SBD Global/June 24, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's 'Deal' With AFL Side Essendon Revealed

    The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority "is accused of ­reneging on an agreement to consider favourably a 'no-fault or negligence' defence" for footballers of Australian Football League side Essendon that "would have ­enabled players unwittingly given a banned substance to escape ­penalty," according to Chip Le Grand of THE AUSTRALIAN. A revised statement drafted by ASADA following National Rugby League outrage at the terms of a “comfort’’ letter provided earlier to Essendon players retained the possibility that footballers found guilty of a doping ­offense "would not face any sanction." Two months later, when ASADA conducted formal interviews of Essendon players, "investigators told some players a defence of no fault or negligence might be open to them that defence is now off the table." AFL CEO Gill McLachlan "has maintained there was no deal between ASADA and the league." However, the emergence of the document "will fuel concerns among Essendon and the players that they were given false assurances about how the investigation would proceed" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/24). In Melbourne, Mark Robinson reported former Essendon President David Evans "gave repeated assurances to club figures that players would escape doping bans." Just weeks after Essendon “self reported’’ to doping authorities in Feb. '13, Evans "moved quickly to dispel fears among the players." He and club officials, including coach James Hird, assistant coach Mark Thompson, CEO Ian Robson and board members, "would speak almost daily, where Evans would assure them the players would not be suspended" (HERALD SUN, 6/23). In Sydney, Jon Pierik wrote the gulf between Essendon and ASADA "has exploded." ASADA has accused the Bombers of "trying to stall the investigation and even break ASADA's rules." The Bombers "filed an injunction in the Federal Court, seeking to have the players not be required to respond to their show-cause notices" until after the Federal Court hearing of the club's challenge to the legality of ASADA's investigation. As tensions "appear to be rising, ASADA hit back in a statement." Referencing the undertakings sought by the Bombers on Friday, ASADA said that it "had granted an extension of time" for players to respond to show-cause notices and confirmed "that it had not provided any material to the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel regarding the 34 AFL players and would not do so without seven days further written notice to the players." ASADA said that it "had wanted to seek a quick resolution to a case that had dragged on for 16 months and suggested the Bombers had harmed this" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/23).

    ESSENDON FINED: In Melbourne, Emma Quayle reported Essendon was fined A$20,000 ($18,800) for "breaching draft rules relating to the medical testing clubs are permitted to carry out on players." The Bombers reported the potential breach to the AFL recently, following an internal audit of its football department activities in '13, and asked the league for "clarification and adjudication." The AFL issued the fine after finding that the club "had in fact broken rules relating to the testing clubs are allowed to do on possible draftees between the combine and national draft" (THE AGE, 6/23).

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  • Basketball Bundesliga Sets New Attendance Record During '13-14 Season

    The Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) "has set a new attendance record during '13-14 season," according to SPORT1. The league "broke 1.5 million in total attendance for the first time." A total of 1,575,581 spectators attended the 337 games. The number translates into an average attendance of 4,675 and represents an increase of 5.4% in comparison to the previous season. The arenas were filled to 89.2% of their capacities, which is an increase of 3.6% from '12-13. It is the "12th consecutive attendance record for the league since the '01-02 season." The 31 playoff games alone attracted 200,402 spectators. BBL CEO Jan Pommer said, "Due to the dedicated and excellent work of each individual club, we have solidified the second spot in Europe." The Spanish basketball league "is the league with the highest attendance in Europe" (SPORT1, 6/20).

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  • Suspended BCCI President N. Srinivasan To Become Int'l Cricket Council Chairman

    Suspended Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan is expected to be anointed as the new Int'l Cricket Council chairman at this week’s annual conference in Melbourne, "which is set to address growing concerns about corruption in the sport," according to the AFP. The BCCI confirmed that Srinivasan "will stand as chairman of the ICC despite being suspended by India’s Supreme Court as the country’s cricket chief." Srinivasan -- seen as the most powerful man in world cricket -- "was among 13 people named in a damning report into corruption allegations in the Indian Premier League." Despite the scandal, BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel confirmed that Srinivasan "would go to Melbourne and was expected to be anointed ICC chairman." Patel said, "By the month end, India will take a leading role in the ICC" (AFP, 6/22). In Dubai, K.R. Nayar wrote though India’s Supreme Court has restrained Srinivasan from performing the BCCI president’s duties following the IPL match-fixing scandal, "they refused to restrain him from taking over as the chairman of the ICC." On Sunday, Srinivasan "was also unanimously re-elected president" of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association in his state’s 84th annual general meeting (GULF NEWS, 6/23). In Melbourne, Chloe Saltau wrote Australia "is standing by the man it backed for world cricket's top job, no matter how much squeamishness that might cause those who prefer their supremos without conflicts or scandals." There is "seemingly nothing to stop" Srinivasan becoming the first chairman of the ICC. One senior cricket figure dubbed Australia and England "campaign managers" for a man who has been banned by the Indian Supreme Court from being president of his own board during a corruption investigation. Even those who argue that the allegations against Srinivasan are unsubstantiated, and that he is victim of a "vendetta with its motivation deep in the politics of Indian cricket," admit that "he has an outrageous conflict of interest" (THE AGE, 6/23).

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  • French Football League To Investigate 87 Players Over Betting On Games

    Eighty-seven pro footballers "are to be investigated for betting on games" sanctioned by the French Football League (LFP), according to Julien Pretot of REUTERS. The LFP said in a statement, "In application of articles 124 of the FFF (French federation) regulations and 407 of the LFP regulations, the Disciplinary Committee will investigate 87 players from professional clubs who have failed to abide by the betting ban on LFP sanctioned games." The LFP added, however, that "there was no suspicion of any match-fixing" (REUTERS, 6/23).

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  • German Football Federation Rebrands Germany's 3rd League With New Logo, Slogan

    Germany's third-tier football competition, 3rd League, "has undergone a rebranding," according to the SID. The most visible change "is the league's new logo." The new logo shows a football player doing a side bicycle kick with "3.Liga" ("3rd League") written above him. The league's new slogan, "Zeigt's uns!" ("Show it to us!") "is intended to communicate the league's spirit of optimism going into its seventh year of existence." German Football Federation (DFB) VP of Football Operation & Development Peter Frymuth said, "The athletic profile of the 3rd League is very clear, and the competition has established itself in Germany's football landscape" (SID, 6/23).

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  • Spanish Club Córdoba Promoted To La Liga After Match Interrupted By Field Storming

    Spanish side Córdoba has been promoted from the second division to La Liga "for the first time since 1972 -- thanks to a premature surge onto the field by Las Palmas fans and a last-gasp goal for a 1-1 draw," according to the AP. Las Palmas was winning 1-0 with "less than two minutes of stoppage time left Sunday." Several dozen home fans "then took to the field, forcing a 10-minute delay." Córdoba made "one last push that ended with a goal by Ulises Davila." After the match, TV images showed Las Palmas fans fighting, with some "blaming the result on those who ran on the field." Police "escorted match officials off the field before a few fans threw chairs from the bleachers" (AP, 6/22). In Madrid, Txema Santana reported Spain's National Police "are finalizing a harsh report" against Las Palmas for its "deficient security conditions." Valentín Solano of the National Police said that "the responsibility for controlling access belongs to an event's host." Police sources indicated that Las Palmas' stadium "could be closed for several games" (EL PAIS, 6/23).

    CELEBRATION IN CÓRDOBA: The EFE reported "the city of Córdoba exploded in happiness" after the match. Córdoba fans had filled bars "as the city was unable to install TV screens for fans to follow the game." Thousands of fans "were concentrated in the city's Plaza de Las Tendillas Sunday night" (EFE, 6/22).

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  • Ryder Cup Europe Opens Bid Process To Countries Vying To Host 2022 Installment

    Ryder Cup Europe on Monday announced the opening of the bidding process for countries wishing to host the 2022 Ryder Cup. This will be the second time such a process has been in place following the process that determined the '18 host. Then, the process drew bids from Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain and eventual winner France, which was unveiled at a press conference at Wentworth Club in May '11. As with the '18 process, all bids must be channelled through national Golf Federations, Golfing Unions or Central Government, and only one bid per country will be accepted. Countries must officially advise the Ryder Cup Europe of their intention to submit a bid by Aug. 31, and finalized bid dossiers will be required by Feb. 16, 2015 (Ryder Cup).

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