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Volume 6 No. 214

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority CEO Ben McDevitt said that he would "support an all-encompassing 'lessons learnt' review of the body that has been increasingly scrutinised" through Australian Football League and National Rugby League inquiries, according to Samantha Lane of THE AGE. Fronting a "Senate estimates hearing for questioning just 17 days into his tenure" as ASADA CEO, McDevitt said that "such a review would be useful." But "following recent criticism" from former World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey and outgoing AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, McDevitt suggested the "national anti-doping agency might have been hamstrung by its limited capacity to communicate through proceedings." While "refusing to comment on the suggestions made last week by Fahey and Demetriou that the so-called 'darkest day in Australian sport' news conference damaged the drug investigations" that ensued, McDevitt said that topic and many others were "worthy of reflection" (THE AGE, 6/4). In Canberra, Lee Gaskin reported the NRL has "defended the controversial round 13 rule that allowed James Tedesco to backflip on his deal with the Canberra Raiders." The Rugby League Players' Association is also remaining "steadfastly behind in the concept despite Tedesco's captain at the Wests Tigers, Robbie Farah, saying he is opposed to it." The Raiders announced a "couple of weeks ago they had secured the prize signature of Tedesco on a three-year contract" worth a reported A$1.9M ($1.8M). The 21-year-old, however, "had a change of heart and informed Raiders coach Ricky Stuart on Wednesday he would be staying at the Tigers" (CANBERRA TIMES, 6/5).

PARTING SHOT: In Melbourne, Jon Pierik wrote Demetriou, "as most would know, has rarely been afraid to speak his mind." Demetriou: "No final clips. I am going out without having any enemies." But before the "final embrace and handshake, before his successor Gillon McLachlan has it all to himself, Demetriou did provide his last critique." Demetriou: "There is absolutely no doubt the game is in good shape and, if you look at some of the key measurements that Gillon and [AFL chairman] Michael Fitzpatrick will oversee ... we have got great numbers in our [club] memberships, television ratings are up, our crowds are down in Melbourne but are up on average overall when you consider what is going on in Adelaide, which has lifted the average" (THE AGE, 6/4).

The British Basketball League and England Basketball announced the next stage of developing the women's game through the launch of the Women's British Basketball League. The WBBL will form the top flight of women's club basketball in the U.K. from the '14-15 season. Comprised of the existing eight Division One Women's EBL clubs, along with two newly promoted clubs to bring the league total up to 10, the WBBL will commence in Sept. England Basketball will continue to provide administrative and regulatory support through officials appointments, league discipline and FIBA relations for player clearances while the BBL will provide scheduling and results, marketing, commercial development, rights exploitation and promotion for the WBBL (BBL). MVP reported the initial line-up will include sides -- all awarded franchises from the outset -- from England and Wales, although "other teams can apply to join" in '15 with Glasgow Rocks thought to be interested. It "will also have no relegation with no automatic promotion from the lower tiers." BBL Chair Ed Percival said, "Everyone in the BBL is committed to making the WBBL a success. All our clubs have very significant grassroots development program, and basketball is a sport that is very attractive to boys and girls." However, the development "stops short of creating the kind of semi-professional set-up envisaged following the Olympics when a working party was established by British Performance Basketball" in '11.

WBBL CLUBS: The clubs in the WBBL are Barking Abbey, LSBU Brixton Topcats, Cardiff Met Archers, Leeds Carnegie, Loughborough Riders, Manchester Magic, Team Northumbria, Nottingham Wildcats, Sevenoaks Suns and City of Sheffield Hatters (MVP, 6/5).

The cricket boards of Australia and England "have dealt a potentially hammer blow" to a proposed Indian Premier League-style women's T20 tournament, according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The league "hoped to pay top female players" as much as A$40,000 ($37,000) for a 12-day event. Former Southern Stars all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar and business partner Shaun Martyn "were behind the ambitious project." The goal was to have "a six-team competition, to be played in Singapore, up and running within the next nine months." However, their aspirations were "dented by opposition from the England and Wales Cricket Board." On Thursday, Cricket Australia said that they "did not endorse the mooted WICL and were instead pushing ahead with plans for a women's Big Bash League" to start in the summer of '15-16. It means members of Australia's world champion side "will not be released." CA GM of Team Performance Pat Howard said, “In relation to comments by the Women’s ICL, CA has not endorsed the competition in any way" (SMH, 6/5). The BBC reported plans for the WICL "will continue, despite a lack of support." The WICL said players and officials were being "potentially denied a great opportunity" and pledged to work to "provide women with the opportunities their male counterparts have" (BBC, 6/5).

Fourteen national federations of the World Baseball Softball Confederation have created the Francophone Association of Baseball Softball (AFBS) to promote the sport in French-speaking territories. It will be headquartered in Paris. The federations are Belgium, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Ghana, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Togo and Tunisia (WBSC). ... Centrally contracted Pakistan cricket players "will receive a 25 per cent increase in their monthly retainers and higher match fees." The Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday awarded deals to 31 players. The PCB said that "it had enhanced the monthly fees by 25 per cent at all levels and had also increased test match fees by the same amount" (REUTERS, 6/5). ... The management committee that is presently running the Pakistan Cricket Board on "ad-hoc basis, is expected to be given a four-month extension" by PM Nawaz Sharif. The four-month tenure of the committee will end on Monday, but a "reliable source close to the board" said that the inter provincial coordination "had already prepared and sent a summary to the Prime Minister for approval" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 6/4). ... The German Football League (DFL) "has launched a tender for the design, implementation and operation of a secondary ticketing platform." The contract on offer "covers an initial three-year term, beginning with the '15-16 season" (BERLINER MORGENPOST, 6/3). ... Australian national rugby team captain Stephen Moore "might not believe in booze 'bans,' but no-booze 'agreements' are another matter." The Wallabies "have agreed with team management they will drink alcohol only after their games in the three-Test series against France, on game night only." The Australian Rugby Union "is drawing up a wide-ranging document," entitled Wallaby Tour Guidelines, that "will canvass an array of behavioural, dress and other requirements for touring Test squads." A curfew "is also understood to be on the agenda" (CANBERRA TIMES, 6/5).