National Rugby League players "want the salary cap for next season to be more than the A$5M ($5.2M) ceiling agreed to by clubs and the Australian Rugby League Commission" and are seeking a five-year collective bargaining agreement, according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Rugby League Players' Association representatives met with NRL officials on Tuesday and "have scheduled further talks for Friday and next Tuesday and Wednesday in a bid to finalise a deal." RLPA CEO David Garnsey "refused to divulge details of what the players were seeking," however, a club official said that they wanted to salary cap to be much higher than A$5M "and possibly as high as A$6.2M." Garnsey said, "I can't go into any detail, but I can say that the salary cap is one of the things that are currently under negotiation." The ARLC last week announced that the annual grant to clubs for next season would be A$7M, with A$5.85M to cover the cost of player wages -- including those in the Toyota Cup and New South Wales Cup competitions. The remaining A$1.15M will be used "to help pay for changes required as clubs under the new strategic plan outlined by the commission. Garnsey said that the players' union "was hopeful of securing a five-year agreement" (SMH, 11/8).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Int'l Council of Arbitration for Sport President and Australian Olympic Council Chair John Coates will select the three-man Independent Commission to "investigate allegations" against the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) regarding the Lance Armstrong affair and the running of cycling by its governing body in general, according to Brendan Gallagher of the London TELEGRAPH. Coates has "agreed to select the panel," which will be chaired by a senior lawyer of int'l standing and also consist of a forensic accountant to "look into allegations of illegal payments" by Armstrong and a senior sports administrator. All three "will be free of any cycling connections" (TELEGRAPH, 11/7). REUTERS' Alison Wildey reported the UCI said last month that it would "set up an independent commission to address the accusations that arose" during the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Armstrong and the U.S. Postal team. UCI President Pat McQuaid said, "We would like to thank John Coates for his recommendations, which we will follow to the letter." Its final report will be published no later than June 1 (REUTERS, 11/7).
AUSTRALIA'S REVIEW: The AAP reported that former New South Wales judge James Wood will head a review of Cycling Australia in the wake of the Armstrong doping scandal. Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy said that the review was necessary "to restore confidence and trust in the sport's national governing body." Wood is a former NSW Supreme Court chief judge and he also is the NSW Law Reform Commission chairman (AAP, 11/7).
A referee in the Korean Basketball League "allegedly received a bribe from a team in exchange for favorable calls" in '08 according to Yoon Min-sik of the KOREA HERALD. Both the referee's name and the team involved "were withheld by authorities." Police of the city of Busan said that an unnamed official from a KBL team gave the 44-year-old referee "2M won in cash and a notebook computer worth about 1M won in Oct. '08. Then a year later, the KBL "found out about the crime and suspended the referee for the third round of regular season" and cut his pay (KOREA HERALD, 11/6). In Seoul, Jung Min-ho reported the referee has only been "identified as Shin." The Korea Basketball Association called a board of directors meeting Wednesday "to come up with ways to prevent further wrongdoings." KBA Chief of Staff Kim Gap-seon said, "A total of 14 members attended a meeting to discuss the issue, and we came to the conclusion that the president stepping down would be irresponsible at this point as his term only has two months left." KBA rules state that any member who breaks the rules and is jailed as a result "will be permanently stripped of any role in the organization" (KOREA TIMES, 11/7).
German Football Federation (DFB) General Secretary Helmut Sandrock "has spoken positively about UEFA President Michel Platini's proposal to host Euro 2020 across various European countries." Sandrock said, "We [the DFB] haven't concluded our opinion-making process, but the idea has a certain congeniality. As far as we know, there are a number of people in the different national federations that would support a European Euro." However, Sandrock also said "it would be a one-time thing." Platini wants to commemorate the tournament's 60th anniversary in '20 with his idea of a Euro across Europe (DPA, 11/7).