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Sports Law Ledger - Monday 12 October 2020

(PHOTO: Reddit, @ViviFruit Source:Reddit. Image may be subject to copyright)

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, Anti-Doping - Rugby League: Jennings provisionally suspended after positive test

The NRL has suspended Michael Jennings after the Eels centre tested positive to banned substances, the league announced on Saturday. Jennings has been provisionally suspended after returning a positive A-sample for Ligandrol and Ibutamoren and now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.

Read NRL release

Integrity - Rugby League: Tristan Sailor bailed after being charged with sexual assault

NRL player Tristan Sailor has been granted strict conditional bail following allegations of aggravated sexual assault. The 22-year old faced Wollongong court where police argued the alleged attack south of Sydney last weekend was "predatory and planned".

Read report

Governance - School sport the big winner in Federal Budget 2020, while elite sporting bodies secure funding until Paris Olympics

The Sporting Schools program has become the big winner in the sports sector of the Federal Budget, with almost $20 million committed for this year and next. The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will receive $2.4 million towards setup costs with more to come pending confirmation of State Government contributions.

Read report

Governance - Football/Soccer: Nogarotto to step down from FFA Board

Two members of the Football Federation Australia board are due to face an election next month with sources confirming that director Remo Nogarotto will not be running for re-election, as his three-year term comes to an end.

Read report

Governance - Rugby League: John Khoury to take over as Chairman of Football Club Board

Under the constitution of the Football Club, the remaining 4 directors are still able to form a quorum and the business of the Football Club will continue and not be affected. The 4 Directors of the Football Club have met and voted to appoint Mr John Khoury as Chairman and Mr Joe Thomas as Deputy Chairman.

Read club statement

Governance - Rugby Union: Speculation mounts that Springboks may pull out of the Rugby Championship

South Africa are expected to announce this week whether they will attend the tournament against the All Blacks, Wallabies and Pumas being held in Australia in November and December.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Cricket: Nicholson resigns from cricket's player union

The Australian Cricketers Association will have a new chief executive fight the next pay battle after Alistair Nicholson confirmed his resignation on Monday.

Read report

Governance, Commercial - Rugby Union: NZR refuse to confirm cost of Rugby Championship fixture changes

New Zealand Rugby have refused to say whether they will take a financial hit from forcing a change in the Rugby Championship fixtures to ensure the All Blacks are not in isolation over the Christmas break.

Read report

Dispute Resolution - The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Sport: The National Sports Tribunal

The National Sports Tribunal was established to level the playing field in the area of sports dispute resolution by providing for an effective, efficient, independent, transparent and specialist tribunal for the fair hearing and resolution of sporting disputes.

Read article

Media Rights - Rugby Union: Rugby Australia And Nine In Broadcast Rights Talk

Nine Entertainment Co and Rugby Australia are currently in extensive discussions about a broadcast deal that could reshape the sports rights landscape, which will result in games being shown on streaming platform ‘Stan’. Last week Foxtel made a bid to secure the broadcasting rights, while Network Ten also made a reportedly ‘underwhelming’ offer.

Read report

Media Rights - Swimming: Seven and Swimming Australia broadcast deal terminated amid Olympic delays

Seven and Swimming Australia have terminated their broadcast partnership, with the sporting body’s inability to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials in 2020 due to COVID-19 named as the cause. The lack of trials breaches the conditions of Seven’s rights agreement, allowing the broadcaster to exit the deal.

Read report

Commercial - ACCC orders ticket reseller Viagogo to pay $7m fine for misleading consumers

Ticket reseller Viagogo has been ordered to pay a penalty of $7m for misleading consumers. In proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the federal court found the Swiss-based company had made false and misleading representations when reselling tickets to live music and sports events.

Read report

Esports - Oceanic Pro League to close, OCE players no longer take up LCS import slots

“Today we are announcing the dissolution of the OPL and the closure of Riot’s Sydney office, as it primarily focused on operating the league,” the governing body said.

Read report

Read Riot release


Integrity, Match-Fixing - Tennis: Prosecutors open investigation into alleged match-fixing at French Open

French prosecutors on Tuesday said they had opened an investigation into alleged match-fixing in a women’s doubles match at the French Open. The prosecutors’ office said the investigation into “fraud in an organised group” and “active and passive corruption”, was related to a doubles match between Romanian pair Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig and Russian Yana Sizikova and American Madison Brengle.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Cycling: Former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman says he destroyed laptop, testosterone gel

At a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Great Britain, former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman has given damning testimony about his personal conduct while he worked for the two cycling entities from 2010-2011.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Football/Soccer: Senegalese defender Diaby handed two-year ban after failing drugs test

Senegal and Barnsley defender Bambo Diaby has been banned from football for two years by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) after testing positive for a banned substance. The 22-year-old has now had his contract terminated by the English Championship side.

Read report

Athlete's Rights - Athletics: Caster Semenya's lawyer prepares testosterone rule challenge

The lawyer of South Africa’s Olympic 800-meter champion Caster Semenya, barred from certain races unless she takes hormone suppressants, is preparing to approach the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban.

Read report

Governance - International Olympic Committee facing pressure to address human rights issues

There is pressure building on several human rights fronts and the IOC must decide whether to hold its course of political neutrality or find a new way of manoeuvring through the turmoil engulfing several of its member states.

Read report

Governance - USOPC chief plays down suggestions Government bill could breach IOC rules

The United States House of Representatives in Washington D.C. passed the "Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020" on October 1. The act grants Congress the power to remove members of the USOPC Board of Directors.

Read report

Governance - UK: Dominic Raab does not rule out Winter Olympics boycott over Uighur Muslims

The foreign secretary said it was his "instinct to separate sport from diplomacy and politics" but that there "comes a point where that might not be possible". He said there had been "egregious human rights abuses" against the group.

Read report

Governance - Skiing: Lewis removed as FIS secretary general following Council vote

The FIS Council, including the members of the Marc Hodler Foundation, based on a complete loss of confidence, has decided by a great majority vote that Sarah Lewis will no longer serve as the Secretary General of FIS, effective 9th October 2020.

Read FIS Statement

Governance - Motor Sports: FIA approves ban on Racing Point-style 'reverse engineering'

The FIA said its World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) had approved changes to the 2021 technical regulations “that will prevent the extensive use of reverse engineering of rival designs for the design of a car’s aerodynamic surfaces.”

Read report

Governance - Baseball: MLB starts process of taking over minors’ governance

Major League Baseball is moving ahead with planning to eliminate the separate governing body of minor league baseball as part of a project to shrink affiliations from 160 to 120.

MLB said Wednesday it had retained Peter B. Freund and Trinity Sports Consultants to work on the transition.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Baseball: Supreme Court denies MLB request to dismiss lawsuit seeking increased minor league wages

The case of Senne v. Royals, filed originally in 2014 on behalf of former minor league player Aaron Senne, expanded to encompass thousands of past and present players who were not paid during spring training or received salaries below the poverty line.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Rugby Union: World Rugby discourage transgender women from playing contact rugby

The new guidelines do not recommend that transwomen play women’s contact rugby on safety grounds at the elite and international level of the game where size, strength, power and speed are crucial for both risk and performance, but do not preclude national unions from flexibility in their application of the guidelines at the domestic/community level of the game. Transmen are permitted to participate in men’s contact rugby. 

Read Guidelines

Governance, League Management - Football/Soccer: Premier League Reform Plan Seeks to Reshape English Soccer

A proposal engineered by Liverpool and Manchester United would yield an 18-team Premier League and hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to lower leagues. But key players are not on board.

Read report

Commercial, M&A - Football/Soccer: Football super-agent Jonathan Barnett’s Stellar Group sold to ICM

For Los Angeles-based ICM, whose clients include actor Samuel L Jackson and singer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, the acquisition represents its first move into sports. It also follows a concerted effort by the largest US entertainment agencies to break into the world’s favourite game.

Read report

Esports - IBM inks first-ever esports deal with OWL

The sponsorship component of the deal kicks off at this year’s Overwatch League Grand Finals, which runs from Oct. 8-10, and covers the 2021 and 2022 Overwatch League seasons. As part of the agreement, IBM and the Overwatch League will work towards developing solutions to improve the league’s rankings system, and create live and in-broadcast predictive analysis.

Read report

Esports - Malaysian Sports Ministry to help form new esports organisation

A new esports organisation in Malaysia is set to be created as part of an initiative between the country's Sports Ministry and the Impact Integrated company. The Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports said it would try to capitalise on the growth of esports in the country through the Esports Integrated (ESI) initiative.

Read report

Women in Sport: Check out the 'Siren Call', brought to you by Game Legal. Game Legal are now proud naming rights partner of Siren Sport's newsletter which each week provides a round-up of the week that was in the women in sport world and promotes the work of women covering women’s sport.

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Contact us to discuss these issues further and how they may apply to your sport, or email Mat Jessep at: mat @

Many thanks, as always, to Prof. Jack Anderson for continually bringing important sports law topics, from near and far, and brilliant insights and analysis to our attention.






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