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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Alba Berlin was the league leader with an average attendance of more than 10,000 fans as the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) again broke the 1.3-million attendance mark during the '12-13 regular season. Alba drew a total of 170,535 fans, well above second-place Brose Baskets Bamberg's 115,600. A total of 1,312,909 people attended the 306 regular season games. The number equaled an average attendance of 4,291. BBL CEO Jan Pommer said, "We have, on a high level, confirmed the trend of last season -- and I'm conviced that the fan interest will be undaunted for the very interesting playoff matchups." The previous record from the '11-12 season of an average of 4,322 people per game was missed by only 0.7% (BBL).

Basketball Bundesliga Regular Season Attendance '12-13
Club Total Attendance
Average Attendance
Alba Berlin
Brose Baskets Bamberg
ratiopharm Ulm
Bayern Munich Basketball
Telekom Baskets Bonn
TBB Trier
Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt
Eisbären Bremerhaven
Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg
New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig
EWE Baskets Oldenburg
s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg
BBC Bayreuth
Phoenix Hagen
Artland Dragons
LTi Gießen 46ers
Walter Tigers Tübingen
Mitteldeutscher BC
Total 1,312,909
Source: Beko Basketball Bundesliga

Int'l players union FIFPro is "to file a complaint with the European Court against FIFA" to show its "discontent about the current system of transfers," according to Monica Villar of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. If FIFPro gets its way, a new law "could be passed that would mean clubs could only sell a player at a price fixed by them for the first three years of that player's contract." After the third year, the player "would be allowed to leave as a free agent; all he would have to do is pay his former club what would have been his salary for the remaining years on his contract." Tagged in some quarters as the "new Bosman Law," it would allow players "to move more freely across Europe" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 4/29).

Australian racehorse owner John Singleton "faces a ban from owning racehorses if he refuses to name the friends who told him Tom Waterhouse had tipped them off that the horse More Joyous 'had no chance' in Saturday's All-Aged Stakes," according to Ralston & Roots of THE AGE. Singleton "has refused to disclose the identities of those who told him the bookmaker allegedly received information from his mother Gai Waterhouse about concerns with the highly fancied horse." The tycoon said the friends included an ex-group 1 jockey and ''internationally known figures'' but would not name them unless ''legally bound to." The next hearing into the allegations, which Singleton and the Waterhouses will front, "has now been pushed back from Friday to next Monday to allow the stewards more time to gather evidence." This "will include wagering records from 160 Australian betting operators." When the public hearing resumes, Singleton "could be again asked to name the 'trusted friends' involved." If he refuses this time "he faces punishment under section 175 of the Australian rules of racing for failing to give evidence as directed and runs the risk of being deregistered as an owner" (THE AGE, 4/30).

UNDER SCRUTINY: In Sydney, Gregor MacTaggart reported the Northern Territory Racing Commission Monday confirmed that it would supply Racing New South Wales stewards "with Tom Waterhouse's betting records from the controversial All Aged Stakes." Gambling and licensing services Exec Dir Micheil Brodie said that "the NT Commission would provide any information requested surrounding betting activity for the inquiry" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/30).

A second Newmarket horse trainer, Gerard Butler, admits that several horses in his yard received treatment for injured joints, but said that "he was so confident in veterinary assurances about the medication in question that he entered its use in his official medical records," according to Chris McGrath of the London INDEPENDENT. Those records were sent to the British Horseracing Authority, in connection with another matter, and returned without comment. He believes that more than 100 horses across the headquarters of British Flat racing have been given the same drug. BHA rules apply only to licensed premises, meaning horses can be administered steroids while at rest elsewhere. Butler, who stresses his full cooperation with the BHA, is clear that his horses were medicated in training. But his vets’ suggestion that the drug was widely used in the town, given in good faith, persuaded him that he was not courting trouble (INDEPENDENT, 4/29). In London, Mike Brewer reported Butler said, "It did not cross my mind that there could be any problem with this medication. And, judging from the fact that the BHA said nothing about it when they saw my medical book, it does not seem to have crossed their minds, either. Little Black Book ran on Aug. 4, and won a couple of weeks later, so they would have known he was clearly in training at the time." After admitting self-administering the same treatment to other horses, Butler "could now face a ban and he conceded he had made an error of judgment." Butler: “The fact I didn’t put that on the record shows that I knew it was wrong to diagnose and medicate those horses myself. It was an unpardonable misjudgment, purely to cut corners in what is a very expensive treatment" (LONDON TIMES, 4/29).

BHA INVESTIGATES: REUTERS' Justin Palmer reported the BHA said that "it was investigating a number of positive samples obtained from horses at Butler's yard." The BHA said in a statement, "One of the objectives of this investigation is to clarify the extent to which this product has been distributed and administered to horses in training" (REUTERS, 4/29).

GODOLPHIN IN 'NO RUSH': THE NATIONAL reported Godolphin stables is in ''no rush'' to appoint a new trainer at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket after Mahmoud Al Zarooni was banned for eight years. The BHA said last week Godolphin has "around 10 days to find a replacement for Al Zarooni if Moulton Paddocks is to remain active as a licensed training stable this season." Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford said that "the most pressing issue is to ensure the yard is 'clean of drugs.'" Crisford: "There is no rush to appoint anybody to train there at present" (THE NATIONAL, 4/29).

The FIFA task force against racism and discrimination will hold its first meeting Monday at FIFA's Zurich headquarters. The creation of the task force was announced by President Sepp Blatter in early March following a meeting of the FIFA Strategic Committee, as part of a series of measures to tackle the pressing issue of racism and discrimination in football (FIFA). ... Cuba will permit its boxers to participate in the 4th World Series of Boxing Nov. 15 through May '14, allowing them "to earn some profits without losing their amateur condition." Cuba Boxing Federation President Alberto Puig said that the decision "was aimed to better prepare the local boxers and let them know their rivals in each division, in order to defeat them in the most important Olympic and world contests" (XINHUA, 4/29). ... The Australian Football League's review system is "set to remain as is until a more advanced hi-tech replacement is found." The system introduced at the start of last year has "come under fire this season" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/30). ... A team of the Int'l Swimming Federation (FINA) "officially began its on-site evaluation" in Gwangju, South Korea on Monday as it watched a presentation of the city's proposals to host the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships (KOREA HERALD, 4/29).