Sports Law Ledger - Monday 10 August 2020

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Catchup on some of the latest sports law and integrity updates from Australia, New Zealand & around the world (copyright remains the property of respective owners):


Integrity, Member Protection - Gymnastics: Gymnastics NZ Independent Review

Gymnastics NZ have put in place a review in to the sport of gymnastics in NZ. This review will be conducted by respected sport integrity expert, David Howman.

Read Gymnastics NZ media release

Integrity, Member Protection - Australian Rules Football: Recent post-game behaviour by a number of players

The actions of players touching several team-mates inappropriately during post game celebrations and / or during club theme songs is not in keeping with either club, community or AFL expectations.  

Read AFL media release

Integrity, Anti-Doping - New Zealand researchers hail 'breakthrough' with non-targeted test

Researchers at New Zealand's Otago University are hailing a "breakthrough" in the fight against drug cheats with a non-targeted test for designer steroids which they hope can be deployed in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Powerlifting: Powerlifting Australia sanctions athlete for breaching his Period of Ineligibility

As a result of Matthew Middleton breaching the Period of Ineligibility (from 12 August 2016 to 11 August 2018), a new Period of Ineligibility equal in length to the original period has been added to the end of the Period of Ineligibility under Article 10.12.3 of the Powerlifting Australia Anti-Doping Policy 2015.

Read SIA Media Release

Integrity - Rugby League: Date set for decision in Jack de Belin's pre-trial legal argument

Sidelined Illawarra Dragons star Jack de Belin will learn the result of his pre-trial legal argument in four weeks. Judge Andrew Haesler announced on Friday afternoon he would hand down his decision in the pre-trial case on August 28, after hearing more than three weeks worth of evidence and submissions.

Read report

Governance - Sport Australia release updated governance principles

The Sport Governance Principles were co-designed through a whole-of-sector engagement. These principles can be used throughout the Australian sport sector, from small local clubs to large national organisations, but the details and explanations tend to be most applicable to national sporting organisations and state/territory sporting organisations.

View governance resources

Governance - Australian Rules Football: Calls grow for Port and Crows members to get a greater say in how the clubs are run

AFL clubs the Adelaide Crows and Port Power should be denied any taxpayer cash until their boards are democratically elected by members, a South Australian senator says.

Read report

Governance - Cricket: Cricket Victoria vote will have Cricket Australia implications

State-based calls for governance reform at Cricket Australia may gain or lose impetus depending on the outcome of the Cricket Victoria board elections, set to be contested by four candidates for two spots in Melbourne at the end of this month. The successful election of Premier Club-aligned duo of Simon Tobin (ex-Essendon president) and Amanda Bond (a KPMG partner backed by Northcote Cricket Club) would potentially result in the replacement of the current Cricket Victoria chair Paul Barker with the former WACA delegate Peter Williams, a long-time adversary of CA's independent board and its chairman Earl Eddings.

Read report

Governance, Biosecurity - NRL issue breach notices

issued breach notices proposing fines for a player and club coaching staff who have breached biosecurity protocols; South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett; St George Illawarra Dragons player Paul Vaughan; three members of the Brisbane Broncos coaching staff.

Read NRL media release

Governance, Major Events - Football/Soccer: Fernandez to head Australia's 2023 Women’s World Cup office

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed Jane Fernandez will serve as its head of the 2023 Women’s World Cup office. Fernandez served as general manager for the bid and has now been confirmed as the head of Australia’s office as it prepares to co-host the tournament.

Read report

Governance, League Management - Cricket: Woodhill to advise Cricket Australia on the BBL's future

Cricketing radical Trent Woodhill has quit as Melbourne Stars list manager to help Cricket Australia chart a way forward for the Big Bash League, in a mirror of his role advising the ECB on the launch of The Hundred. In a role assisting the head of the BBL, Alistair Dobson, with "global player acquisition" and the broader shape of the league, Woodhill will bring his outspokenness and 'livewire' ideas to a competition that is desperately grasping to trend up again after losing crowds and broadcast ratings.

Read report

Commercial, Sponsorship - Australian Rules Football: Combined AFL and AFLW rights key driver of Google Australia sponsorship

Google Australia made its third deal with the Australian Football League (AFL) in three years when it signed as an Official Partner of the AFL, including new rights to the AFLW women’s league, last month. Google had signed separate one-year deals in 2018 and 2019 for IP rights attached to the AFL men’s league only. The new deal is for three years from 2020 to 2022.

Read report

Commercial, IP - Basketball: A new $50,000 licensing fee was too much for the Sydney Kings who now need a new logo

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger says a massive increase to an old licensing fee was behind the Sydney Kings and NBL parting ways with the iconic Opera House logo.

Read report

M&A - Football/Soccer: Asia has plenty of ownership models for Mariners to study

Owners in football come and go but it is always a concern when one says they can’t continue any more, as Central Coast Mariners fans are finding out.

Read report

Broadcasting - News Corp reveals sports rights savings offset Covid-19 impact

News Corporation chief executive Robert Thomson revealed that for the first time the combined number of Foxtel OTT subscriptions had passed 1m. Thomson said that as of August 4 Kayo subscriptions had grown again to 590,000 while the new entertainment streaming service Binge was on 217,000 (both numbers include trial subs). Thomson also noted the company had made significant savings in recent sport rights renegotiations – some $70m this year and as much as $180m over three years.

Read report

Broadcasting - $10 million Foxtel handout came from COVID recovery funds

A controversial $10 million given to Foxtel to broadcast women’s and under-represented sports has been revealed as being funded under a federal coronavirus response package, a decision derided as a “mockery”. Labor has slammed the government for providing “absolutely no accountability” around the decision to award the funding.

Read report

Venues - Australian Institute of Sport to be partly sold off

The Australian Sports Commission plans to sell off part of the Australian Institute of Sport and turn the facility into a centre of excellence for Paralympic and women's sports, as well as a sports technology hub. The idea has received recognition from the nation's independent infrastructure adviser including it as a "priority initiative" in a $64 billion suite of projects listed in Infrastructure Australia's mid-year report, released on Wednesday.

Read report

Major Events - Cricket: 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup In New Zealand Postponed To 2022

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand has been postponed to 2022 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international cricket. Alongside this announcement, the ICC also confirmed the Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 that was due to be held in Australia and was recently postponed, will now be held in Australia in 2022, with India to still host the 2021 edition.

Read report