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Sports Law Ledger - Monday 24 August 2020

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

(Image copyright Getty)

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, Member Protection - Australian Rules Football: AFL, St Kilda apologise to Robert Muir for 'disgraceful racism and disrespect'

The AFL and St Kilda have apologised to former player Robert Muir in the wake of "confronting" details about the racism he endured throughout his career being revealed.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection, Concussion - Teen Ice Star Who Fell Through The Cracks

The sad, lonely death of abandoned Aussie Olympian Katia Alexandrovskaya has exposed the dark secrets of world sport.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Horse Racing: Stables boss found with drugs, fake licence

He’s the boss of two prominent Sydney riding stables. But Peter Hoogland has found himself before a magistrate facing a plethora of allegations including alleged steroid possession.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Australian Rules Football: Bomber Thompson’s fresh claims over doping scandal

The former Essendon great and Geelong premiership coach, Mark "Bomber" Thompson opened up on the handling of the doping saga. He claimed former chief executive Ian Robson’s knowledge of the doping program went much deeper than what he let on.

Read report

Integrity, Gambling - Horse Racing: Stewards hand down hefty penalty to Hyeronimus

Group 1-winning jockey Adam Hyeronimus plans to fight a three-year disqualification over a long-running betting scandal which threatens to end his career.

Read report

Read NSW Reason for Decision

Integrity, Contracts - Rugby League: NRL investigates Pangai jnr third-party deals

Broncos star Tevita Pangai jnr will meet with officials from the NRL integrity unit on Zoom to discuss missing payments that have infuriated him and have the potential to cause problems for all those connected to his deal. Sources at the NRL say Pangai is driving the issue.

Read report

Governance - Golf: In the bag: Sutherland wins Golf Australia top job

Former Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland will be Golf Australia's new chief executive. Sutherland, a keen golfer, left CA in October 2018 after 17 years in one of the highest sporting offices in the land. He has since joined the board of the Geelong Football Club, is a member of the Twenty20 World Cup organising committee and has become chairman of the newly created Live Entertainment Industry Forum – a coalition of major stadiums, venues and promoters across sport, music and theatre.

Read report

Governance, Employment - Australian Rules Football: Brad Scott to head AFL Victoria as part of restructure of AFL

Former North Melbourne coach Brad Scott will become the new head of AFL Victoria as part of an AFL restructure that will see around 20 per cent of roles at headquarters directly affected. AFL staff were informed of the organisation's new structure on Monday morning.

Read report

Governance, Gambling - Horse Racing: TAB NZ is established as the sole betting provider for racing and sports in New Zealand

On 1 August 2020 the main provisions of the Racing Industry Act 2020 (the Act) came into force. This represents the NZ Government’s final and main legislative response to the recommendations of the Messara Report. The new Act replaces the Racing Act 2003 and finalises the post-transition governance structure of the racing industry.

Read Dept of Internal Affairs (NZ) webpage

Governance, Funding - Sport NZ’s new $68 million community fund opens today

Applications are now open for Sport NZ’s new fund – Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa – for community-based programmes and projects targeting those tamariki and rangatahi (young people aged 5 to 18) at most risk of missing out or being less active.

Read Sport NZ statement

Governance, Contracts - Rugby League: Broncos Anthony Seibold Exit Deal, Club Fined $75,000 For Breaching COVID-19 Protocols

Head coach of the Brisbane Broncos, Anthony Seibold, is facing an alleged exit deal in excess of a million dollars to leave the club immediately, according to reports from Nine Network. In recent weeks, the Brisbane Broncos have been fined $75,000, with ten players facing individual sanctions for breaching the NRL’s COVID-19 biosecurity protocols.

The club and player fines total $140,000.

Read report

Contracts - Rugby League: NRL set to stop players cashing in on broken contracts after Addo-Carr case

The ARL Commission is expected to be presented with a proposal from NRL salary cap auditor and interim chief financial officer Richard Gardham over the off-season that will address one of the biggest blights on the game.

Read report

Commercial, Copyright - Aboriginal flag's absence from AFL's Indigenous Round highlights ongoing issues

The AFL will not be displaying the Aboriginal flag on its grounds during its Indigenous Round this weekend. A company not owned by Indigenous Australians, WAM Clothing, has exclusive rights to use the flag on clothing.

Read report

Commercial, Sponsorship - Motor Sport: The naming rights sponsor for the Bathurst 1000 will change ahead of next year’s event

The naming rights sponsor for the Bathurst 1000 will change ahead of next year’s event with Genuine Parts Company subsidiary NAPA Auto Parts set to be announced as taking over the role.

Read report

Read Supercars statement

Sports Tech, Fan Engagement - Football/Soccer: A-League Reports Record Digital Fan Engagement

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced the 2019/20 A-League season has reached record numbers of digital fan engagement. FFA head of leagues, Greg O’Rourke, said: “Year on year, the Hyundai A-League has seen a 30% growth in digital followers and a 15% increase in engagements also over that time".

Read report

M&A, Gambling - Tabcorp seeks $600m as wagering falls

The capital-raising comes on the back of falling profits as Tabcorp has so far struggled to transition enough of its customers from retail to digital betting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The release of Tabcorp's annual report shows that its Lotteries and Keno business has grown while the Gaming, Wagering and Media arms are in decline.

Read report

Broadcasting - The revolution will be digitised

What does the digital revolution mean for women’s sport? The changing relationship between digital platforms and women’s sport and its community.

Read report

Broadcasting - NZ: 'We sold our souls for a few dollars': The shopping list of concerns about televising school sport

The debate over the future of school competitions as a commercial enterprise shapes as one of the defining moments in New Zealand sport's history.

Read report (premium)


Integrity, Governance, Ethics - Football/Soccer: FIFA ethics committee clears Gianni Infantino

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has been cleared of corruption allegations by the football regulator's independent ethics committee — but he remains under investigation by Swiss authorities.

Read report

Read FIFA statement

Integrity, Governance, Ethics - Sailing: Resignations as World Sailing President becomes embroiled in Ethics Commission row

World Sailing Ethics Commission members have resigned after the body investigated allegations that President Kim Andersen had misused signatures, with Andersen accusing the Commission of "questionable actions".

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Baseball: Baseball Players Are Testing Positive for a 50-Year-Old East German Steroid. They Can’t Explain Why.

In June Houston Astros pitching prospect Kent Emanuel learned that he had tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid commonly known as oral Turinabol. It’s mostly associated with East Germany’s state-sponsored doping program.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Skiing: Veerpalu to be charged for aiding sports fraud during blood doping scandal

Coach and former cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu is set to be charged with aiding and abetting in sports fraud for his role in the blood doping scandal uncovered at last year's Nordic Ski World Championships in Seefeld.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Rugby Union: Russian player Kalinin handed four-year ban for doping offence

World Rugby has reportedly handed a four-year ban to Russian Leonid Kalinin for failing a drugs test. According to Russia's state news agency TASS, the 23-year-old hooker tested positive for a banned steroid and has been sanctioned by World Rugby's Independent Judicial Committee.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection, Discrimination - USA: Who Should Compete in Women’s Sports? There Are ‘Two Almost Irreconcilable Positions’

A restrictive Idaho law — temporarily blocked by a federal judge Monday night — has amplified a charged debate about who should be allowed to compete in women’s sports, as transgender athletes have become increasingly accepted on the playing field while still facing strong resistance from some competitors and lawmakers.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection, Sports Tech - Sportradar helps the sport industry tackle social media abuse with first of its kind player protection service

Sportradar’s Intelligence & Investigation Services team has drawn upon advanced techniques, technology and 20 years of experience servicing the sports industry to create a ground-breaking new service that both addresses and protects professional athletes from the growing problem of online abuse.

Read statement

Integrity, Match Fixing - Darts: Players suspended for match fixing allegations

After and investigation by the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA), Nigel Mawer the Chairman of the DRA has decided that Kyle McKinstry a Darts Player from Northern Ireland has a case to answer for two cases of match fixing and failing to cooperate with the DRA enquiry by not producing his phone itemised billing, along with Wessel Nijman a Darts Player from Holland, who has a case to answer for match fixing in breach of the DRA Betting Rules.

Read DRA statement re: McKinstry

Read DRA statement re: Nijman

Integrity, Ethics - Football/Soccer: CAS to hear Teixeira appeal against FIFA life ban on Monday

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is set to hear Ricardo Terra Teixeira's appeal against his life ban from FIFA on Monday. Teixeira, a former FIFA Executive Committee member, was handed a life ban for bribery in November.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Rights - American Football: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's message for Colin Kaepernick: 'I wish we had listened earlier'

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed remorse for the league not listening to Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback peacefully protested during the national anthem.

Read report

Governance, Participation Agreements - Motor Sport: All F1 teams agree terms on new Concorde Agreement

Formula 1 has announced that all 10 teams have agreed to the new Concorde Agreement, that will take effect next year and run until the end of 2025. The Concorde Agreement is the contract which divides up the commercial revenues of the motor racing series, including media and sponsorship rights, along with specifying technical regulations.

Read report

Governance, Commercial - Five scenarios for the post-coronavirus sports industry

Organised sport has never seen anything like the events of the last few months. The longest general suspension of live events, in countries across the globe, outside of World War Two. A crisis forewarned in theory, but whose details were completely unknowable even late in 2019.

Read report

M&A - Motor Sport: Williams agree ‘€152m deal’ to sell F1 team to US investment firm Dorilton Capital

The Williams Formula One team have been bought by US-based investment firm Dorilton Capital after being put up for sale in May, in a deal that reportedly values the team at €152 million (US$179.5 million). 

Read report

Commercial, Sponsorship - Rugby Union: England Rugby and Adidas slip into four-year footwear extension

The renewal means Adidas will remain a partner of the RFU until the end of the 2023/24 season. As part of its deal, Adidas will supply players’ boots and trainers across England Rugby’s men’s, women’s and age-grade teams, as well as providing footwear to coaches and other RFU staff. The brand will also maintain a range of online and digital rights, including a presence across England Rugby’s social media platforms.

Read report

Commercial, Venue, Naming Rights - Basketball: Clippers, CAA Seek Record Naming Rights Deal For New Arena

Expected to break ground next summer, the privately-financed IBEC is expected to be ready for the start of the 2024-25 NBA season. The naming rights, however, are expected to be in place prior to groundbreaking. Reports suggest the new arena development will total $1 billion.

Read report

Media - Spotify expands sports push with new playlist

Audio streaming giant Spotify is expanding its sports offer with the addition of a curated daily playlist that combines commentary and music.

Read report

Gambling - Sportsbook Operators Turn to Media Influencers In Customer Loyalty Race

“The name of the game isn’t acquisition, it’s loyalty,” as sportsbooks try to keep customer dollars in an industry currently separated by few differences between operators.

Read report

Esports - League of Legends is growing. Traditional sports better watch out.

With its millions of viewers, lucrative titles and sell-out competitions, it should come as no surprise that the world of esports is beginning to challenge some of Europe's most established sports.

Read report

Need legal support, but not the ongoing headcount and expense? Check out our range of Outsourced In-house Counsel retainer plans.

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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