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Volume 6 No. 197

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg claims louder F1 engines, incorporating a ''megaphone'' design, "have been tested, and will be seen on track for the first time at next week's Barcelona test," according to Phil Duncan of the London DAILY MAIL. The noise produced by the new 1.6-litre turbo engines "has come under scrutiny from most corners of the sport this season with a working group subsequently tasked to find a solution." Mercedes, which supplies engines to four teams, has "led the development process in cooperation with the FIA" (DAILY MAIL, 5/8). Mercedes Dir Toto Wolff said, "The solutions range from very complex solutions within the exhaust system down to a simple megaphone at the back. The 'megaphone' is a parallel exhaust that simply opens up at the end -- with all the problems that brings with it" (CRASH, 5/8).

Some of the National Rugby League’s most respected execs believe that the game "may have created more problems than it solved" by giving CEO Dave Smith "the power to intervene in the pursuit of elite players from rival codes," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. Several CEOs "raised their concerns" when the concept was first raised at a meeting in Auckland prior to the nines in February. Yet the NRL "pressed ahead with the concept, informing the clubs of its decision at a meeting last Wednesday." Cronulla CEO Steve Noyce said, “I think the majority voted against it (earlier this year) and I think people haven’t thought through the whole process. Sometimes you can panic when you don’t need to. Our game is a great game and it produces great athletes.” Canberra CEO Don Furner said, “To me it’s only going to help one or two high-profile clubs. I don’t know why it’s been brought in." While concerns were raised by some CEOs, others were willing to reserve their judgment until the rule was ­actually put into practice. Melbourne CEO Mark Evans said, "I am probably on balance in favor of giving the chief executive some discretion if and when circumstances occur. I think on the whole it’s better to have it than not have it. But I don’t think it will be exercised very often" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/9).

TAKING A SABBATICAL: The AAP's Darren Walton reported Former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock said that the Australian Rugby Union "must consider allowing players to take sabbaticals between Rugby World Cups, in a bid to combat rugby league's forecast raid on the 15-man code." Mortlock "agrees with fellow ex-Wallabies skipper Phil Waugh" that new powers enabling Smith to lure big-name players "poses a serious threat to Australian rugby." Waugh said the ARU needs to "think outside the square" to avoid losing its stars. Mortlock: "He's holding the trump card up his sleeve" (AAP, 5/8).

TIGERS' APPEAL: The AAP reported Wests Tigers "are planning to appeal" a A$20,000 ($18,700) fine "for breaching the NRL's concussion rules." Coach Mick Potter expressed "shock that the club had even been investigated." Potter "launched a passionate defence of the club's medical staff and said the Tigers had a strong case to win their appeal, which must be lodged within five working days." Potter: "I think our medical staff did everything possible and the right thing on the day" (AAP, 5/8).

AGENT SHAKE-UP: In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported player managers "could lose their clients if they do not regularly catch up with them face-to-face under a raft of proposals being considered by the NRL." The NRL "is looking at a raft of potential changes to how managers interact with the game and its stars." One of the more "radical proposals" is to ensure there is a "mandatory face-to-face catch-up on a regular basis." There are also concerns that some ''six-and-a-half per-centers'' have so many clients on their books that "they could not possibly be able to devote the time required to properly guide them on and off the field" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/8).

The "turf war" between the suspended Rajasthan Cricket Association and the Board of Control for Cricket in India escalated on Thursday with RCA Deputy President Mehmood Abdi accusing the Board of acting in the most unfair manner to satisfy the "vengeance, hate and prejudicial grudge" carried out by former BCCI President N. Srinivasan against Indian Premier League Founder Lalit Modi, according to the PTI. A day after the BCCI suspended the RCA, Abdi said that "the parent body's actions were baffling." Abdi said, "The action of the BCCI speaks volumes about its sheer arrogance and utter disregard for the law of the land and public sentiment, as it has demonstrated with the ban on the RCA in a most unfair and undemocratic manner." Abdi said that interim BCCI President Shiv Yadav "does not seem to have any hold over the body." Abdi: "It is thus, amply clear that Mr. Shiv Lal Yadav is the hand-puppet for Mr. N. Srinivasan. Being an interim President, Mr. Yadav has no right to take steps for the affiliation of disqualification or any member State Association" (PTI, 5/8). In Mumbai, Vijay Tagore wrote the BCCI "announced a plan to form of an ad-hoc committee to look after the game in the state" after suspending the RCA for electing Modi. To begin with, the BCCI "will send a delegation, likely to be headed by its treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary, to the state to assess the situation at the ground level." As for Modi's return, "the time may not be still ripe." He "seems to be pinning his hopes" on a change of government at the center but the situation may not be "too favorable for him" if the Bharatiya Janata Party, as is being predicted, comes to power (MUMBAI MIRROR, 5/8).

V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton "is hopeful one of Australia’s greatest sporting rivalries will continue," according to James Phelps of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Warburton is "confident Ford will keep its war with Holden raging by recommitting to the sport." Holden "ended speculation over its future" in Australian motorsport earlier this week by re-signing with Red Bull Racing. He has "now shifted the focus on to Ford." Warburton revealed V8 Supercars "were helping FPR to negotiate a new deal with Ford and discussions were ongoing." Warburton said, “A decision on the future is premature at this stage but we see little reason why they would not continue to support their fans’’(DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/8).

The structure of cricket's anti-corruption and security unit "is being reviewed amid questions about its effectiveness in policing the modern game." The review is being conducted by the big three cricket countries -- India, England and Australia. It could lead to the Int'l Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit "being reduced in size but with better links between the investigative teams set up by individual boards, which in turn would co-operate with local police forces" (THE AGE, 5/8). ... The Australian Football League appeals board "has cleared Jack Viney and overturned his contentious suspension, but Melbourne says it still supports the AFL's new version of the bump rule." The appeals board "took only 14 minutes to overturn Viney's two-match suspension on Thursday evening after hearing a forceful argument that he had not bumped Adelaide's Tom Lynch, rather that he had merely 'braced' himself for contact" (THE AGE, 5/8).