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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Concern over sports-related concussions has spread to Australia, where a former Aussie rules football players said that "he has a degenerative brain disease after having sustained four serious head injuries during his career," according to the AP. Representatives of the four main variations of football in this country -- Aussie rules, rugby league, rugby union and football -- "will take part in a two-day conference this month to discuss the long-term effects of brain injuries to their athletes." Deakin University in Melbourne "has begun a study involving 30 Australian Football League and National Rugby League players." Dr. Alan Pearce, who is directing the study, said that "there are valid comparisons in Australia with the NFL." Pearce said, "To put it into context, some have said the AFL cannot have a similar problem as the NFL, but the situation is similar. We are seeing similar long-term effects on some of the players." A Concussion in Sport conference to be held in Melbourne on March 20-21 "will discuss the possible introduction of helmets for players" (AP, 3/9).

Tour de France Dir Christian Prudhomme said that Britain's growing cycling culture "has helped to globalize the sport while keeping it close to its European roots," according to Julien Pretot of REUTERS. Prudhomme said, "Globalization is necessary but we need to respect the roots of cycling. When (Australian) Cadel Evans wins the Tour, images travel all over the world. The Tour has helped globalize cycling through its champions." He added that globalization "could be achieved through the riders, not just by spreading races all over the world" (REUTERS, 3/9).

Formula E presented motorsports governing body FIA with a preliminary list of eight cities that have been picked to host races next year. Cities included in the preliminary calendar are: London, Rome, L.A., Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya (Malaysia), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Since its launch in August, Formula E has received formal demonstrations of interest to host a race from 23 cities across five continents. London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Zero emission world class motor racing is a scintillating concept, and I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E. It has the potential to highlight the impressive strides being made in the manufacture of electric vehicles and hosting a street race could also be of considerable economic benefit to our city." Formula E intends to organize up to 10 races in '14. The final calendar will be presented to FIA for its approval at the World Motor Sport Council in September. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: "We are thankful to all the cities that have expressed their willingness to host our races. At the moment we are working with the eight selected cities on the feasibility and design of the street circuits. They will all be in city centers, easily accessible by public transport, and will feature some of the most beautiful and well-known landmarks as a spectacular backdrop for the races." The racing series has two confirmed teams for '14. In a recent interview with SBD Global, Agag said: "This is not a Championship focused only on the average motorsport fan. [It] is targeting a different and younger kind of public, that is not at the moment into motorsport, but is keen on issues like environment, social media, free streaming, and video games. We think there is a niche for this in the global motorsport scene."

The combined rule book for a proposed 12-12-18 league set-up in Scottish football next season "has confirmed there will be no fast-track route for Rangers back to the top flight," according to Stephen Halliday of the SCOTSMAN. The first draft of rules for the new body also revealed that "there will be no championship trophy up for grabs for clubs in the middle tier of the new structure." The initial copy of the combined rules document formalizes "the composition of the controversial set-up." The rule book states that the 12 clubs in the top division for the '13-14 campaign "will be the first 11 clubs" in the current Scottish Premier League and the champions of this season’s Scottish Football League First Division. The second division of 12 clubs next season "will be made up of the club relegated from the current SPL, the eight clubs finishing from second to ninth place in the current First Division, the champions of the current Second Division and the winners of two playoff ties." The draft document states that the club, which finish second bottom of the current First Division "would go into the playoffs, but that is a clerical error." Those playoff ties would therefore be between the club, which finish bottom of the current First Division and the fourth-placed club in the Second Division; and the second and third-placed clubs in the Second Division (SCOTSMAN, 3/9).

In Glasgow, Lindsey Archibald reported a referee who quit after giving Rangers a controversial penalty "is suing the Scottish FA for unfair dismissal." Steve Conroy "parted company" with the FA after allowing Gers a spot kick in an SPL match against Dunfermline in Dec. 11 (DAILY RECORD, 3/10).

Former Premiership rugby side London Welsh Manager Mike Scott has been banned from involvement in rugby for life after admitting to "providing false and misleading information to the Rugby Football Union and acting unlawfully," according to Paul Rees of the London GUARDIAN. The punishment, "which will not be reviewed for a minimum of 10 years if Scott waives his right to appeal," was handed out by the RFU's Chief Disciplinary Officer Jeff Blackett. It was done one day after London Welsh were docked 10 league points, half suspended until the end of next season, and fined £15,000 ($22,400) because of Scott's "repeated attempts to pass off the New Zealand-born scrum-half Tyson Keats as England-qualified through forged documents and lies." The club has said it will appeal against its punishment (GUARDIAN, 3/8).

Olympic Bronze Medalist Vijender Singh is unlikely to be tested by the National Anti-Doping Agency "despite claims by his sparring partner Ram Singh that the star boxer consumed small amounts of heroin." Sources said that Vijender's case "was a matter to be investigated by the police and the anti-doping agency has no role in this" (PTI, 3/10). ... South Korea's top men’s professional basketball league "will play out the season despite the cloud of a match-fixing scandal involving an active coach." Korean Basketball League Commissioner Han Sun-kyo, "convened an emergency board meeting Friday to discuss fallouts from the match-fixing allegations" surrounding Dongbu Promy Head Coach Kang Dong-hee. Han: "We will continue on with the season as we normally would" (YONHAP, 3/8). ... The Board of Control for Cricket in India has revoked Praveen Kumar's suspension, "which he received following a violation of the players' code of conduct in a Corporate Trophy game last month" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 3/9).