Sports Law Ledger - Monday 17 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, Anti-Doping - Softballer receives sanction

Softball Australia has imposed a two-year ban on athlete James Darby for the presence of a metabolite of a prohibited substance. Mr Darby, who competed in the NSW Men’s Open softball team, returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from an in-competition doping control test on 13 January 2019.

Read sanction

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Surf Life Saving: Surf life saver suspended for nine months for anti-doping rule violation

The Sports Tribunal has suspended surf life saver John Elsmore for nine months after testing positive for cannabis. Mr Elsmore’s suspension is backdated to 14 March 2020.  Mr Elsmore was tested after winning the Surf Canoe Long Course – Open Male event at the 2020 TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships.

Read sanction

Integrity, Member Protection - Gymnastics: Australian gymnastics abuse review to focus on culture and not individual cases

"The scope of this review does not extend to the investigation of individual allegations nor findings being made against specific individuals,” the human rights commission said

Read report

Read about the Independent Review of Gymnastics in Australia

Integrity, Member Protection - Rugby League: NRL to take 'strongest possible' action against proven Naden abusers

NRL acting CEO Andrew Abdo has promised to enforce the "strongest possible" penalties if spectators are proven to have racially abused Panthers winger Brent Naden.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection, Gambling - Rugby League: Anti-gambling body wants players to have option to withdraw from same-game multis

Australia's chief anti-gambling body has called for both NRL teams and players to be given the right to withdraw themselves from use in same-game multi-bets, warning that sports codes are facilitating online abuse of their players.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection, Gambling - Australian athletes speak out against abuse from angry gamblers

Australian sportsmen from several codes have spoken out against gamblers who abuse players on social media when they lose bets after an Australian Rules player said he had received death threats at the weekend.

Read report

Integrity, Governance - Rugby League: Kevin Proctor to deny charge after becoming first NRL player sent off for biting

A furious Kevin Proctor will deny a biting charge at the NRL judiciary after his case was sent straight to the panel by the match review committee on Sunday. Proctor faces a lengthy ban from the NRL if found guilty on Tuesday night, after becoming the first player in the league’s history to be sent off for biting.

Read report

Integrity, Governance - Australian Rules Football: WA premier unhappy with Swans, AFL after hub breach

The AFL has apologised to the WA government for the incident, in which Taylor was sprung bringing his girlfriend into the Joondalup Resort, the training and accommodation hub where Sydney has been observing the mandatory 14 days of self-isolation upon entry into the state, which has led to a season-long ban and a hefty fine for the club.

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Governance - Rugby League: How decades after Murdoch and Packer destroyed the popular appeal of a game created for the masses, Peter V’landys is putting rugby league back on top

For decades, rugby league had been led by diplomats with sophisticated wardrobes and vocabularies, who were eaten alive by Sydney’s shark tank of tabloid journalists and shock jocks. Peter V’landys’s appointment was a moment of self-determination for a working-class sport: their new leader was a true believer in egalitarianism.

Read report (long read)

Governance - Horse Racing: Review into whip rule reaches boiling point

The Australian Jockeys' Association is calling for national uniformity on whip rule penalties after a controversial protest was dismissed at Morphettville on Saturday, adding further heat to the whip rule debate that has long been the subject of a Racing Australia review.

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Governance, Stakeholder Management - Football/Soccer: FFA Teams Up With Football Coaches Australia

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Football Coaches Australia (FCA) to enhance coach development.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Rights - Most Australian athletes believe Olympic podium is not the place for protest

Olympic venues and podiums should be off-limits for any form of protest, most Australian athletes believe. But Australia’s Olympians want opportunities to express themselves in other forums, possibly at the athletes’ village, media conferences or via social media.

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Athlete Rights - Rugby League: Warriors 'fuming' over stolen identities

Claims have been made that members of the public have been masquerading as Warriors players at pubs and parties around the Central Coast. And the club says it wants the community to know the COVID breaches do not involve their players.

Read report

IP - Australian Rules Football: Aboriginal flag disappears from Indigenous round

Sources close to the situation indicated the decision to remove the flag from this year’s round was related to the “exclusive copyright license” held over the flag by WAM Clothing, which is detailed on the company’s website.

Read report

Commercial, IP - Deputy Premier takes aim at Opera House over logo 'cash grab'

The Swans, Roosters and Sixers could be the next teams asked to cough up after the NBL declared it was no longer "cost-viable" for the Sydney Kings to keep using the logo they've had since 1988, which features a resemblance of the Opera House sails.

Read report

Commercial, Contracts - Rugby Union: Waratahs to slash player wage bill by up to $1m to stay afloat

The NSW Waratahs are preparing to slash their player wage bill by as much as $1 million next year and operate well under the salary cap in a stark reality chairman Roger Davis said "everyone will have to come to grips with".

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Contracts - Rugby League: Paul McGregor parts ways with Dragons

The St George Illawarra Dragons and coach Paul McGregor amicably parted ways at the conclusion of Friday's night Round 14 game against the Parramatta Eels.

Read club statement

Contracts, Disputes - Football/Soccer: Letter that shows Fowler's deal was terminated 'without notice'

Liverpool great Robbie Fowler was told in a letter from Brisbane Roar's lawyers that his contract was being terminated without notice, alleging comments he made in a television interview damaged the reputation of the A-League team before a worldwide audience.

Read report