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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Sports scientist Stephen Dank’s "moment of truth has finally arrived," according to Baker & Massoud of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. With the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Association "potentially preparing to issue charges against him" over Australian Football League club Essendon’s '12 supplement program. Dank "confirmed he’d recently received a show cause notice, an official signal of ASADA’s intent to take action against him." Potential infractions relate only to the supplement program Dank "devised at Essendon two season ago." The show cause letter "makes no mention of his involvement at Cronulla in 2011, when players were allegedly subjected to an 11-week program of peptide injections, creams and tablets." Dank "has denied giving any players banned substances" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/14). In Sydney, Le Grand & Read reported Dank's legal response "is likely to include Federal Court action and a complaint to the Privacy Commission." The official from another AFL club named in the show-cause notice "is understood to be a private patient of Dank who was receiving treatment unrelated to his work in football." Dank’s legal advisers believe that "the inclusion of the official is a breach of patient privilege." They suspect ASADA of continuing to leak information about its "highly sensitive investigation despite the public denial" of outgoing CEO Aurora Andruska (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/14). In Melbourne, Adrian Proszenko reported ASADA "has completed its investigation phase and former Federal Court judge Garry Downes has been engaged to look over the evidence." Four players from National Rugby League club Cronulla "are reportedly also set to receive show-cause notices over the club's controversial supplements program in 2011" (THE AGE, 3/13). In Sydney, Andrew Wu reported AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou "has set Greater Western Sydney a pass mark of six wins this year but believes the league's newest club will be a finalist within five seasons." Expectations "are rising for the Giants, who, heading into their third season, are no longer considered a certainty to claim the wooden spoon" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/14).

A sports charity set up by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal that helped produce India’s only individual Olympic Gold Medalist "has shut down, apparently due to a lack of funds," according to the AFP. The Mittal Champions Trust, founded in '05 to raise India’s sporting standards and produce Olympic medalists, "was headed by Mittal’s son-in-law Amit Bhatia." Former tennis player Manisha Malhotra, who was the trust’s CEO, confirmed local media reports that "the venture had closed down." Malhotra: “They did not want to spend more money. There is a lot of disorganization within the Indian sporting system. The lack of planning within the government and federations makes it challenging to implement systems” (AFP, 3/12).

With the announcement of the Indian Premier League dates and venues, the rumors about the hosting of the seventh edition of the cash-rich event "have come to a halt," according to Sanjay Sharma of the TIMES OF INDIA. The "big question of the day is why South Africa missed the bus this time around, despite successfully hosting the event in 2009," the second year after the inception of the IPL T20. There "may be several reasons but the board and sponsors might have chosen UAE primarily due to similar time zone." Weather "would also be as good/bad as here back home." The atmosphere and pitches of the place "would be similar, hence no franchise could complain about this too." In '09, "empty stands" were witnessed when South Africa played host. If UAE plays host, "in that case migrant working population here is more in comparison to any other parts of the world, we may see more fans occupying the seats during this first leg of the tournament." Organizers, too, hope that a large population of expats in the UAE "would help boost revenue from gate receipts which would compensate them partly'' (TIMES OF INDIA, 3/13). In Mumbai, Indranil Basu wrote the Board of Control for Cricket in India "would have loved to host the IPL in South Africa but the plan was shelved because of the cost factor." According to sources, Cricket South Africa was demanding close to Rs 180 crore ($29M) to host the T20 event, though "it could not be ascertained if the demand was for hosting the entire event or just a part." The "steep demand" put off not only the board, but also IPL team owners "who did not want to spend that kind of money" (TIMES OF INDIA, 3/13).

Poor management has cost the National Rugby League almost A$2M ($1.8M) "in gate takings and an highest attendance record last weekend," according to Phil Rothfield of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. An analysis of the round one venues revealed that "the code could have attracted an extra 80,000 fans rather than be dealing with the embarrassment of 10-year low figures." Potentially 206,000 fans "would have turned up rather than 126,000 if the draw had of included Suncorp Stadium, Newcastle, Eden Park and AAMI Park." Officials "inexplicably chose not to play arch rivals Storm v Sea Eagles in Melbourne on an AFL-free weekend." At an average ticket price of A$25, the round "could have attracted an extra" A$1.8M in ticket sales. It quickly "shoots down the argument that Channel 9 and Fox Sports are to blame for the poor crowds and scheduling nightmare" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/14). In Sydney, Dean Ritchie reported a former Australian NFL player "has called on the NRL to re-introduce the five metre defensive rule before rugby league becomes a 'death sentence.'" Colin Scotts, who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Oilers, said, "Concussion leads to mental illness, violence, obesity, depression, dementia and suicide." Scotts, 50, "thinks the interchange should also be reduced to cut back on collision and impact." He said, "Concussion can be a death sentence. The life expectancy of an NFL player is 52 to 55. We used to laugh about it -- now we cry about it" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/14).

Authorities in Bangladesh on Thursday "asked fertiliser factories to halt production in a bid to divert gas supply to power plants and ensure an uninterrupted electricity supply ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup." State-owned Oil, Gas & Mineral Corp. Chair Mohammed Hussain Monsur said, "We have no other options but to shut down fertilizer factories for some time to ensure gas supply to power plants" (REUTERS, 3/13). ... The Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association "is formally set to split after decision to bifurcate the State by the Central government." The APBA, until now, "is catering to the needs of 23 districts." It "will soon have two associations -- one serving the interests of ten districts of Telangana and the other, the Seemandhra region" (THE HINDU, 3/13). ... The Int'l Cricket Council on Thursday "cleared top South African official Haroon Lorgat of involvement in comments made against the world body in a dispute over an India tour." India had protested to the ICC "accusing Lorgat of colluding with the then Cricket South Africa (CSA) legal consultant David Becker in a dispute over how many games India should play in a tour." ICC President Alan Isaac said, "The ICC notes and accepts the decision of the independent adjudicator" (AFP, 3/13).