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Sports Law Ledger - Monday 22 June 2020

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

‪Catchup on the latest sports law, integrity, and commercial news, updates, and alerts (copyright remains the property of respective owners):


Integrity, Member Protection - Netball Australia announces intent to join National Redress Scheme

Netball Australia has become the largest national sporting organisation to announce its intent to join the National Redress Scheme, ensuring survivors of institutional child sexual abuse under Netball Australia’s jurisdiction are acknowledged, recognised and supported.

Read Netball Australia statement

Integrity, Gambling - Rugby League: A new account was opened. It tried to win $68k on single Dally M bet

A range of new betting accounts were used solely to orchestrate a plunge on last year's Dally M trifecta, including one attempt to win almost $70,000 with a single bet on the little known novelty option. NSW Police have broadened an investigation into suspicious betting on last year's awards.

Read report

Integrity - NRL rules on player agent Isaac Moses

The NRL on Tuesday announced the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings against Isaac Moses in relation to his accreditation as an NRL player agent. Following the conclusion of this process the league has determined that Moses' accreditation as an NRL player agent should be cancelled. 

Read NRL statement

Governance - Cricket Australia seeks new direction and clarity after Kevin Roberts exit

Kevin Roberts this week departed as Cricket Australia’s chief executive, having lost the confidence of the board, the states, the players and the staff at Jolimont over his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Where leadership calls for cool heads in a crisis, Roberts jumped at the shadows cast by Covid-19 and lost his in a panic that will define his legacy.

Read report

Governance - Cricket Australia still faces discord with state organisations despite Kevin Roberts' departure as CEO

NSW Cricket chairman John Knox has confirmed his state has "no intention" of making cuts to staff as the national body calls for savings to be made.

Read report

Governance - Australian Olympic Committee sends warning to Equestrian Australia to lift their game

The Australian Olympic Committee has threatened to permanently withdraw Equestrian Australia’s accreditation and block sending a team to the Olympic Games unless the embattled body meets a list of demands to improve the sport’s governance. AOC president John Coates branded the collapse an “unprecedented disaster”. He said athletes could be nominated for the Olympics only by a sporting body and not by an administrator or the Australian Institute of Sport.

Read report

Governance - Australian Rules Football: AFL bans contact training for large groups

The AFL has banned contact training in large groups for the next four weeks in the wake of the positive COVID-19 test to Essendon's Conor McKenna.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Suncorp Super Netball player pay update

Players will receive at least 80% of their equivalent full salary during the extended 14 month contract period through to November 30, while many will receive their full salary or above.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Australia's Olympians urged to take stance on 'embarrassing' IOC protest restrictions

A leading human rights lawyer has urged Australia's Olympians to refuse to sign athlete agreements with the AOC unless rules banning protesting at Tokyo 2021 are relaxed, clarified or scrapped by the International Olympic Committee. Nikki Dryden, a former Olympic swimmer for Canada and now Sydney-based lawyer, said athletes held unprecedented power to roll back the IOC's contentious Rule 50, which forbids any form of protest at the Games.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Rugby Union: Wallabies coach Rennie cautious about scrapping 'Giteau Law'

Incoming Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is cautious about scrapping Australia’s ‘Giteau Law’, which limits selection of overseas-based players to those with 60 test caps or more, fearing it may lead to an exodus of talent and harm the domestic game.

Read report

Governance, Intellectual Property - Australian Rules Football: Port Adelaide prison bar guernsey push referred to AFL legal department, Eddie McGuire says

The battle over the Port Adelaide Football Club's "prison bar" guernsey has again intensified, with Collingwood president Eddie McGuire saying he has referred the matter to the AFL's legal department. "The AFL own the copyright, I've referred it now to the AFL chairman and to the CEO and to the legal department of the AFL. They must defend the copyright … otherwise they will be in breach of their own copyright and the constitution of the AFL".

Read report

Commercial, Disputes - Cricket: Starc turns to video in bid to claim $1.5m payout

Game-day footage supplied by Mitchell Starc in a bid to prove he was injured and deserves an insurance pay out of $1.53 million for his lost Indian Premier League contract has become the centre of the latest dispute between opposing lawyers.

Read report

Competition Management - Football/Soccer: A-League set for winter switch after securing new Fox Sports deal

The A-League is on track for a change from summer to winter after clinching a new broadcast deal with Fox Sports to ensure coverage for not only the rest of the current season, but the 2020-21 campaign as well.

Read report

Contracts - Football/Soccer: Carpenter makes Lyon move to rival Sam Kerr's European switch

The Matildas defender, Ellie Carpenter, has signed for the best women’s club on the planet in arguably the most significant move ever by an Australian.

Read report

Contracts - Rugby League: Warriors end Kearney's tenure after heavy defeat

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has been dumped with two years remaining on his contract with assistant coach Todd Payten to take charge of the club in an interim capacity.

Read report

Contracts - Rugby Union: Beale to exit Waratahs before Super Rugby AU kick-off

Kurtley Beale has likely played his last game for the Waratahs after being granted an early exit from his contract ahead of the Super Rugby AU competition. News emerged on Sunday morning that Beale has released from his Waratahs and Rugby Australia contract early, ahead of an impending move to Paris.

Read report

M&A - Basketball: Hawks Set to Soar as New Owners Take Charge

The NBL has announced it has awarded the licence for the Illawarra Hawks to a syndicate of local and overseas investors to lead the foundation club into an exciting new era. The syndicate includes Australian entrepreneur and former co-owner of the Sydney Kings, Dorry Kordahi, prominent former NBA executive Bryan Colangelo and US businessman and basketball influencer Michael Proctor.

Read NBL statement

Media Rights - Football/Soccer: PFA welcomes Fox deal, onus on clubs, FFA to boost A-League

The soccer players' union, the PFA, says the onus is on Football Federation Australia and club owners to improve the A-League now that the competition's short-term broadcasting future has been secured.

Read report

Gambling - Sportsbet made to refund customer who created account despite being on 'self-exclusion' list

In a rare decision in favour of a gambler, online betting company Sportsbet has been ordered to refund losses of $93,082.04 to a man who "self-excluded" from gambling but was allowed to open a new account, betting almost $150,000.

Read report

Read NT Racing Commission Reasons for Decision


Integrity - Call for Parliamentary inquiry into Lord Coe's business links

John Nicolson MP, who sits on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has joined leading athletes in expressing their concerns after it emerged that the firm of which Lord Coe is executive chairman, CSM Sports and Entertainment, had been profiting from deals with the company that owns World Athletics’ commercial rights. The situation caused particular concern because terms of the contract between World Athletics and Dentsu, the Japanese conglomerate, were renegotiated during Lord Coe’s presidency.

Read report

Integrity - "Unethical but not criminal": Lawyers say Diack should not be made a "scapegoat"

Lawyers for former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack say he should not be made a "scapegoat" at his corruption trial in Paris. Speaking today one of Diack's lawyers Simon Ndiaye said his client should not be made a "scapegoat" in the case, as reported by Associated Press. "Ignore appearances and be wary of purely moral judgements," Ndiaye urged judges.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection - UK: Perpetrators of child sexual abuse use sport as cover, inquiry finds

An independent inquiry has found that sport can be used as a cover by the perpetrators of child sexual abuse. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published new research and it has found that, in some cases, coaches and instructors have exploited children’s vulnerabilities and the physical contact sport enables in order to groom and abuse them.

Read report

Download Report

Integrity, Member Protection - Motor Sport: Noose found in garage stall of Bubba Wallace, Nascar's lone black driver

Nascar said late Sunday that a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver in the circuit’s top-flight Cup Series, at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection - Ice Hockey: Carcillo files proposed class-action lawsuit against CHL over hazing

The Canadian Hockey League and its three major junior leagues have been complicit for decades in rampant hazing, bullying, and abuse of underage players by coaches, team staff and senior players, alleges a proposed class-action lawsuit.

Read report

View statement of claim

Integrity, Anti-Doping - WADA publish final version of Athletes' Anti-Doping Rights Act

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its final versions of the Athletes' Anti-Doping Rights Act, ensuring, it is claimed, that athletes rights are clear when it comes to clean sport.

Read report

Read act

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Athletics: Ethiopian long-distance runner given 12-year ban for doping and falsifying evidence

Ethiopian long-distance runner Etaferahu Temesgen Wodaj has been handed a 12-year ban for doping, tampering with evidence and non-compliance. Wodaj was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in November 2019 after testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO) and testosterone, and has now been given the hefty suspension which effectively ends her professional career.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Rugby Union: Welsh player given two-year ban for presence of cocaine in his system during match

Welsh rugby union player Mike Burgess has been given a two-year ban from all sport after cocaine was found in his system following a domestic match in 2018. Cocaine was found in Burgess' system after he provided a urine sample as part of a test following a Welsh Premiership match between Aberavon and Bargoed in October 2018.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Athletics: Sprint star Coleman facing ban after another whereabouts failure

World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman, who narrowly escaped a ban last year for missing three doping tests, was provisionally suspended on Wednesday and could miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics after again breaching whereabouts rules.

Read report

Integrity, Match Fixing - Doping investigator McLaren warns match-fixing poses bigger threat to sport

Richard McLaren, known for authoring the report into the state-sponsored doping in Russia, has claimed that match-fixing is the biggest threat to clean sport. Speaking at the 'Symposium on Match Manipulation and Gambling in Sport' in Toronto, he stressed the need to clamp down on the act to protect the integrity of sport.

Read report

Integrity, Match Fixing - Cricket: Sri Lanka 'sold' World Cup final to India, says former sports minister

A former Sri Lanka sports minister claims Sri Lanka deliberately lost the 2011 Cricket World Cup final to India for money. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister during the 2011 World Cup played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said in an interview with Sirasa TV on Thursday that Sri Lanka "sold" the final played in Mumbai, India.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Baseball: Where things stand with MLBPA preparing to vote on 60-game season

Major League Baseball and the Players Association (MLBPA) have been negotiating for almost six weeks about a return-to-play plan for the 2020 season. It looks like the two sides could be approaching the finish line. The players are reportedly set to vote Sunday on accepting the league's offer of a 60-game season.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Motor Sport: Lewis Hamilton will establish commission to diversify motorsport

Lewis Hamilton is to set up a commission to increase black representation in motorsport. Hamilton, who previously said he felt "so much anger, sadness and disbelief" after the death of George Floyd, has spoken widely on race in light of protests following the killing in Minneapolis.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - American Football: NFL to make 'adjustments as necessary' amid COVID-19

The NFL said on Thursday it will make adjustments as necessary to keep players safe following comments from top U.S. health official Anthony Fauci who said football may not happen unless athletes live in a “bubble”.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Athletes Germany welcomes plan to review Rule 50 of Olympic Charter

Rule 50 of the Charter is designed to protect the neutrality of sport and the Olympic Movement and it states: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

Read report

Governance, Commercial - Florida name, image, likeness bill now a law; state athletes can profit from endorsements next summer

A new Florida law will allow college athletes in the state to make money from endorsements starting next summer. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill, adding an expected increase in urgency to the nationwide movement toward creating more opportunities for athletes to benefit from the billions of dollars generated each year by the college sports industry.

Read report

Commercial - Tennis Ace Scores First No. 1 Payday With $106 Million

Roger Federer has landed the top spot on the annual Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes for the first time this year with $106.3 million in pre-tax earnings. The Swiss ace is the first tennis player to take the No. 1 rank since the list debuted in 1990. Federer’s haul includes $6.3 million in prize money and $100 million from endorsements and appearance fees, lifting him from the No. 5 spot he held in 2019 and beating his previous high of second place in 2013.

Read report

Commercial, Major Events - Rugby League World Cup 2021 announces official licensing agent

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has named Riverside Brands as its exclusive licensing agent for the tournament scheduled for next year. Founded last year, Riverside Brands are set to create third-party collaborations and license agreements for RLWC2021 and will provide products for fans ahead of the tournament to create commercial revenue. The company is head by its managing director Ashley Holman, previously a senior director at children's television channel Nickelodeon and who has 15 years experience in the sector.

Read report

M&A - Motor Sport: Financially-stricken McLaren join Williams in selling up part of business

McLaren is looking at selling a stake of up to 30 per cent in its Formula One operations as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc upon Britain’s most decorated team. The move follows a group-wide restructuring at McLaren’s Woking headquarters, with 1,200 employees made redundant, including 70 members of F1 staff. While a partial sale would raise tens of millions of pounds, it reflects the bleak financial realities assailing a team that has won eight constructors’ titles.

Read report

Sports Law History - The man behind deal that launched rugby union's professional era

If 24 June 1995 is for ever enshrined as a landmark for humanity, the more significant event in rugby’s little world occurred on 23 June. Louis Luyt, president of the South African Rugby Union, called a press conference to announce the signing of a $550m deal between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and Sanzar, the newly formed alliance between the unions of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Rugby’s professional era was launched on the back of it.

Read report

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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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