when the parties could be required to pay a share of the costs. The annual budget was approved by the CAS President alone. What is more, the CAS Statute could be modified only by the IOC Session, at the proposal of the IOC Executive Board.
The CAS Statute and Regulations provided for just one type of contentious proceedings whatever the nature of the dispute. The claimant lodged his request with the CAS, accompanied by the arbitration agreement. The request was then examined by a Requests panel which ruled on the admissibility of the request, subject to a final decision by the panel of arbitrators which would then be called on to hear and rule on the dispute, if necessary. The parties thus remained free to continue their action in spite of a rejection decision by the Requests panel.
The proceedings could then begin with an attempt at achieving conciliation, either at the proposal of the parties, or pursuant to a decision by the CAS President if he judged that the dispute was suitable for conciliation to be attempted. If this failed, the arbitration procedure itself was started.
Alongside this contentious procedure there was also an advisory procedure open to any interested sports body or individual. Through this procedure, the CAS could give an opinion on a legal question concerning any activity related to sport in general. The advisory procedure still exists, but it has been modified somewhat, and access to it restricted (see below).
In 1991, the CAS published a Guide to arbitration which included several model arbitration clauses. Among these was one for inclusion in the statutes or regulations of sports federations or clubs. This clause read as follows: Any dispute arising from the present Statutes and Regulations of the ... Federation which cannot be settled amicably shall be settled finally by a tribunal composed in accordance with the Statute and Regulations of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to the exclusion of any recourse to the ordinary courts. The parties undertake to comply with the said Statute and Regulations, and to accept in good faith the award rendered and in no way hinder its execution.
This clause prefigured the subsequent creation of special rules to settle disputes related to decisions taken by sports federations or associations (appeals procedure).
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) was the first sports body to adopt this clause. This was the starting point for several appeals procedures even if, in formal terms, such a procedure did not yet exist. After that, other national and international sports federations adopted this appeals arbitration clause, which meant a significant increase in the workload of the CAS.
Up to 1991-1992, a wide variety of cases were submitted to the CAS involving issues such as the nationality of athletes and contracts concerning employment, television rights, sponsorship and licensing. With the appearance of the appeals arbitration clause, numerous doping cases were subsequently brought before the CAS, and it was as the result of, or thanks to one such case that the structure of the CAS would have to evolve.