Sports Law Ledger - Monday 31 August 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 - Ex-NZOC vice-president Castle new Drug Free Sport New Zealand chair

Former New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) Board member and first vice-president Tim Castle has been appointed the new chair of Drug Free Sport New Zealand. His new role was announced by Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. A member of the Drug Free Sport New Zealand Board for five years, Castle is an experienced barrister specialising in international sports advocacy and arbitration, as well as alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

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Integrity, Member Protection - Boxing: The 'disgraceful' actions of Jeff Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton

Boxing is brutal and dangerous. The bravery required to jump into the ring – at any level – is often forgotten amid the carry-on to drive pay-for-view subscriptions. At the core of its safety is the trust between trainer and fighter. It's a special relationship, perhaps like no other in sport.

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Integrity, Member Protection - Rugby League: Seibold takes names to NRL

Anthony Seibold’s legal team have named and shamed the parties responsible for attacking the coach on social media.

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Integrity, Member Protection - Anthony Seibold saga breaks new ground with ferocity of attacks in digital age

Sport in Australia has crossed the Rubicon with the extraordinarily dramatic Anthony Seibold saga. His fall at Brisbane, less than two years into what was essentially a six-year deal, was marked by viciousness and a pointed personal attack not seen before in Australian sport.

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Integrity, Member Protection - Australian Rules Football: Man arrested for allegedly making online threats to Dylan Grimes

Victoria Police have arrested a Frankston man for allegedly making vile threats on social media towards Richmond premiership defender Dylan Grimes. The arrest was made on Monday after the alleged abuse towards Grimes – who is with the Tigers in a hub in Queensland – escalated to the point where he made a complaint to the police as he was concerned about the wellbeing of his family.

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Integrity, Member Protection - Rugby League: Junior League teams booted after wild brawl

Two Sydney teams have been suspended from a new junior rugby league tournament after a brawl that spilt over the field of play and into the crowd forced the game to be abandoned.

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Governance - Cricket: Inside Cricket Victoria's boardroom battle

The nine-member board - six are elected - has undergone change in recent years since former chairman Russell Thomas and chief executive Tony Dodemaide stepped aside, having failed in their bid to reduce the influence of Premier clubs on voting. While the "new six" ticket - driven by Footscray Cricket Club president Geoff Collinson - failed to sweep to power en masse, two members - Jane Nathan and Phil Hyde - joined the board, with the experienced Peter Williams following.

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Governance, Diversity - Australian Rules Football: Sam Mostyn on becoming the first female AFL commissioner

When Sam Mostyn became the first female AFL commissioner in 2005, she was prepared for resistance from certain parts of the footy community — what she didn't expect was blowback from women involved in the game. Throughout her 11-year stint on the AFL Commission, Mostyn served as a trailblazer for women in the game. She was a key part of the push to create the AFLW competition and helped develop the AFL's Respect and Responsibility policies.

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Governance, Media Rights - NZ: Some solutions to school sport broadcasting mess

There has been much recent concern expressed about the growing professionalisation of youth and school sport environments in New Zealand. The CEO of the NZ Cricket Players' Association and former secondary school teacher Heath Mills has been a consistent voice against the widespread televising of youth sport but has been criticised for identifying problems.

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Governance, Media Rights - Cricket: Cricket Australia sticks with interim boss, despite growing broadcast war with Seven

Cricket Australia is refusing to bow to Channel 7’s withering attack on its leadership, and won’t begin the hunt for a new full-time chief executive until next year. Channel 7 boss James Warburton labelled CA’s current management “the most incompetent administration I’ve ever worked with”

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Media Rights - Cricket: Cricket Australia stands firm as Seven threatens to terminate $450m deal

Cricket Australia is standing its ground in an increasingly ugly stoush with its free-to-air partners, maintaining broadcasters have no legal grounds to terminate the game's $1.2 billion television contract because they are unhappy at the number of Australian internationals in the Big Bash League.

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Media Rights - Cricket: Seven steps up fight as Cricket Australia triggers 'Act of God' clause

Cricket Australia's high-stakes battle with its free-to-air television partner has taken another twist, with Seven West Media believing the game's governing body has nullifed their $450 million broadcast deal by making a force majeure claim on the upcoming season.

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Media Rights - Cricket: Nine chief says T20 World Cup deal off due to postponement

The volatile atmosphere around sports rights during the COVID-19 pandemic has taken another twist, with Nine arguing its deal to televise cricket's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia is no longer valid because of the postponement of the tournament.

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Media Rights - Rugby League: Seven sets its sights on rights to Origin

The Seven Network is eyeing off a serious bid for rugby league and its plans could be strengthened if it parts ways with cricket.

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Athlete Relations, Agents, Contracts - Rugby League: Broncos deny salary cap breach over 'unpaid' third-party deals

While Tevita Pangai jnr has been served a breach of contract notice & is indefinitely suspended by the NRL because of repeated COVID-19 bubble transgressions, the other sub-plot to him taking his grievances to the integrity unit is a split with agent, Isaac Moses

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Contracts - Rugby League: Seibold Steps Down As Broncos Coach

Anthony Seibold has chosen to step down from the Broncos Coaching role. “Anthony approached Chairman Karl Morris late last week to indicate he did not wish to continue as Coach of the Brisbane Broncos. The Board understands Anthony’s situation and has accepted his wishes to step down from the position.”

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Commercial - Rugby League: NRL slashes costs by $80m a year

The Australian Rugby League Commission held a landmark planning meeting on Thursday to map out a strategy to ensure the sport survives and thrives through the coronavirus pandemic.

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Gambling - Digital betting shift delivers huge Sportsbet profit

A big increase in online betting on racing and sport by Australian punters during COVID-19 has delivered a huge profit for bookmaker Sportsbet, which will bed down its merger with BetEasy in time for the biggest days of the upcoming spring racing carnival.

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