Sports Law Ledger - Monday 19 October 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 - A fair go: A note on the National Sports Tribunal

In an article in the latest edition of the ANZSLA 'Commentator', Prof Jack Anderson briefly reviews the operation of the NST and the challenges that lie ahead in its initial two-year pilot stage.

Read article

Integrity, Member Protection - Athletics: Athletics NZ apologises for historic abuse allegations

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a team official while competing for Auckland as an 11-year-old sprinter in the 1980s has received an extraordinary apology from the governing body of athletics.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection - Australian Rules Football: Ex-player sues AFL and club over alleged racism

Héritier Lumumba is suing his former club, Collingwood, and the AFLover racism he says he endured in his playing career.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Athletics: Athletics Australia impose 4 year ban on athlete Jessica Peris for the Presence and Use of prohibited substances

Ms Peris returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from an out-of-competition doping control test on 18 October 2017 for the Presence of prohibited substances, namely exogenous Androsterone,  Etiocholanolone  and 5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol.

Read SIA release

Read AAT Decision

Integrity, Corruption - 'Not the smartest decision': Dally M bets on Bellamy cost man $10 million

Joshua Wilson, the most unlikely subject of a rugby league scandal, on Wednesday revealed the jaw-dropping financial toll he has paid for his central part in an affair that led the NRL to ban all betting on the Dally Ms.

Read report

Governance - Australian Rules Football: More club presidents back call for independent review of the AFL

The Sydney chairman warned on Friday that the game was in danger of heading in the wrong direction beyond recovery unless it was prepared to undergo objective scrutiny for the first time in 27 years.

Read report

Governance - Proposed boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics shot down by AOC, prompting criticism from senator Rex Patrick

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates has been described by independent senator for South Australia Rex Patrick as holding "an antiquated and self-serving vision of international sport" in a scathing letter sent to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee.

Read report

Concussion - Australian Rules Football: New insurance policy for AFL players to cover concussion

The new provider, One Path, which is owned by Zurich, would assess each instance on a case by case basis however the Players' Association says retrospective cases will not be assessed.

Read report

Media Rights - Seven and Cricket Australia fight over broadcast rights 'experts'

The Kerry Stokes-controlled broadcaster lodged paperwork with the Australian Chamber for International and Commercial Arbitration and asked for an independent expert to be appointed two weeks ago, but CA was unwilling to participate in the process until late on Wednesday.

Read report

Media Rights - Rugby Union: Nine offers $30 million for rugby union broadcast rights

Industry sources familiar with Rugby Australia's discussions with media companies who requested anonymity said Nine had offered to pay about $30 million a year in cash and free advertising. The television, publishing, and digital company decided late last week to offer more cash than free advertising to sweeten the deal.

Read report

Commercial - Australian Rules Football: AFL And Jim Beam Announce Two-Year Partnership Extension

The AFL has announced a two-year extension to its partnership with Jim Beam as the Official Dark Spirits Partner of the AFL.

Read report

Major Events - Golf: Australia’s major golf events cancelled

The Australian golf industry announced that this summer’s premier events – the Australian PGA Championship, Australian Open, and Women’s Australian Open – have been cancelled.

Read GA statement

Esports - Cycling esports powering off and taking the leader's jersey on gender parity

Jess Pratt has been named in the Australian team for the inaugural Cycling Esports World Championships in December, an elite competition that will be raced from competitors' homes.

Read report


Integrity - Horse Racing: Study shows how racing and sports integrity units can quantify their success

Illegal betting is presenting a significant threat to the integrity of sport globally. The Asia Racing Federation's Anti-Illegal Betting Task Force is producing some interesting evidence-based research on the issue.

Read article

Integrity - Football/Soccer: Aguero will not face action for touching female assistant referee

Samantha Lewis, a women’s football writer, said Sergio Aguero intended to intimidate Massey-Ellis by the way he touched her.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection - Cycling: Riders could quit unsafe Giro after 17 police escort officers test positive

Riders at the Giro d’Italia are considering a walkout after 17 further positive Covid-19 tests on Thursday, all of them involving police motorcycle escort officers at the E-bike event which accompanies the men’s race.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Rights - What Does it Mean to be a Woman in Sports? An Analysis of the Jurisprudence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Framing the Caster Semenya case (2019) and the Dutee Chand case (2015) as matters of scientific dispute, instead of as concerning human rights, and a history of institutionalising gendered and racialised body norms through sporting regulations, further aided the affirmation of the ‘testosterone rules’ and significantly influenced the CAS decisions.

Read article

Governance, Athlete Rights - US College Sports: The Name, Image, and Likeness Legal and NCAA Regulatory Landscape

With five states (Florida, California, Colorado, Nebraska, and New Jersey) enacting new legislation and many more going through the process, Congress taking increased notice through multiple hearings and the first three of what is likely numerous pieces of federal legislation, and the NCAA and its membership slowly succumbing to what amateurism will mean in the 21st century, the next frontier in the college sports arms race is upon us.

Read article

Governance - Weightlifting: Intarat appointed interim International Weightlifting Federation chief

Thailand's Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey has taken over as interim president of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after Ursula Papandrea of the United States was removed from the post in a boardroom putsch.

Read report

Governance - Weightlifting: IOC 'very worried' by reported ousting of IWF interim head

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday it was “very worried” by the reported ousting of the interim president of weightlifting’s troubled governing body. The sport, rocked by revelations of doping cover-ups and decades of corruption, was warned by the IOC in June that it risks losing its place at the Paris 2024 Olympics and future Games.

Read report

Governance - Football/Soccer: Premier League averts Big Picture coup but it was just the opening shot

The plan put forward by Liverpool and Manchester United seeks to empower the biggest clubs at the expense of the Premier League itself and they will not remain quiet.

Read report

Governance - Rugby Union: RFU to allow transgender women to continue playing domestic women’s rugby in England

The RFU has taken the decision which contradicts the position of World Rugby which has ruled that transgender women are banned due to the fact that the risk of “significant injury” was “too great”, although World Rugby has allowed for national unions to implement their own rules within the guidelines.

Read report

Governance - Cricket: Process for the election of ICC Chairperson underway

The process, which is being overseen by the Independent Chairman of the ICC Audit Committee, has commenced and the first stage was for the nominations of potential candidates to be made by current Board Directors by 18 October 2020.

Read ICC release

Governance - Rugby Union: South African team will not travel to Australia to play in The Rugby Championship 2020

Due to several factors, including South African government travel restrictions, player welfare and safety concerns, and the ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on South African players both in South Africa and across their various clubs in the UK and Europe, the Springboks will remain in South Africa.

Read SANZAAR release

Governance - Cricket: USA Cricket eyes full ICC membership by 2030

The USA Cricket Foundational Plan identifies five objectives - growing engagement, increasing participation levels, improving the performance of its national teams, operating sustainably and building trust across the local cricket community.

Read report

Governance, Employment - French Soccer Roiled by Claims of Toxic Workplace Culture

Celebrated for its successes on the field, France’s soccer federation hired a consultant to address complaints about top executives. He heard accusations of bullying, misbehaviour and sexism.

Read report

Contracts - Football/Soccer: Termination of Contractual Obligations and Football Law: The Legal Consequences

Termination of a contract of employment is not a new concept in FIFA's regulatory framework. Although its wording and drafting reflects, in many ways, the decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of Bosman, its continuous development suggests a remarkable 'battle' between the main stakeholders in this area: players and clubs.

Read article

Gambling - Football and its relationship with gambling

An examination of football’s ‘gamblification’ with the betting industry.


Esports - An $11 Billion Merger, 500 Million Fans: Esports’ Time Is Approaching

Interest in competitive video gaming continues to grow, and unlike traditional sports, it saw an increase in play and interest during the pandemic. But the industry has a litany of legal issues to consider as it grows.

Read article

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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