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Sports Law Ledger - Monday 26 October 2020

(Image Dean Lewins/AAP, may be subject to copyright)

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, Animal Welfare - Horse Racing: Trainer committed to stand trial on charges of animal abuse, conspiracy

Darren Weir, along with assistant trainer Jarrod McLean and stablehand Tyson Kermond, has been charged with abusing three racehorses in the lead-up to the 2018 Melbourne Cup, and conspiring to cheat or defraud racing stewards.

Read report

Governance - Top schools want Govt to step in on Olympic champion's commercialisation of children's sport

New Zealand Olympic hero Rob Waddell is under pressure again over the controversial deal that sees his business earn money from streaming school sport.

Read report

Governance - Cricket: 'Stability amid instability': Maddocks backs CA chairman to extend tenure

New Cricket Victoria chairman David Maddocks supports an extension to Earl Eddings' tenure as Cricket Australia chairman. But Maddocks' support comes with the warning that a laser-like focus will be directed on cricket's governing body.

Read report

Governance - Sailing: Predicting how the latest America's Cup drama will be resolved

Emirates Team NZ boss Grant Dalton discusses the stoush with Luna Rossa over America's Cup regatta courses.

Listen here

Governance, Athlete Relations - Australian Rules Football: Free agency a disaster of the AFL's making

This is not a coronavirus-hubs-financial Armageddon scale disaster for the AFL, the like of which we have already witnessed this year, but it is a disaster nonetheless.

Read opinion piece

Governance, Commercial - Football/Soccer: Independent A-League will prop up cash-strapped clubs

The A-League club owners will come to the rescue of financially struggling clubs to ensure next season will finish with 12 teams, after reaching an agreement to gain near-full control of the competition from Football Federation Australia.

Read report

Governance, Commercial - Rugby League: The price of success: How much it cost the NRL to keep the Storm alive

The governing body invested a whopping $4 million to keep Melbourne Storm in the competition this season. The NRL paid for meals, accommodation, chartered flights and expenses throughout the club's four-month stay at Novotel Twin Waters. The NRL also paid about $5m to relocate the New Zealand Warriors in Tamworth, and then the Central Coast, for five months.

Read report

Governance, Commercial - Inside the $375m track back to Olympic glory for ageing AIS

The once world-leading Australian Institute of Sport desperately needs an overhaul. But the road back to glory will take time – something the country doesn't have.

Read report

Governance, Gambling - Cricket: NSW Government Bans Gambling Advertisements At Big Bash Matches

Gambling advertisement’s will not appear at Big Bash League (BBL) matches played in New South Wales (NSW), after Cricket NSW and the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling officially announced a two-year ‘GambleAware’ partnership.

Read report

Commercial, Broadcasting - ABC forced to pay Foxtel for rights to women's soccer

Taxpayers paid twice to fund the broadcasting of women's soccer games after the ABC bought rights from Foxtel, which was the recipient of a controversial $10 million government subsidy to support the sport's coverage.

Read report

Commercial, Broadcasting - Free Super Rugby game on Kayo part of Foxtel's rights bid

Foxtel offered to place Super Rugby games outside of streaming service Kayo Sports' paywall as part of its pitch to win the battle for Rugby Australia's broadcast rights.

Read report


Integrity, Member Protection - Gymnastics: Former gymnast speaks of historical abuse in the sport

The governing body has denied it did "anything but the right thing on this issue", and said the legal letter was "standard practice".

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection - Gymnastics: FIG set to hold online conference in wake of gymnastics abuse scandals

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is set to host an online conference over the next two days, aimed at improving training environments globally amid the recent abuse scandals in numerous countries in the sport.

Read report

Integrity, Member Protection - Fiji: FASANOC holds workshop on gender-based violence in sport

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has held a workshop on the subject of gender-based violence in sport. More than 30 officials attended the workshop in Suva, entitled "contextualising gender-based violence and its impact in sports".

Read report

Integrity, Anti Doping - Cycling: Spanish court rules biological passport not valid for Salas' doping ban

The on-again, off-again doping ban of Ibai Salas took yet another turn in favour of the Spaniard after his attorney Jose Rodriguez successfully convinced the seventh judicial review court in Madrid that the UCI's biological passport is not a valid method to determine a doping offence.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - WADA develops new method of identifying sample tampering as part of weightlifting investigation

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has developed a new method of detecting the prohibited practice of urine substitution at the point of collection and the use of sample surrogates or ‘doppelgängers’, following a ground-breaking investigation into the sport of weightlifting.

Read report

Governance - US: Bill which gives Congress power to remove USOPC Board members delivered to White House

The Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020 has been delivered to the White House for signature.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Activism - The Olympics are about diversity and unity, not politics and profit. Boycotts don't work

"Participating in the Olympic Games is an incredible experience for every athlete. But it is also humbling when you realise that you are part of something bigger. You are part of an event that unites the world. In the Olympic Games, we are all equal. Everyone respects the same rules, irrespective of social background, gender, race, sexual orientation or political belief." - Thomas Bach, IOC President

Read article

Governance, Employment - US College Sports: A USC player filed for unemployment. A suspension and a visit from the feds followed

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was meant to help those unable to work because of the novel coronavirus, so Munir McClain assumed that he would qualify. The USC receiver, like so many other college athletes, had spent the previous few months stuck at home, unable to play or practice.

Read report

Governance, Diversity - Rowing: Lack of women making key decisions will harm World Rowing's reputation, President fears

World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland believes a lack of female decision-makers "damages" the organisation's reputation for "good governance" – and he insisted: "We have to act."

Read report

Governance, Disputes - Germany: Invalidity of forced arbitration clauses in organised sport…Germany strikes back!

The discussion revolving around the invalidity of arbitration clauses in organised sport in favour of national and international sports arbitral tribunals has been at the centre of the discussion in German courtrooms.

Read article

Governance, Disputes - Football/Soccer: Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal rules in FIFA's favour in TTFA dispute

"FIFA welcomes the decision of the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal, which ruled that the former leadership of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association had acted unlawfully by appealing to a local court to contest the appointment of a normalisation committee for the TTFA"

Read FIFA statement

Major Events, Cyber-Security - UK And US Accuse Russia Of Cyber Attacks On Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The claims suggest the GRU have conducted cyber reconnaissance against organisers, logistics services, and sponsors with the intention of compromising computer systems, as part of the latest efforts from the GRU after the organisation reportedly targeted the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

Read report

Esports, Integrity - Rainbow 6 team admits to throwing match for better Major seed

The coach of Rainbow 6 Siege team CYCLOPS athlete gaming has admitted to throwing a competitive match to secure a better seed for the upcoming Six Major, sending the R6 community into frenzy.

Read report

Esports, Commercial - Beckham’s Guild Esports Signs Unknown $6.6 Million Sponsorship

Former England soccer captain, David Beckham’s Guild Esports has signed a three-year $6.6 million (UK£3.6 million) with an unnamed ‘new European fintech company serving esports fans.’ The deal sees the UK-based esports start-up, which boasts investors including Beckham, Blue Star Capital, Toro Consulting, and Schroder Investment Management, deliver logo placement on team jerseys and player livestreams.

Read report

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.

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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