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Sports Law Ledger - Monday 28 September 2020

(RIP The Great Dean Jones. Image 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, Member Protection - Gymnastics: Gymnastics Australia – Supplementary Complaints Management Process

Gymnastics Australia has partnered with Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal, to establish the independent Supplementary Complaints Management Policy  (SCMP) for the handling of all individual complaints related to misconduct, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment and assault toward an athlete.

Read report

Read the SCMP

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Drug Free Sport New Zealand and Sport Integrity Australia education collaboration wins recognition

Two of Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s (DFSNZ) Education resources have won accolades at the 2020 LearnX Live! Summit and Awards Show, held virtually on 17 September 2020. The Health Effects of Doping augmented reality app, and the Clean Sport 101 online course won a suite of learning design awards, including “Best Use of Technology in Learning” and “Best Free e-Learning Resource”.

Read DFSNZ statement

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Changes in supplements regulation good news for Australian athletes

From 30 November 2020, in order for sports supplements with therapeutic claims containing higher-risk ingredients to be advertised and supplied, they must be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. They must also meet legislated requirements that ensure the safety, quality and efficacy for medicines, including advertising. 

Read SIA statement

Governance - Football/Futsal: Families owed thousands after paying for children to play for 'Australia'

Hundreds of families paid for international tours after their children were selected by an unofficial Futsal body, but plans were scrapped due to COVID-19.

Read report

Governance - Football/Soccer: Francis Awaritefe appointed as PFA Chair

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) announced the appointment of former Socceroo, National Soccer League (NSL) player and PFA Life Member Francis Awaritefe as Chair of the PFA. Awaritefe serves on the PFA Executive and is a member of the global and Asian boards of FIFPRO, the world footballers’ association. Awaritefe is presently chair of the PFA’s Steering Committee negotiating new Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) for the professional leagues.

Read PFA statement

Governance - Australian Rules Football: AFL accused of exploitation after dancers asked to perform for free at grand final

The AFL came under fire from the arts industry over the weekend after sending a request to dance schools in the Brisbane area for “strong performers” aged 15 and above to take part in a mass activation planned for the game – with no financial remuneration.

Read report

Governance, Concussion - Concussion payout to former AFL player Shaun Smith reinforces CTE link with contact sport

Industry insiders say the decision makes another important connection between playing contact sport and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which could potentially lead to a future class action. However similar payouts may not be available to other players due to the nature of their insurance.

Read report

Governance, Athlete Relations - Football/Soccer: 'Unhelpful and damaging': PFA slams Glory owner's 'misleading' letter

Perth chairman Tony Sage has flagged more stand-downs for players and staff, but the players' union has fired back amid increasingly tense pay negotiations.

Read report

Read PFA statement

Governance, Major Events - Rugby Union: No quarantine rule change for All Blacks - but some hope for 'hot spot' transtasman bubble in time for Christmas

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said quarantine rules won't be changed to allow All Blacks players and staff to spend Christmas with their families after the Rugby Championship in Australia. However, Ardern offered some hope that a "hot spot" approach to trans-Tasman travel could be possible before Christmas, which would resolve New Zealand Rugby's issue with the Rugby Championship schedule.

Read report

Governance, Major Events - Tennis: Players could compete while in quarantine, Australian Open boss says

Players preparing for the Australian Open could be allowed to compete while in quarantine after arriving in the country, Tennis Australia (TA) boss Craig Tiley said. Tiley said in a letter to players that TA was working with local authorities to ensure they would be able to train and prepare for the Australian Open and other local events in the lead-up during their two-week isolation.

Read report

Commercial, M&A - Rugby League: Private investment could hand the NRL a lifeline — but will profit-driven investors take the passion out of footy?

"When a report was tabled valuing the NRL at up to $3.1 billion — as reported in The Australian — you can imagine the eyes of NRL and club officials lit up like smokers after a long-haul flight. Beyond the valuation, the details of a potential injection of private equity capital are scant. Most notably, there is so far no thought of what control the game would forfeit for the cash that would allow it to continue business (pretty much) as usual."

Read opinion piece

Commercial, M&A - Football/Soccer: Chinese-owned investment firm on cusp of buying Newcastle Jets

Newcastle Jets are hoping their longstanding financial woes are coming to an end after their owner struck an agreement in principle to sell the club to a Chinese-owned investment firm based in Australia

Read report

Commercial - Rugby League: Telstra Secures NRLW Naming Rights

The NRL has announced Telstra as the official naming rights partner of the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership (NRLW), on a three-year partnership. With this deal, Telstra now holds the naming rights of both the men’s and women’s elite competitions through to at least 2022. NRL CEO, Andrew Abdo, said he is delighted to see Telstra extend its commitment to the NRL and the women’s game.

Read report

Commercial - Matildas Partner With Cadbury For National Women In Sport Initiative

The Westfield Matildas have announced a two-year partnership with Cadbury to become an Official Partner as part of the upcoming National Women in Sport Initiative. As part of the deal, prominent Australian athletes from four sports are set to share their stories and advocate for the continued growth and development of women’s sport.

Read report

Commercial - Cricket to become more sanitised in new sponsorship deal

In a period of ubiquitous focus on hand hygiene, this summer's men's white-ball international series against India will be branded with Dettol.

Read report

Media Rights - Rugby Union: Network Ten bids for rugby union, Amazon also enters picture

Industry sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiation process is confidential said that Ten had lodged the bid late last week, offering to broadcast the Wallabies matches on its network again but for a lower price.

Read report


Athlete Activism - The Olympics strive for political neutrality. So, how will they deal with surging athlete activism?

While the IOC advocates for political neutrality, the Olympics are inherently contested terrain - a celebration of athleticism and, by virtue of national teams, a stage for geopolitical triumphs and tensions.

Read report

Athlete Activism - Why Olympic athletes should not be gagged in exchange for their Olympic dream - Rule 50

The Olympics are built on certain human rights principles which are used to market the Games as an idealistic and, magical gathering of the world's people represented through each nation's best athletes. But to execute that vision, the International Olympic Committee goes to extensive lengths to protect its financial interests and preserve its exalted image. In some cases that means violating the human rights of the very athletes at the center of the Olympic Movement.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - CAS overturn life bans of three Russian athletes convicted on evidence of Grigory Rodchenkov

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned the life bans given to Russian biathletes Olga Vilukhina, Yana Romanova and Olga Zaitseva. The three biathletes were suspended for life in 2017 for doping offences at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, where they earned the silver medal in the 4x6 kilometres relay.

Read report

Read the CAS media release

Integrity, Anti-Doping - Kenyan President troubled by doping cases among country's athletes

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has admitted the spate of doping cases among his country's athletes is "troubling" as he called for the Sports Ministry to enhance its education to prevent further violations.

Read report

Integrity, Anti-Doping - WADA issues revised 2021 International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information

The revised 2021 ISPPPI contains updates to Articles 4.1, 4.5, 5.3, 11.5 and Annex A. The updates integrate feedback from the 18 comments received during the supplementary consultation phase from six stakeholders, as well as observations from the European Data Protection Board provided to WADA by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 November 2019.

Read WADA media release

Integrity, Governance - WADA to boost investigations capabilities with new compliance team

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is further strengthening its successful Intelligence and Investigations Department (I&I) with the addition of a section dedicated to investigating non-compliance by Signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).

Read WADA media release

Integrity, Governance - Athletics: World Athletics extends deadline for RusAF reinstatement plan until March 1

The initial deadline for RusAF to produce an appropriate reinstatement plan was next Wednesday (September 30). The deadline has now been extended until March 1next year.

Read report

Integrity, Governance - Athletics: Belarus Athletic Federation continues policy of electing drugs cheats as President

Convicted drugs cheat Ivan Tsikhan has been elected as the new President of the Belarus Athletic Federation (BFLA). The 44-year-old replaced another hammer thrower, Vadim Devyatovskiy, who himself had been suspended from athletics for doping.

Read report

Governance - Football/Soccer: FIFA publishes comprehensive new Legal Handbook

The FIFA Legal Handbook will be updated annually and has been created to provide an all-in-one electronic resource for FIFA documentation related to legal, governance and regulatory matters in football. As well as the FIFA Statutes, the FIFA Legal Handbook features numerous other key FIFA regulatory and statutory codes.

View handbook

Governance - Football/Soccer: FIFA suspends the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association

The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before a local court in Trinidad and Tobago in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA. This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.

Read FIFA statement

Governance, Commercial - UK: Sports must lay out their losses before rescue plan

Sports have been told to provide full details to the government by Wednesday of expected financial losses caused by the latest coronavirus restrictions, before the likely announcement of a rescue plan. Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said the information would be a first step towards government support for sport in the crisis but insisted the Premier League must “step up to the plate” and bail out the EFL clubs.

Read report

Governance, Major Events - Bach claims IOC would be "very concerned" with organisation of 2026 Winter Olympics if Italian sports law approved

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has issued another warning to the Italian Government over its draft sports law, claiming the IOC would be "very concerned" with the organisation of the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Italy if it is approved. Bach said the IOC's concern regarding the sports law was "growing" and again warned the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) that it could be suspended if it is passed by the Government.

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.

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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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