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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Australian Cricket Census has revealed that a record 951,933 participants played cricket at local grounds, schools and indoor centers across Australia in '12-13. The overall national growth of 8.2% is underpinned by significant growth in female, club cricket and entry-level participation. Female participation grew a further 18.8% to 178,416. Females now make up almost 19% of cricket’s participants. After a small dip last year, club cricket rebounded with a growth of 1.7%, with 318,830 participants across 577 associations and 3,737 clubs. Entry-level participation grew by 47.9%, while indoor cricket numbers remain strong at 177,962. Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said, "The significant entry-level growth shows that Australian kids have a passion for cricket and our junior programs are attracting them to our game." He added, "Increased female participation enhances cricket’s standing as a sport for all Australians. Meanwhile club cricket continues to be the heart and soul of our game" (Cricket Australia).

The South Korean government "announced plans to conduct audits on sports organizations across the country to ensure fair and transparent administration," according to the YONHAP NEWS. Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism Sports Bureau Dir Noh Tae-gang said that "audits began on Monday and will go on until the end of this year." Noh added inspections "could be carried over into next year if necessary." According to Noh, the ministry "will examine the Korean Olympic Committee and the Korea Sports Association for the Disabled, plus national sports governing bodies under their auspices, and also provincial and municipal sports organizations" (YONHAP NEWS, 8/26).

The four Australian Football League Essendon officials charged over the club's supplement scandal "are no closer to learning their fates after a full of day of negotiations at league headquarters," according to Chip Le Grand of THE AUSTRALIAN. Coach James Hird will Tuesday "make a formal application for the AFL Commission to disqualify itself from hearing the case against him." His co-accused, assistant coach Mark Thompson, football Manager Danny Corcoran and club doctor Bruce Reid "will also return to AFL House for further negotiations but no resolution in site" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/27). In Sydney, Pierik & Wilson reported player agents "were called to a secret meeting on Monday where they were reminded of the legal avenues they can explore for Essendon players dealing with the supplements saga." While the legal ramifications surrounding the Bombers' '11-12 injecting program were high on the agenda, the "chief concern of agents remains the potential long-term health effects of their players" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/27). Also in Sydney, Pierik & Wilson reported in a separate piece Thompson said Hird could "struggle" to return as coach if he was suspended for 12 months for his role in the club's contentious supplements program. While Hird said on Saturday that "he would want to return," with club Chair Paul Little endorsing that desire, Thompson admitted after five hours of dealing with the AFL lawyers on Monday that that may not be the case. Thompson "described himself as a pawn in the situation, with Hird as the big fish." On Hird, who is facing a 12-month ban, Thompson said, ''He's a young coach who is learning his way and he never deliberately set out to do anything wrong" (THE AGE, 8/27).

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has confirmed reports from Spa-Francorchamps this week that Michelin wants to return" to F1. Eccelstone said, "They do want to get back in, but we have had contracts with Pirelli for some time'' (GRAND PRIX, 8/25). ... The Kelantan state sports council in Malaysia "wants compulsory dope tests to be carried out at every state or national level competitions" (THE EDGE, 8/27). ... Football Federation Australia said "it has been admitted as a full member" of the Asean Football Federation after a regional meeting in East Timor (AP, 8/26). ... The trespassing protest by Oracle Team USA has cost them $5,000. The America's Cup int'l jury "awarded costs against Oracle after they withdrew the protest" -- made when the U.S.-based syndicate "felt that arch-rivals Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa team members had crawled over their AC45s, perhaps looking for evidence of cheating" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 8/26).