The Australian Athletes Alliance has described as "excessive" a submission from the Australian Olympic Committee to a Senate committee recommending criminal sanctions against anyone refusing an order to provide information on doping in sport, according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy "has called for submissions and comment on proposed legislation to equip the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority with powers not only to investigate drugs in sport but to coerce witnesses to testify and to hand over any material demanded." As draconian as the ASADA Amendment Bill sounds, the AOC believes "it does not go far enough." AOC President John Coates "has called for far tougher penalties to be applied to any person withholding information about sports doping or providing false information." But AAA CEO Paul Marsh, who already has grave reservations about the bill as it currently is shaping, warned that the AOC proposal "would take it into dangerous territory." Marsh said, "The powers proposed are excessive. They would empower ASADA to make just about anyone in sport turn up where it wants, when it wants and provide every document or answer that it demands. To apply criminal sanctions for not following ASADA's every demand would be highly inappropriate in our democracy" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/26).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
After the lifting of suspension on Indian boxers, "the barred Indian Amateur Boxing Federation has got another shot in the arm with the world body, AIBA, approving its amended constitution," according to the PTI. IABF Secretary General Rajesh Bhandari said, "The amended constitution has been approved, and we have sent a copy of it to the sports ministry as well." The governing body had asked the IABF to "amend its constitution to make it compliant with the AIBA Statute as one of the pre-requisites for the lifting of suspension." Furthermore, the IABF was also suspended by the sports ministry, which wants it to hold a re-election. Asked whether the AIBA is insisting on a re-election, Bhandari said, "They have not conveyed this demand. If they ask anything in writing, we will respond accordingly" (PTI, 2/25).
Major League Soccer and the French Football Federation announced a partnership that will provide MLS youth academy coaches with world class training through a 16-month youth development course and earn their Elite Formation Coaching License. The FFF will host the MLS delegation at its Clairefontaine national training facility and guide the youth directors through the same program as the one it provides its domestic coaches; however, the EFCL program will include customized features developed by MLS, the United States Soccer Federation and the Canadian Soccer Association. The program consists of three parts:
- FFF Course – Eight weeks (320 hours) of field and classroom instruction.
- European Club Observations -- Two weeks of immersion at an international youth academy at two of the following clubs: Paris St. Germain, Olympique Lyonnais, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, VfB Stuttgart.
- Integration of the Program with MLS Academy – Creation and/or modification of the Club’s youth curriculum and evaluation system for the development of players.
The husband of New Zealand Olympian Anne Hare "has taken aim at the leaders of two of the country's biggest sports organisations, accusing them of not doing enough to bridge the gender gap in sporting boardrooms," according to Dana Johannsen of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Chris Hare "has written an open letter" to two of his old schoolmates, New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew and Sport New Zealand CEO Peter Miskimmin, "urging them not to simply pay lip service to the need for better female representation in sporting boardrooms." The NZRU has never had a woman on its board but said last month, as part of the Grass Ceiling series, its members "recognise it is an issue for us" and hope the balance will be redressed in time. Referring to these comments, Chris Hare said that "the two men needed to back up their words with action." Hare wrote, "My partner had real issues in dealing with bullying, lack of respect, exclusive networks, being marginalised and ostracized." Anne Hare has served on the board of both Athletics NZ and the New Zealand Olympic Committee, but she said that she "was forced to quit because she was bullied and felt her opinions were constantly disregarded." She said, "It was shocking, absolutely shocking" (NZ HERALD, 2/26).
CONCACAF is backing FIFA’s proposal "to restrict future presidents to eight years in office, and 12 years for executive committee members." The governing body said that "it fully endorses a 10-point plan suggested by a FIFA working group on anti-corruption reforms," which meets Tuesday in Zurich (AP, 2/25). ... Top tennis officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meet on Monday in Bangkok "under the aegis of Asian Tennis Federation" to coordinate a joint effort in persuading the Myanmar Olympic Committee to reconsider its decision to drop tennis from the 2013 Southeast Asian Games this December. Tennis, "which has been a medal sport since the inception of the SEA Games in 1958," was omitted by the organizers, citing lack of facilities as one of the prime reasons (THE PHNOM PENH POST, 2/25). ... Denmark’s Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen "has no intention of moving the Badminton World Federation" headquarters back to Europe if he becomes the governing body's new president. The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Gold Medallist "is happy with the headquarters’ being in the heart of Asia" -- in Kuala Lumpur (THE STAR, 2/25). ... Rugby Canada received funding from Own the Podium in an effort to increase in medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rugby Sevens is the newest Summer Olympic Sport, and Canada will have the opportunity to medal in both men’s and women’s competition (Ultimate Rugby Sevens).