The British Boxing Board of Control said that "the death of Michael Norgrove was the result of boxing’s inherent danger rather than any procedural failings on the part of the sport itself," according to Mark Cue of the LONDON TIMES. BBBC General Secretary Robert Smith "defended the stringency of the BBBC’s medical tests after Norgrove became the first boxer to die after a bout in a British ring in 18 years." The light-middleweight died in a hospital Saturday, "nine days after developing a blood clot on his brain during his sixth professional fight against Tom Bowen at The Ring in Blackfriars, London." Smith said, "We are one of the strictest authorities in the world. This is an acute injury that can happen any time. He had his medicals done and had his brain scans done" (LONDON TIMES, 4/7).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India to "allow Pakistani players to participate in the cash-rich Indian Premier League," according to the PTI. Akram said that Pakistani players "would only help add colour to the Twenty20 tournament." Akram: "I have always been a great believer that sports and politics should be kept apart and if our players take part in the IPL it will only raise the bar of the event." Pakistani cricketers "have not been allowed to take part in the lucrative IPL after the first edition due to varied reasons but mainly because of the diplomatic tensions between the two countries" (PTI, 4/6).
The National Rugby League "faces the prospect of players being stood down on a daily or weekly basis if the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority finds sufficient evidence to charge them with using performance-enhancing drugs," according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. With ASADA investigators due to begin interviewing up to 14 Cronulla players this week, "there is the possibility that the first doping charges will be laid soon." NRL CEO Dave Smith recently announced that ASADA "would interview 31 current NRL players and about 10 former players, many of who are thought to be playing in the English Super League competition." Rather than wait until ASADA has interviewed all of the players to decide which ones face charges, "they will begin charging individuals as soon as they have enough evidence." By doing so, the process "will move at a faster pace as anti-doping hearings may be able to take place while interviews with other players continue." While "it is likely to ensure weeks of bad publicity for the code, that is inevitable if players are charged and dozens of hearings are required." However, some clubs "may have to endure the prospect of losing players on a gradual basis as they are stood down after being issued with infraction notices by the NRL" (SMH, 4/8).
Scottish football’s reconstruction plans "could collapse this week" with Scottish Premier League's St. Mirren ready to join league rival Ross County "in opposing the reforms," according to Gordon Waddell of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The SPL’s 12 clubs will vote on April 15 "on the controversial 12-12-18 league set-up with an 11-1 majority needed to push through the changes." Ross County Chair Roy MacGregor "has already nailed his colours to the mast by objecting to the scheme." Ross County will "break cover with a formal statement opposing the plans" within the next few days. That will "drive the final nail in the coffin of the proposals" by denying the "Yes" camp the 11th vote it needs. St. Mirren Chair Stewart Gilmour is "unhappy at various aspects of the proposed new rule book" (DAILY RECORD, 4/7).
FIFA President Sepp Blatter "has softened his stance on calling for clubs to be punished with relegation after serious racist abuse, suggesting that fans would deliberately provoke incidents." Blatter said relegation sanctions are "not a simple solution, (because) will this lead to people coming to a stadium wanting to stop the game intentionally?" (AP, 4/5). ... FIFA said on Friday "no match-fixing was found in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers after more than 500 matches played so far" (XINHUA, 4/5). ... Gaelic Athletic Association President Liam O'Neill said that hurling will not be "subjected to any debate on changes to playing or disciplinary rules similar to those now agreed for football" (IRISH TIMES, 4/3).