Sports Law Ledger - Monday 18 May 2020

Updated: May 18, 2020

‪Catchup on the latest news, updates, and alerts in our wonderful wide world of sports law:


Integrity - Rugby League: Cody Walker tells of $20,000 blackmail attempt over fight

The NRL integrity unit will on Monday speak to Cody Walker after the Souths star told police he is being blackmailed. Walker has in recent days informed police he is being blackmailed by a person who says he has video footage of the Souths star kicking a man in a fight in October last year.

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Integrity - Rugby League: Addo-Carr to fight NRL, police fines for social-distancing breach

Josh Addo-Carr is set to contest his Public Health Order fine for breaching coronavirus protocols during a trip to Latrell Mitchell’s farm in a development that could impact on any sanctions the NRL seek to impose upon him.

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Integrity - Rugby League: NRL proposes two-match bans for Cleary and May

Nathan Cleary and Tyrone May accepted the bans on Tuesday after being found to have been untruthful to the NRL Integrity Unit. On Wednesday, NSW Police issued Cleary with a $1000 Penalty Infringement Notice by officers conducting inquiries into the circumstances surrounding a group not complying with Ministerial Directions in Sydney’s west.

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Integrity - Australian Rules Football: Don't make it a witch-hunt: Danger on player penalties

Geelong champion Patrick Dangerfield has rallied against a "witch-hunt" for players who breach social distancing laws. The star midfielder and AFL Players' Association president is assisting the union in its talks with the AFL regarding penalties for players who break strict COVID-19 rules as football plans its return.

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Integrity - Australian Rules Football: AFL to invoke 'conduct unbecoming' charge for protocol breach

AFL players and officials who breach the strict quarantine protocols being put in place to enable clubs to return to training and playing could face charges of "conduct unbecoming". At Monday's meeting the AFL Commission ticked off on the the league having the power to use that charge when dealing with any breaches underlining further how serious the AFL views adherence to the rules.

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Integrity, Anti-Doping - Banned swimmer Jack may get to plead her case within a month

Banned swimmer Shayna Jack could have her day in court in just over a month as she prepares to plead her case and try to save her career ahead of a postponed Tokyo Olympic Games. The 21-year-old had a directions hearing on Friday which should set a date for an appearance in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. That could be as early as June, with the hearing to be held in front of a sole CAS panelist and potentially via video, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

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Integrity, Anti-Doping, Athlete's Rights - New ASADA powers at cost of athlete's rights

'The Ticket': Changes to Australian legislation will boost the powers of anti-doping authority, ASADA, while at the same time stripping rights from athletes - such as the right to silence. The bill was withdrawn from the schedule this past week but will be put to the Senate when parliament resumes. The Greens believe at the very least there should be amendments.

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Integrity - Todd Carney finding his place after footy

Former NRL playmaker Todd Carney catches up with his former coach Matthew Elliott about the lessons learned during his football career and provides unique perspective on off-field indiscretions.

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Governance - Cricket: Deadlock: States holding firm against Cricket Australia over cuts

An extraordinary stand-off between Cricket Australia and two member states could be headed for arbitration as NSW and Queensland refuse to back down on proposed funding cuts from head office.

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Governance - Rugby League: Secret document from club CEO’s contributed to Todd Greenberg’s demise

A three-page letter, written by club CEOs, which lashes Todd Greenberg’s regime, accuses the NRL of lacking financial transparency and failing to build a war chest to protect the code during the coronavirus crisis. The document is the result of two years of analysis by NRL clubs, which began in 2018. It paints a picture of NRL club disenchantment as they hurtled towards a collision course with Greenberg, who resigned last month after a four-year tenure.

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Governance - Rugby League: NRL's aims may be noble but rule changes leave season without integrity

The ARLC seems to be having an each-way bet. They are banking on continuity by ensuring the two pre-break rounds count but have used the suspension of play to fundamentally alter the nature of the game with the changes.

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Governance - Australian Rules Football: AFL 2020 season will restart on June 11 following coronavirus shutdown

The 2020 AFL season will resume on June 11 with the grand final likely held towards the end of October, the league's boss Gillon McLachlan has announced. McLachlan said from Monday, all clubs would return to training and all AFL clubs would resume full-contact training a week later on May 25, before the premiership season picked up on June 11.

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Governance - Australian Rules Football: Port Adelaide Magpies fans left high and dry by withdrawal from SANFL

Die-hard Port Adelaide Magpie fans are licking their wounds after their team's colours were withdrawn, by AFL decree, from the SANFL for the first time in history. Adding insult to injury was the fact that the AFL made the announcement yesterday, on the 150th anniversary of the state league's most successful team.

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Governance - Football/Soccer: A-League aims for June training return

A-League teams could resume training in June before the competition aims to complete its season in a hub format by the end of August. The league has been suspended since late March but Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive James Johnson has emphasised the desire to complete the remaining regular-season games, plus finals.

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Governance, Athlete Relations - Rugby Union: Queensland Rugby Union Stands-Down Izack Rodda, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings

The QRU made the decision following notification through the players’ RUPA accredited agent that three of his clients were unwilling to accept a reduction in pay and their nomination for the federal government’s JobKeeper subsidy, notwithstanding RA and RUPA‘s recently negotiated player-payment reduction agreement. The decision has been made with the support of Rugby Australia.

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Governance, Athlete Relations - Australian Rules Football: ‘Mental anguish’ for AFL players on the brink

Michael Barlow says the COVID-19 crisis has created a recipe for “mental anguish” among hundreds of uncontracted players facing uncertain futures.

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Governance, Athlete Relations - Cricket: Players want get-out clause in CA contracts

With memories of the original MOU dispute three years ago still ringing in their ears, Cricket Australia and the ACA are again preparing to go into battle over contracts and money.

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Governance, Athlete Relations - Rugby League: Bryce Cartwright granted medical exemption from Queensland health officials

Gold Coast Titans player Bryce Cartwright has been granted medical exemption from Queensland health officials to play in the NRL this season without being vaccinated. In a desperate attempt to save his NRL career, Cartwright claimed a past bad reaction to a vaccine was grounds for medical exemption. Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young granted the 25-year-old exemption from taking the flu jab, and is free to play and train with his club.

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Governance, Disputes - Rugby League: PRLMO lodge dispute with Fair Work Commission

The PRLMO represents the vast majority of NRL match officials, both full time and casuals, and it is their understanding that the NRL do not have the option to change the officiating model during the term of the Agreement, which extends to the end of 2022. The Dispute Notice now forces the NRL to engage in meaningful dialogue with the match officials via the PRLMO, something they have been seeking for weeks since the competition was first suspended.

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