Archive | January, 2009

Illegally streamed Premier league sites

January 29, 2009

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The January edition of the World Sports Law Report reports that it has identified a number of sites illegally streaming Premier League matches:

“The FA Premier League (FAPL) has revealed that during the 2007/8 season, it identified 177 different sites ‘which contained or were connected to unauthorised streaming of Premier League football matches’. The FAPL made its announcement in response to the UK Government’s Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform’s consultation on peer-to-peer (p2p) file sharing. The FAPL said that of those sites, 122 (63%) used p2p technology to distribute the content.”

Read the full article at:  http://www.e-comlaw.com/sportslawblog/

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Funding cut announced for 2012 sports

January 29, 2009

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UK Sport has confirmed tonight that a number of sports will receive swinging cuts to their budgets for 2012. The pot of £11.2million will now be shared amongst 8 Olympic sports (Fencing, handball, shooting, table tennis, volleyball/beach volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling) and 4 Paralympic sports (fencing, goalball, volleyball and wheelchair basketball (women).

“The figure means each sport will receive around a third or a half of the cash they got in the build-up to the 2008 Beijing Games. Money will be paid out up front rather than split annually though in a bid to maximise its impact.”

In particular: “Shooting’s allocation has been slashed by £3.84m, forcing a move from 46 funded athletes to about 10. Water polo has suffered a 50% cut to £1.45m, prompting bosses to warned that the men’s team may be forced to pull out of contention for the 2012 Games.”

Source: http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,15234_4871407,00.html; http://www.uksport.gov.uk/news/funding_announcement_january_2008/

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Poll suggests that Canadians are against fighting in the NHL

January 29, 2009

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On a similar vein, a recent poll conducted by Harris-Decima, suggested that 54% of canadian respondents oppose fighting in the NHL. If this is indeed true, this survey seems to go against much of the conventional thinking that audiences flock to the sport because of, and not in spite of, the fighting on the ice.

“Fighting in hockey has resurfaced as a hot-button issue in recent weeks because Don Sanderson, an Ontario senior men’s league player, died recently after a fight in which his head hit the ice. Another player suffered a seizure after a fight in the AHL.”

The NHL says the topic will be addressed at this season’s general managers meeting in March., so watch this space….

Source: http://sports.sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/abc/News/ContentPosting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CBC-SPORTS-V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=fighting-survey090127

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‘Barbarity’ rules NHL

January 29, 2009

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Jon Heshka has written another commentary on the state of the NHL in the Canadian newspaper – The Province. The article discusses the current lack of respect sweeping through the game

“Despite denouncements by the league and rules against such conduct, players are hitting one another harder (into the boards or open-ice checks), hitting higher (in the head) and hitting with a weapon (a hockey stick) more than ever before. Lost is a respect for the game and a willingness to “cross the line” with late hits and cheap shots.”

You can read the full article here: http://www.theprovince.com/Sports/Barbarity+rules/1221208/story.html

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Drivers complain over cost of superlicence fee (again!)

January 29, 2009

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** UPDATE: Three Formula One drivers have paid for their race licences, but no names or details as to who these drivers are, or what teams they belong to have been released.

While Max Mosley (President of the FIA – the International Governing Body for the sport) defends the price rise of the licence: “In the present climate, somebody who is earning several million a year and doesn’t want to spend one or two percent of that to get a licence for his trade is not going to get a lot of sympathy,”

The Grand Prix Drivers Association (GDPA) said that “drivers were not opposed to a “reasonable increase”, but did not want their licences to be a “revenue stream” for the FIA…The FIA should raise sufficient funds from the exploitation of its commercial rights,” the statement continued, “As a principle, the drivers should not be taxed to fund the costs of others fulfilling their legal duty to the drivers.”

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7876889.stm

 

Grand Prix drivers are complaining again about a minor increase in the cost of their superlicence fee (the licences are mandatory for participation in F1). When the licence fee originally rose in June 2008 in order to cover rising safety costs, a strike was only narrowly averted, this time, the Grand Prix Drivers Association is urging all drivers not to sign or pay for the new licences until the situation has been sorted.

“Autosport.com understands that correspondence has already been exchanged with the FIA about the matter, and is understood that president Max Mosley said he was willing to discuss the situation, but only if drivers could provide him with details of their earnings so he could judge whether the fee was too high.

With no resolution in sight between the drivers and the FIA, and amid a risk of the situation not getting sorted before teams head to Melbourne for the first race, the matter has now been tabled for discussion at the next meeting of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) that takes place early next month” 

Source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/72964; http://www.sportinglife.com/formula1/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=formula1/09/01/23/AUTO_Superlicences.html

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Prison football

January 29, 2009

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Former Plymouth Argyll goalkeeper, Luke McCormick (who was recently jailed after killing two young boys in a crash while drunk behind the wheel) has been signed up to for the Channings Wood Prison football team. Apparently, prison team officials have now sent a registration form to the South Devon League requesting McCormick be allowed to play for their Division Two side.

League secretary Lisa Buley told Sky News Online: “I think it’s poor taste him getting permission to play, but our hands have been tied by the FA. Personally, as a mother-of-two, I don’t think he should be allowed to because those two little boys he killed will not play football again, but we can’t bring our personal views into it.

The final say now rests with the prison’s governor Jeannine Hendrick, who is understood to be backtracking on McCormick’s league registration. The prison refused to discuss the matter when contacted by Sky. A spokeswoman would only say: “We do not comment on individual prisoners.”

Source: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Luke-McCormick-Causes-Storm-After-Being-Signed-Up-To-Play-For-Prison-Football-Team/Article/200901415210692?f=rss

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Female tennis players asked to cover-up

January 27, 2009

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“AUSTRALIAN Open referees will ban skimpy outfits after a rising French teenager caused a stir with a see-through top at a tournament Down Under.

Alize Cornet, 18, showed off her curves in a short skirt and low-cut transparent top during a doubles match at the Hopman Cup in Perth. Open officials have since threatened fines of up to $2,000 (£912) for any player caught infringing their strict dress code. Ex-tennis star Margaret Court also condemned Cornet’s attire, insisting it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable. She said that the skimpy outfits of female tennis players made them “look like they should be on the beach”. “I just don’t think the tennis court is the place to be everything clingy and showing everything,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Court as saying.”

Source: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/sport/nrl/story/0,26746,24898266-5016380,00.html

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Lance Armstrong comeback

January 27, 2009

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Although Lance’s career in cycling has been dogged by unfounded speculation surrounding his performance and the fact that he (unlike many of his contemporaries in the tour, has not tested positive for any doping offence), the recent announcement that Lance will be subject to stringent drug tests, and his samples stored for 8 years is welcome news. Hopefully these proposals should convince many of lingering doubters, assuming of course that his comeback tour is a success…

“Lance Armstrong is to commit to a bespoke anti-doping programme in which he will be tested about every three days. Dr Don Catlin, one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of anti-doping…..described it as “an extensive monitoring programme” and said that it “accomplishes my goals”. He said the agreement with Armstrong would also allow him to freeze blood and urine samples for up to eight years in order to perform new tests if they are pioneered within that time. He also promised transparency with the public.”

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/cycling/article5546488.ece; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/cycling/article5535501.ece; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/cycling/article5532474.ece

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Training ground bust-up

January 27, 2009

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Two Newcastle United footballers were involved in a training ground punch-up during at the club’s Benton training headquarters.

“The players squared up and rained punches on each other before finally being separated. According to sources, the sense of astonishment among senior Newcastle players was compounded by Kinnear’s decision not to take any disciplinary action. The Newcastle manager, already under fire from disaffected fans, brushed it aside and claimed it was an everyday occurrence in his Wimbledon days that had a beneficial effect on team bonding. A Newcastle spokesman described it as ‘a classic case of handbags. It probably happens at training grounds all the time,’ he added.”

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1125033/Tear-Toon–Newcastle-pair-training-ground-bust-Kinnear-lets-go.html; http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/article2153743.ece

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Belgian challenge to Anti-Doping Code

January 27, 2009

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In a move that will alarm global anti-doping authorities, the court will be asked to rule whether “whereabouts” breaks European Union privacy laws. ‘Whereabouts’ is the system drug-testers use to track athletes for tests.

“There is no need for all these people to give their whereabouts for the next three months – that’s a draconian measure,” added Kristof de Saedeleer, a Brussels-based solicitor who specialises in sports law. De Saedeleer is acting on behalf of 65 athletes, cyclists, footballers and volleyball players who have been brought together by Sporta, the organisation that looks after the interests of professional sportsmen and sportswomen in Belgium.

The case is aimed at the Flemish regional government, which is responsible for anti-doping in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, and results from the government’s hard-line imposition of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) updated code on 1 January, 2009. That code, a tightening of testing standards that have been place since 2004, is the framework upon which all anti-doping efforts rest, and whereabouts is perhaps its most potent tool.”

The idea is simple: drug-testers must be able to administer no-notice, out-of-competition tests anytime, anywhere. This is believed to be the only effective deterrent against cheats. To do this, however, the testers must be able to find the athletes – the whereabouts system is the solution. Any athlete on the national testing register (which is effectively any elite athlete in an Olympic or major team sport) must make themselves available to testers for one hour a day, between 0600 and 2300, three months in advance. This is done online and can be updated by email or text message. But failure to be where you said you would be, if the testers come calling, counts as a strike. Three strikes in an 18-month period and you are out, with an automatic ban from competition, as Olympic and World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu discovered to her cost. Failure to fill out the form correctly – or failure to provide full details of your competition and training schedules, three months in advance – would also count towards your three-strike limit.

A spokesman for Wada, however, rejected this claim, and pointed out that at no point during the two-year review process did any group of athletes express concerns relating to privacy. “In fact, the 2009 international standards for testing were drafted with the protection of athletes in mind by providing appropriate, sufficient and effective privacy protection, taking into account various international and regional data protection laws,” he said. “The requirements were actually reduced (to one hour a day) from the 24/7 requirement previously applied by a number of anti-doping organisations.”

He also stressed whereabouts was a justifiable and proportionate response to the problem it was brought in to address, the endemic cheating that has ravaged the likes of the Tour de France and international track and field. The Belgian challenge is at a very early stage – no ruling is expected until late 2009 – and it has not yet reached the EU-wide level, so fears of a precedent-smashing judgement like the Jean-Marc Bosman ruling, which revolutionised football in 1995, are premature.”

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/front_page/7844918.stm

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