Thursday, February 03, 2011

Doping Prompts ARD & ZDF To Abandon Live Tour De France Coverage

German free-to-air broadcasters ARD & ZDF will abandon live coverage of the Tour de France in 2012, due to concerns over doping. ‘The focus is often doping, to which the audience lends an understandably critical eye’, said the state broadcasters in a 2 February statement. ‘German TV viewers only have a low acceptance of the most important cycling race in the world and as such, the long live transmission lines are no longer justified’. The broadcasters will continue to cover the tour in news reports.

 

Both broadcasters have refused to join a new contract between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – which represents national broadcasters such as the BBC – and Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), which oraganises the Tour. As such, they will still cover the 2011 edition of the Tour, which runs 2 July to 24 July. The contract between the EBU, ASO and national broadcasters allows withdrawal if riders are implicated in doping. Both broadcasters withdrew from covering the 2009 edition of the Tour due to concerns over doping.

 

The withdrawal demonstrates the commercial impact that doping can have on sport. This will be one of the many issues discussed at Tackling Doping in Sport 2011, organised by World Sports Law Report in Association with UK Anti-Doping and Squire Sanders Hammonds on 16-17 March 2011.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

CAS not consulted over formation of Asian CAS

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was not consulted about the formation of an Asian Council of Arbitration for Sports (ACAS) last year, which will manage a Sports Arbitration Tribunal of Asia (SATA) to settle sports-related disputes.

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ESPN asks US court to unseal judicial records in tennis gambling lawsuit

US broadcaster ESPN has asked a Federal Court to unseal documents that allegedly reveal which elite Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) players gambled on the sport.

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FIFA insiders offered to sell ticket details

An investigation by Norway's data protection authority, Datatilsynet, has revealed that FIFA insiders offered to sell details of ticket purchasers to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. A 2010 investigation by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Datatilsynet found personal details and passport numbers of UK ticket buyers were obtained from German company CTS Eventim and passed on to Norwegian company Euroteam AS.

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Scotland: Football, sectarianism and Scots law: Walls v Brown

Walls v Brown is the first Scottish case where a sectarian-aggravated breach of the peace conviction - which resulted in the imposition of a football banning order - has been upheld on appeal. Dr David McArdle, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling School of Law, examines the High Court decision and the grounds upon which the Sheriff had granted the banning order application.

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Integrity: Combating spot-fixing in cricket: the role of the ICC

The International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) was formed in 2000 to combat corruption in cricket. Amrut Joshi, an Advocate who heads the sports practice at MMB Legal, examines the reasons for its formation, its role to date and whether enough has been done by cricket's authorities to tackle the threat of corruption.

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2011 Issues: Views and predictions from the editorial board for 2011

We asked members of World Sports Law Report's editorial board to highlight what they think will be the main sports law issues during 2011. In this article, they set out their responses.

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Integrity: Assessing the reliability and legality of lie-detector tests

It has recently been proposed that lie-detector tests be used in cricket to tackle corruption. Tom Burrows, a Trainee Solicitor with Paris Smith LLP, examines how a lie-detector works, the questions that have been raised over the accuracy of such tests and whether they are accepted as evidence by the courts. He also questions how the ICC would implement non-compulsory use of lie-detectors in anti-corruption investigations as refusal could be seen as admission of guilt, and points out that the International Cricket Council could face compensation claims should a player be able to subsequently prove his innocence after taking a test.

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Competition Law: Downgrading tournaments: Hamburg Open v. ATP

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) recently chose to downgrade the Hamburg Open from a Masters 1000 event requiring player participation to an ATP 500 tournament, which doesn't require player participation. Ryan M. Rodenberg and L. Jon Wertheim examine the Deutscher Tennis Bund's and Qatar Tennis Federation's challenge to this decision, which alleged that by requiring players to compete in certain events, the ATP was shielding them from competition with other tennis tournaments, thereby breaching competition law.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Swiss examine adequacy of sport federation rules

The Swiss government's Federal Sport Office (BASPO) is examining whether the regulations of sporting federations are adequate or whether legislation is needed, following allegations of corruption in the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. Swiss Sport Minister Ueli Maurer ordered BASPO to produce a report examining the extent of corruption in sport within Switzerland and how it can be tackled at a 22 November Lausanne meeting between government authorities and sporting federations.


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Gambling Commission issues Betting Integrity Decision Making Framework

The Gambling Commission published its Betting Integrity Decision Making Framework on 17 December, a 12-page document designed to outline when a suspicious betting incident will proceed from a sporting disciplinary matter to a criminal investigation.


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ECJ to rule on Football DataCo case

 

The England and Wales Court of Appeal referred questions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 9 December asking whether the High Court was correct to find that database copyright exists under the Database Directive for English and Scottish football fixture lists.


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Company Law & Sport: Sale of Liverpool Football Club: analysis

The sale of Liverpool Football Club to New England Sports Ventures in October raised interesting company law issues that other football clubs could do well to consider. Ciaran Hickey, an Assistant with Wiggin LLP, explains how the sale of one of England's most famous football clubs ended up in a court case and analyses potential lessons for other clubs should they find themselves in a similar situation. 

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Gender: Gender policies and impact of litigation: Lawless v. LPGA

A lawsuit brought by Lana Lawless recently resulted in the Ladies Professional Golf Association reversing its requirement for competitors to be 'female at birth'. Ryan M. Rodenberg, an Assistant Professor at Florida State University, examines the details of the lawsuit and the impact it could have on rule enforcement in sport.

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Integrity: The Gambling Commission's role: defending sport's integrity

There have recently been a number of incidents where prominent athletes have been accused of being involved in corrupt activities involving betting. Jody MacDonald, a Solicitor with Couchmans LLP, examines how the Gambling Commission identifies and deals with instances of corruption in sport through its licensing conditions, the offence of 'cheating at gambling' under section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005 and the activities of the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit. 

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Injury: Head injuries in rugby and the law: analysis

Players often ignore the dangers of head injuries - especially concussive injuries - due to their keenness to continue playing. Jack Anderson, a Lecturer in sports law at Queen's University Belfast, examines the US approach to this problem in American football, the pressurised sporting environment that often leads to club medics making wrong decisions and potential solutions to the dangers posed by concussive injuries. He also highlights the threat that rugby faces from potential litigation.


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Gambling: France: the right to offer bets and fundamental freedoms

 

UEFA has recently sought a share of all bets placed on its competition games in France, which liberalised gambling earlier this year allowing sporting organisations to authorise gambling operators to offer bets on their competitions. Geoffroy Lebon and Thibault Verbiest, of Ulys Law Firm, explain the principles on which France based its liberalisation of gambling, the European Commission's concerns over the right to offer bets and how France has responded to this. They also examine challenges to the right to offer bets.


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Financial Rules: UEFA's Financial Fair Play Regulations: analysis

UEFA adopted its Financial Fair Play Regulations in May, which are designed to ensure that clubs do not spend more than they earn. Rodger Burnett, Matt Totman and Victoria Young, of Baker & McKenzie, analyse the details of the Regulations and explain potential loopholes.


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