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Volume 6 No. 215

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Pirelli "will strengthen its tyres ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix to try to avoid a repeat of the six blowouts seen at Silverstone," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. The rear tires' internal belt "will be made of Kevlar at the Nürburgring this weekend rather than the usual steel." For the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July, Pirelli "will revert to its 2012 construction, which is different to that used this year." The aim is to make tires "more resistant to cuts and punctures." Pirelli Motorsports Dir Paul Hembery said an investigation was under way to find the cause "as soon as possible ahead of the next grand prix." Only the rear tires "are changing for this weekend's race in Germany, the fronts will remain the same as they have been all season" (BBC, 7/2). In London, Kevin Garside reported Pirelli is expected to recommend the revised tires that "were rejected when the teams could not agree on the use at Montreal last month." Force India, Lotus and Ferrari "voted against their deployment at a meeting in Monaco, but safety issues have taken the decision out of the teams’ hands." An alternative suggestion by McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh "is to revert to last year’s tyres, which did not present any of the flaws on show at Silverstone" (INDEPENDENT, 7/2).

ECCLESTONE TO GERMANY: Also in London, Kevin Eason reported F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "will travel to the German Grand Prix to head off the threat of rebellion among Formula One’s teams and drivers even though he risks facing a damaging legal action." Ecclestone "still has the prospect of bribery charges hanging over him." The 82-year-old said that he "does not fear travelling to the Nürburgring and is anxious to make sure the race goes ahead safely without a repeat of the exploding Pirelli tyres that almost marred the British Grand Prix at the weekend." Ecclestone said, "I will definitely be going to Germany. I just hope I will be coming back" (LONDON TIMES, 7/2).

PIRELLI BLAMES TEAMS: In London, Ian Parkes wrote the tiremaker "has risked incurring the wrath of Formula One's teams by claiming they are primarily to blame for the high-speed tyre explosions." Pirelli said that after "exhaustive analysis" of the Silverstone failures that occurred at Silverstone, its tires "are safe, if used correctly." Pirelli said that there are four factors behind the failures: "the incorrect reverse mounting of the rear tyres; adoption by the teams of too-low pressures; extreme camber settings; and aggressive kerbing at Silverstone." Pirelli claims that its rear tires "are not designed to be interchangeable," and under-inflation and extreme cambers "can be dangerous under certain circumstances" (INDEPENDENT, 7/2).

After "months of intense negotiations, the legislation to eradicate violence from Mexico City stadiums is prepared and lacks only approval to be implemented starting in September," according to LA AFICION. Under pressure from the Liga MX, the law's name was changed from the "Stadiums Law" to the "Law for Security at Sporting Events in the Federal District." The 24-page proposal, which will be presented before Mexico City's Legislative Assembly in September, "features a few main points, including the installation of breathalyzers at stadium entrances." Chapter five of the proposed law says "access to the stadium will be denied to persons in an intoxicated state or under the influence of drugs or narcotics." The new rules regarding the sale of alcohol inside stadiums will remain "as they currently are: the sale of alcohol will be suspended once 60% of the time allotted for the event has passed." The legislation will also designate non-smoking areas in stadiums (LA AFICION, 7/2). 

The National Rugby League "is set to take a closer look at the inner workings" of the Australian Football League and A-League salary caps "as part of a sweeping review of its own system of player payments," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. NRL COO Jim Doyle "has already announced plans to review the salary cap and, as part of that inquiry, the game will incorporate analysis of the way other codes operate." Doyle also confirmed that "all previous proposals would be put back on the table, meaning the game is likely to again revisit concepts such as the marquee-player system." The system, which has been used successfully in the A-League and allows clubs to sign big-name players exempt from the salary cap, "has previously been discussed by the NRL but failed to receive widespread support from its clubs." Clubs "would require convincing," even though they "could have significant ramifications for some of the country's biggest sporting stars," most notably Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/2).

UEFA will begin to administer drug tests for all continental competitions starting in the '13-14 season, according to the EFE. Until now, neither the Champions League nor the Europa League competitions have administered drug tests, while blood tests were given at the '08 and '12 Euros. The tests will be given both inside and outside of competitions, "including blood tests, urine tests, and tests of both blood and urine." The main change "is the inclusion of a section detailing the proceedings for the individual players that are tested outside of competition" (EFE, 7/2). REUTERS' Tony Goodson reported that the new rules "follow a UEFA anti-doping panel meeting held late last year." Last week, players getting ready for the European Women's U17 Championship were "given a stark warning against drug-taking." UEFA anti-doping assistant Richard Grisdale said, "If you make a mistake or don't know the rules and you test positive, you will be banned. You will suffer. Your team can suffer" (REUTERS, 7/2).

Football Federation Australia "has announced bans and fines for six players" caught betting on a preseason cup match in Queensland. The players -- four from Brisbane and two from Rochedale -- "were charged under the national code of conduct and have been banned for four games and fined" between A$200 ($183) and A$1,000 (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/2). ... Relegated Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) side Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg has received the Wildcard for the '13-14 BBL season and will stay in Germany's top-flight basketball league (BBL). ... The Australian Football League "has asked clubs to comment on a suggestion they should not receive draft picks as compensation for the loss of unrestricted free agents" (AAP, 7/2).