Sports Law Ledger - Monday 13 July 2020

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 - National Sports Tribunal Legal Assistance Panel

The National Sports Tribunal is establishing a panel of legal practitioners who are willing to provide free or substantially discounted legal assistance to parties who have a current matter, or intend to commence a matter.

Read terms of reference

Integrity - Cycling: Cycling Australia establishes an Ethics and Integrity Committee

Cycling Australia’s (CA) commitment to integrity in cycling has been reconfirmed through the establishment of a renewed Ethics and Integrity Committee with a contemporary mandate and new members. The Committee is Chaired by Anne Gripper, currently a member of the UCI Anti-Doping Commission and a member of the Paddle Australia Ethics and Integrity Committee. 

Read report

Integrity, Discrimination - Rugby League: NRL fines Fonua-Blake $20,000, orders volunteer work in response to slur at referee

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Addin Fonua-Blake will be a volunteer referee in wheelchair rugby league and pay a $20,000 fine for use by a wheelchair rugby league club for breaching the National Rugby League’s (NRL) Anti-Vilification Code. The penalty under the Anti-Vilification Code is in addition to the two-match suspension handed down by the Match Review Committee after Sunday’s match against the Newcastle Knights.

Read NRL media release

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Horse Racing: Eighty-one Aquanita horses face disqualification

The owners of 81 Aquanita starters have been asked by Racing Victoria to show cause as to why their horses shouldn't be disqualified from wins in which it was found those horses were doped before races.

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Integrity, Match-Fixing - Horse Racing: 'I can see how it looks like my bet but isn’t': Hyeronimus fights betting charges

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus denied he had an interest in bets placed by his cousin Blake Paine, in spite of stewards' allegations he frequently deposited money, amounting to more than $15,000, into Paine’s bank account and the pair exchanged messages about bets.

Read report

Governance - Netball Australia Launches Independent Review Of Strategy

The review will be chaired by former Australian netball captain, Liz Ellis, and will canvas the views and experiences of the wide range of customer and stakeholder groups across netball in Australia, to help ensure the sustainability, prosperity, and relevance of the sport. Joining Ellis on the review panel is Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, experienced non-executive director and former MP, Wendy Machin, and experienced non-executive director, CEO, CMO and media executive, Joe Pollard.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Football/Soccer: Gill and Busch appointed PFA co-Chief Executives

The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Executive Committee today announced the appointment of former Matilda Kathryn Gill and former A-League player Beau Busch as PFA co-Chief Executives.

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Governance, Competition Management - Rugby Union: NZ Rugby Super Rugby review identifies eight-team model as 'optimal' format

Super Rugby could be played as an eight-team competition in 2021 between New Zealand’s five franchises and the Waratahs, Reds and Brumbies under the ‘optimal’ format identified by New Zealand Rugby’s Aratipu review.

Read report

Governance, Competition Management - Rugby Union: Australia-only option on table as NZ Rugby play hard ball in Super Rugby

Australia is contemplating a Big Bash-style domestic rugby competition dotted with international names as New Zealand attitudes appear to harden against a five-team Australian presence next year.

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Sports Law Job Opportunity - PFA Legal Counsel, Player Relations

An exciting and unique opportunity exists for a licensed legal practitioner to join Professional Footballers Australia as Legal Counsel – Player Relations.

Read job description


Integrity, Member Protection - Gymnastics: 'I was terrified to put on weight' - the 'culture of fear' in British gymnastics

British Gymnastics has announced an independent review will take place following allegations of mistreatment from a number of athletes in recent days.

Read report

Read NSO statement

Integrity, Member Protection - Gymnastics: Former U.S.A. Gymnastics Coach Faces 14 Charges of Lewdness With a Minor

A former coach for U.S.A. Gymnastics was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday and faces more than a dozen counts of lewdness with a minor, the authorities said. The former coach, Terry Gray, 52, was a gymnastics coach in Las Vegas from 2009 to 2015.

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Integrity, Member Protection - UK: More than 160 cases of coaches engaging in legal sexual activity with teens, FOI request shows

There were more than 160 cases of sports coaches engaging in sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old in their care since 2016, a BBC investigation has found - prompting campaigners to say the law must be changed "urgently".

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Integrity, Member Protection - I work to protect elite athletes, these growing allegations must be properly investigated - Victoria Aggar

"Talk of ‘independent’ reviews makes me sceptical – athletes need a separate complaints organisation they can trust." Victoria Aggar is chair of the British Athletes Commission.

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Integrity, Member Protection, Discrimination - Human Rights Council urges States to prohibit DSD Rules

A report from the Human Rights Council has urged United Nations member States to ‘prohibit the enforcement of regulations that pressure athletes to undergo unnecessary medical interventions as a precondition for participation in sport’. World Athletics’ Eligibility Rules for the Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development) require athletes covered by the Rules to medicate themselves in order to compete.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection, Anti-Doping - British London 2012 Olympians were used as guinea pigs for Special Forces 'wonder drug'

The so-called ‘novel nutritional intervention’ was fed to medal hopefuls during competition despite only being available for use in ‘research’, and there being no guarantees it wouldn’t breach anti-doping rules or that it was free of side-effects.

Read Report

Integrity, Member Protection, Anti-Doping - UK Sport statement on Ketone Ester research and innovation project

UK Sport does not fund research projects aimed at giving our national teams a performance advantage at the expense of athlete welfare.

Read UK Sport statement

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Rugby Union: Welsh rugby player banned for four years blames failed drugs test on STI medication