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Volume 24 No. 160

Leagues and Governing Bodies

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s "legal problems deepened after Formula One Group and owners CVC were ordered by a London court to release hundreds of documents relating to the sale of the motor racing series seven years ago, amid claims it was undervalued," according to a front-page piece by Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Ecclestone and other defendants "face a claim from German media group Constantin Medien for damages of at least $171M." Ecclestone's legal team "must now prepare for the Constantin Medien court case," which has been set for Oct. 28 and is scheduled to last six weeks. Ecclestone "is expected to be called as a witness," along with F1 CFO Duncan Llowarch. Among the documents the judge ordered CVC to disclose "are due diligence reports on F1 at the time of the sale and the refinancing; appendages to the disclosure letter from Mr. Ecclestone to CVC at the time of the transaction relating to F1 revenue streams; CVC’s loan application to RBS relating to its purchase; investment committee minutes; financial models it relied upon for its offer; and a Deloitte tax report prepared for CVC at the time of refinancing." The judge said that FOG "had to disclose in-house financial models projecting revenues and costs, a memorandum of understanding signed by F1 teams that committed them to F1 until 2012, documents relating to the purchase of sponsorship and hospitality businesses; and documents relating to the addition of a race in Abu Dhabi to the F1 calendar" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/4).

Giants C and union rep Zak DeOssie said that the NFLPA "is not stalling" in implementing a test for HGH, but he believes "any agreement on testing and discipline 'probably won’t happen for another two years.'" He said the union considers HGH testing "a good thing." But he added that they want to "make sure it’s done the right way and that the players who aren’t using PEDs are protected." DeOssie: "We’ll do whatever they need and we are totally on board in giving our blood (for HGH testing). But we need to know that we have the best people testing it, that there’s no false positives. These are legitimate concerns with respect to our livelihood, so what’s the harm in us asking for the best and a mutually agreed upon standard?" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/5).

TWICE AS NICE? In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin noted Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles has "one concern about the doubleheader format being used" by IndyCar at three venues this season: The success of them in Detroit (June 1-2) and Toronto (July 13-14) will lead to requests from promoters with single races. Savoree Racing Promotions co-Owners Kevin Savoree and Kim Green promote "three IndyCar races -- St. Petersburg, Toronto and Mid-Ohio." Savoree said of a doubleheader at St. Pete, "It would be a heck of a way to open the season there. It would be the 10th (consecutive) year of the event, just a great way to celebrate IndyCar racing at the start of the season" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/4).

DROP IT, LEBRON: ESPN’s Howard Bryant said Heat F LeBron James' interest in becoming NBPA President has "disaster written all over it." MLB historically "has had the best union … because it never allows an active player to run it.” Bryant: “This isn’t about taking a guy off the dribble. It’s about being an expert at labor law and negotiation. Still, at a time when players avoid taking an interest in anything other than their brand, it’s admirable that James may be thinking beyond himself" (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 8/4).

:'s Jason Sobel noted it has been "three months since Vijay Singh filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour for 'violating its duty of care and faith.'" PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said that the issue now is "in the hands of each side's respective legal teams." He added that there is "no timetable to get anything done, and hinted that it may not reach a conclusion soon." Finchem: "The litigation itself takes a long time. There could be appeals. Who knows? We're very comfortable in our position" (, 8/4).