Tour de France cyclists "could have cameras attached to bikes to enhance the experience of television audiences in an effort to attract more fans," according to the BBC. Int'l Cycling Union President Brian Cookson believes that the sport "must innovate to promote itself." Cookson: "We need to embrace innovation and sell our sport. We will look at technology, such as cameras on bikes." Cookson believes cycling "needs to remain at the cutting edge of technology to enhance the experience of viewers. And why stop at cameras? What about having microphones on bikes or sharing rider data on screen?" Meanwhile, Belgian Cycling Federation President Tom van Damme "has called for football-style red and yellow cards to improve safety in the peloton" (BBC, 4/9).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
New Zealand's anti-doping agency said that there "needs to be a greater focus on the sports scientists advising our top athletes to prevent doping while a code of silence among athletes remains," according to Michael Fox of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. Drug Free Sport NZ CEO Graeme Steel told MPs Wednesday morning that "while they were making progress when it came to preventing drug use, they were not helped by athletes who chose loyalty to their teammates over the integrity of their sport." Steel: "If what happened in Australia at Cronulla and Essendon, if one person early on said 'this smells and I'm going to tell the right people,' a lot of that could've been nipped in the bud." Steel said there was "no evidence" of an equivalent issue with any sports scientists in New Zealand but this needed to be investigated more thoroughly. He said that anti-doping bodies "were having an impact on the use of performance enhancing drugs." Steel: "We can't ever promise that the international scene will ever be absent doping. What we want to do is say young New Zealand athletes can go through their careers. They can inspire and they can win without doping" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 4/9).
Senior members of Australia's "triumphant women's World T20 team" believe that it is "only a matter of time before they are embraced as fulltime professionals," according to the AAP. Cricket Australia last year updated its women's "contracting system, increasing player retainers and payments." All the Southern Stars, however, "still have to juggle cricket with either work or study." Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning and her deputy, Alex Blackwell, both "believe it won’t be too long before players at their level will be fulltime professionals." Lanning: "I hope so, I don’t think it’s too far away. Obviously if we're successful that's certainly going to help, but at the minute we're very happy with the level of support we get, and I'm sure that in the future it will only increase" (AAP, 4/10). In Melbourne, Andrew Wu reported CA's decision to make the Southern Stars the "highest-paid female sporting team in the country has been hailed as a key factor in the team's third consecutive international Twenty20 world title." Coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Lanning and Blackwell all believe that last year's pay increase "played a big part in lifting the standard of women's cricket in Australia." For Fitzpatrick, it means "better access to hone their skills." For the players, "it means they can take time off work or study to concentrate on their game" (THE AGE, 4/9).
The Pakistan Cricket Board "has issued a show cause notice to flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi for speaking to the media after returning from Dhaka recently after taking part in the World T20 tournament" (PTI, 4/9). ... The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday "moved an application before the Supreme Court seeking transcripts of audio tapes" containing statements of Board President N. Srinivasan and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, recorded by the Mukul Mudgal Committee which probed allegations of Indian Premier League "spot and match fixing" (PTI, 4/9). ... Saudi authorities "have been asked to consider lifting a state school ban on sports for girls." News agency SPA said that Saudi Arabia's appointed Shoura Council, which advises the government on policy, "had asked the education ministry to look into including sports for girls in state-run schools with the proviso they should conform to Sharia rules on dress and gender segregation" (REUTERS, 4/9). ... Israel's Supreme Court "has refused to allow a Palestinian Olympian from the Gaza Strip to take part in a marathon in the occupied West Bank." Court documents said that Nader al-Masri's request for permission to transit the Jewish state to join the April 11 Bethlehem marathon "did not constitute 'a humanitarian case'" (GLOBAL TIMES, 4/8). ... Former Australian Football League player Wayne Schwass believes the league "has reached a critical juncture in how it treats players with mental health issues." Schwass said that "administrators and clubs needed to divert sufficient resources to help address problems with players." He said, "We're at a fork in the road. Once upon a time, some people in the game made a really courageous decision to tackle racism. That’s the same situation we find ourselves in now with mental health" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/10).