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Jack Anderson, Richard Parrish and Borja García
EU Sports Law is shaped by three landmark sources: the Court of Justice’s rulings in Walrave and Koch, Bosman and Meca-Medina, which in fertile combination brought EU law to a case-by-case examination of sporting practices that is infused by sensitivity to sport’s peculiar features, now supported by the explicit Treaty direction contained in Article 165 TFEU that the EU shall respect the ‘specific nature’ of sport. A model of conditional autonomy lies at the heart of EU sports law – sporting autonomy is respected on condition that it is shown how and why chosen practices are truly needed. In Bosman the Court concluded that nationality discrimination practised in club football did not carry the same resonance as the nationality discrimination at international level to which it had given the green light in Walrave and Koch, while in Meca-Medina anti-doping procedures were reviewed but not condemned. Article 165 captures and confirms the notion of conditional autonomy.