Sports Law Ledger - Monday 4 May 2020

‪Catchup on the latest news, updates, and alerts in our wonderful wide world of sports law:


Integrity - Anti-doping boss David Sharpe handed more power, promoted to head up new sport integrity agency

David Sharpe was announced on Sunday as the first chief executive of a powerful new agency called Sport Integrity Australia (SIA), due to begin operations on July 1.

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Integrity, Match Fixing, Esports - Victorian men hit with corruption charges over alleged esports match fixing

Five men have been charged with match-fixing offences as part of the first Australian criminal investigation into esports. Detectives from the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit charged the men last week with serious offences subject to maximum penalties of 10 years' imprisonment.

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Integrity - NRL Players Sanctioned

The National Rugby League (NRL) has issued players Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary and Tyronne Roberts-Davis with breach notices for bringing the game into disrepute. The notices allege that Mitchell, Addo-Carr, Roberts-Davis and Cleary have each shown a blatant disregard for public health orders, guidelines and advice and in doing so have brought significant reputational damage to the NRL.

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Integrity - AFL Players Sanctioned

Fremantle has sanctioned two of the three players involved in a house gathering. Despite the WA Police not charging the three Dockers players investigated for breaching coronavirus restrictions by attending a raucous house party, the Dockers have taken a stance. The club has imposed sanctions on Luke Ryan and Jason Carter, with first-year player Michael Frederick avoiding a fine.

Read Club statement

Governance - AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport

The AIS Framework is a timely tool of minimum baseline of standards, for ‘how’ reintroduction of sport activity will occur in a cautious and methodical manner, based on the best available evidence to optimise athlete and community safety. The principles outlined in this document apply equally to high performance/professional level, community competitive and individual passive (non-contact) sport. Decisions regarding the timing of resumption (the ‘when’) of sporting activity must be made in close consultation with Federal, State/Territory and Local Public Health Authorities. The priority at all times must be to preserve public health, minimising the risk of community transmission.

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Governance - National Cabinet considered and endorsed ‘National Principles for the Resumption of Sport'

The Australian National Cabinet agreed that sport and recreation will play a significant role as Australia emerges from the COVID-19 environment due to the associated health, economic, social and cultural benefits it brings. National Cabinet also agreed that the resumption of sport and recreation activity at any level must not compromise the health of individuals or the community; must be based on objective health information to ensure potential transmission rates are conducive to the safe conduct of sport and recreation; and should only occur where activity-specific, stringent, public and personal health measures are observed, and meeting minimum standards.

Read Principles

Governance - John Coates' AOC power grab would make Putin blush

The AOC’s notice of meeting for its 2020 AGM on May 9 includes a proposed amendment to its constitution to “include provision for a potential Honorary Life President”, a position which “may be conferred upon a person who has served as elected President of the Committee for at least thirteen years”.

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Governance - Cricket Australia boss apologises to angry staff for stand-downs

Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts has moved to quell the disillusionment among his workforce, apologising to employees for the sudden stand-downs, as states flagged impending changes of their own.

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Governance - Cricket Australia secure $50m loan and applies for more

Cricket Australia officials have told stakeholders a $50 million loan with the Commonwealth Bank is a "done deal", a development that has triggered fresh questions about the governing body's decision to stand down most of its staff for a saving of $3 million.

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Governance - AFL chief Gillon McLachlan says a June return to play is plausible, and that restart options may not be limited to hubs

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan says there is "more optimism and confidence" that the league will return to play, and games could plausibly resume some time in June. "Queensland have come out last night and said that elite sport effectively can fly in, fly out [to play]," he told

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Governance - 'Rule the game': Farr-Jones urges Rugby Australia to seize control

Major governance reform is high on the agenda for Australian rugby with former Wallabies captain Nick Farr-Jones revealing he urged senior officials to adopt a model in which Rugby Australia would "rule the game".

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Governance, Integrity, Member Protection - Multiple abuse claims from athletes but even wealthy sports yet to sign up to redress scheme

Sporting organisations can afford to join the national redress scheme for institutional child sexual abuse but have "chosen not to", according to government documents obtained by the ABC. The deadline for signing up to the scheme falls next month and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has been locked in talks with sporting bodies for the past week.

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Governance, Athlete Relations - 'No perfect solution': the conundrum of selection for a postponed Olympics

There are no guarantees that squads picked in early 2020 will still represent the best possible selections come mid-2021.

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Governance, Athlete Relations - Player contracts loom as hurdle for FFA

The contracts of over 100 A-League players are set to expire before the 2019-20 season recommences.

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Media Rights - Paid in full: FFA receives belated quarterly sum from Fox Sports

The A-League has cleared a major hurdle for the resumption of the season after Football Federation Australia belatedly received its full quarterly payment from Fox Sports.

Football industry sources have confirmed Fox has now paid the near $12 million instalment of its broadcast deal with FFA, which was due mid-last month.

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Media Rights - Foxtel seeks multi-million dollar discount for resumed NRL season

Foxtel want $53 m discount on its $190m in 2020; Nine want a discount of $28m from the $118m it is contracted to pay under the current broadcast deal.

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Media Rights - Nine targets NRL's digital arm as part of revised broadcast deal

Nine Entertainment Co has expressed interest in taking over the NRL’s digital arm as part of cost-cutting measures in a revised broadcast deal. Sources close to the negotiations say Nine’s proposal for an extended deal until the end of 2025 includes the code’s digital arm, led by, which the free-to-air network believes currently runs in direct competition with its two broadcast partners.

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Media Rights - Pay what we ask': V'landys sends message to broadcasters as talks heat up

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has rejected the argument that the NRL will be a less valuable product to broadcasters without crowds, saying he hopes the game’s two television partners “see reason and pay what we ask" for the rest of the season.

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Integrity, Anti-Doping - Fresh charges likely as WADA hands over Russia evidence

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says its investigation into 298 Russian athletes targeted in a doping probe has been completed and the findings passed onto international federations for further action. As a result many could now face new charges, WADA says.

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