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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Motorsports governing body FIA "has drastically increased the fees for F1 teams," according to Jens Marx of the DPA. F1 teams that win "will now be asked to pay up for their success." For the first time in F1 history, teams will have to pay FIA for their accumulated world championship points and their success. The basis for the calculation of the fee is the team's result of the previous year. Teams will have to pay $5,000 for each championship point. The winner of the constructors' title will have to pay $6,000 per point. In addition, each team will have to pay an increased starting fee of $500,000. The starting fee used to be $399,800. Red Bull accumulated 650 points during the '11 season, which means "the team would have had to pay $4.4M in order to compete this season." However, the distribution of F1's TV money is based on the constructors' championship standings, which means Red Bull generated between $50M-$60M last season. The new fees provide FIA with additional revenue of $16M. The fees for the '13 season have to paid by Nov. 30 (DPA, 11/3).

REWARD: In London, Bob McKenzie reported that a $500,000 reward will be offered by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone to "any F1 staff" who blows the whistle on their team cheating (DAILY EXPRESS, 11/3).

F1 teams "will become increasingly dependent on pay drivers, drivers who are able to raise millions," according to Roger Benoit of BLICK. Retired Team Principal Peter Sauber hated the word "pay driver." However, if a driver without millions knocks on an F1 team's door, he will get a pitiful smile and a "good luck with your future." Talent "has become secondary." F1 team Caterham revealed that it needs "two drivers with money for '13." An announcement like that could end the the career of Grand Prix-winning Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen who does not have the big-time sponsorship deals or millions that Caterham is looking for. The reason for Caterham's demand of two drivers with money is its position in the constructors' standings. The team is currently 11th, which means it would lose out on the $20M that a finish in the top 10 would guarantee (BLICK, 11/4).

A dearth of new recruits "is thinning the ranks of sumo wrestlers, threatening the future of the celebrated but scandal-plagued ancient Japanese sport," according to Mure Dickie of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The Japan Sumo Association said that "only 56 hefty young trainees" have applied to join sumo stables this year, which is "far too few to make up for the 115 wrestlers who left the sports last year." The "declining enthusiasm for the tough but potentially glamorous life of a sumo wrestler" comes as Japan’s national sport "struggles to rebuild a reputation battered by revelations of bout-fixing, trainee bullying and underworld links." Writer Shoko Sato said that the lack of new trainees "reflected the sport's struggle to maintain popularity among young Japanese." Sato said, "Soccer and the Major League [baseball] have greater appeal for young people now, while sumo has become a sport watched by grannies and granddads." The recruitment problem "is just one of a litany of woes suffered by sumo in recent years." Claims the sport embodies traditional values of discipline, self-control and moral rectitude "have been tarnished by the death during a hazing of a young trainee in '07 and episodes of illegal gambling and dope-smoking among wrestlers." Video Research revealed that the dramatic finale of the fall competition was watched in 18% of households -- "far fewer than the 27% who tuned in for the final day of the tournament in '09," the last time sumo made it into the annual TV top 20 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/2).

Sri Lanka Cricket and its premier clubs have "structured a new formula for its domestic first-class games," according to the PTI. The new tournament involves three-day games and will be the "only first-class event" on the island. The event will include a "four-day final between the top teams of respective tiers." The new format was reached after teams "protested vehemently" against efforts to restrict the tournament to just 10 teams. The new domestic structure "will come in to effect from the current season with a phased out implementation of the structure" (PTI, 11/3).

Russian President Vladimir Putin will introduce a bill into Russia's parliament that would "foresee jail terms up to seven years for match-fixing" ahead of the country hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, according to the AFP. The bill is a sign of "how seriously the Russian authorities take corruption in sport" as the world's attention turns to Russia's domestic football and other sports ahead of the 2014 Winter Games and 2018 World Cup. The law will "formally establish a criminal offence for seeking to influence the result of a game by bribing participants or receiving a bribe to do so." The maximum punishment for fixing the result of the match would be four to seven years with fines ranging from 300,000 rubles ($9,500) to 1M rubles ($32,000)" (AFP, 11/2).

Racing series governing body ACO "wants to increase the number of cars competing in the European Le Mans Series," according to Markus Lüttgens of In order to do so, the ACO will allow GT3 cars to start in the ELMS in '13. Even though discussions about a possible merger of ACO's GTE category and the FIA-sanctioned GT3 series have been currently underway, GT3 cars will be allowed to start in the GTC category in the ELMS. The new GTC category is explicitly for GT3 cars. In addition, the ELMS will also have the categories GTE-Pro and GTE-Am as well as the prototype categories LMP2 and LMPC (formerly known as Formula Le Mans) (, 11/4).

The request of U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn "to race against the men on the world cup circuit this month in Canada was rejected by the Int'l Ski Federation (FIS)," according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG. Vonn "asked the sports governing body in early October to be able to compete in a men's downhill on Nov. 24 in Lake Louise, Alberta." FIS said in an emailed statement that "although the federation said it 'respected,' Vonn's proposal, it 'confirmed that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other, and exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rules'" (BLOOMBERG, 11/4). REUTERS' Patrick Lang reported that "the news came as a disappointment to Alpine Canada President Max Gartner." Gartner said, "I saw it as a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport by attracting interest from people who do not normally follow ski racing, particularly in North America." The world and Olympic champion "could still apply to ski down the piste as a forerunner," a skier who opens the course for the competitors, which would allow her to test herself against the men. If she did this, however, "she would not be allowed to participate in the women's event in Lake Louise six days later" (REUTERS, 11/3). The AFP reported that Vonn "dismissed talks last week that her campaign to race against men was a mere public relations stunt." Vonn said, "It's a serious wish on my part. I already discussed this a few years ago with my coaches and friends" (AFP, 11/4). U.S. Ski and Snowboard President & CEO Bill Marolt, who is also a member of the FIS council, said in a statement, "We're disappointed that the FIS Council did not support the proposal but also respect its direction. Lindsey Vonn is a great champion in our sport, and we have always respected her interests in this new challenge" (AP, 11/3). The AP's Andrew Dampf reported that FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis said that "while there was no vote, the 17-member council was in general agreement over the decision." Lewis said, "This decision had nothing to do with an individual. It's not personal, it's not specific to Lindsey and it's not underlying her skills." Lewis also added that the USSA handled Vonn's request "eloquently" (AP, 11/3).

The Pakistan Cricket Board has welcomed the Int'l Cricket Council's support of day/night Test matches, calling it a "breakthrough" decision that will add value to the game, according to the PTI. A board spokesperson said, "The committee sees the decision to allow member countries to have day and night Test matches as a breakthrough." Board sources said that in the next few days the PCB chief "might have talks with his South African counterpart on the possibility of a day-night Test match being played between the two countries from early next year" (PTI, 11/2).