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Volume 6 No. 213

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Australian Football League has "poured cold water on Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson's scheduling concerns related to Sunday's hot fixture in the Sunshine State," according to Rob Forsaith of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Adelaide played in Brisbane at 1:10pm on a "warm winter's day that reached 24.6C." Sanderson said, "If you're going to schedule games up here at this time of year, you've got to put them at night. Otherwise you're going to put players' health and safety at risk." AFL Football Operations Manager Mark Evans on Monday "dismissed Sanderson's criticism." Evans: "Certainly it was hotter in Adelaide at the start of the year. Certainly it's been hotter in the finals series, where people have had six-day breaks and all of those sort of things. I don't think it's outside the realm of an acceptable limit" (SMH, 8/11).

Australian Football League side Essendon lawyer Neil Young fears a Federal Court finding against the club could "effectively destroy its business," according to Pierik & Cooper of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. With suspended Essendon coach James Hird and his wife Tania watching from the "back corner of the court on Monday, lawyers for Essendon, Hird" and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority "outlined their opening arguments on the legalities of a joint investigation between the anti-doping body and the AFL." Young then warned Justice John Middleton that if ASADA's investigation "was cleared, meaning the show-cause notices distributed to 34 current and former players stood, there could be dire consequences for the club and its multi-million dollar business." Young: "If there is prejudice against the players, there is effectively prejudice against the business ... (it could) effectively destroy its business" (SMH, 8/11). In Sydney, Chip Le Grand reported Young said the joint investigation was "invalid from the moment it was formed." Young: "From its very inception, the investigation was invalid and unlawful." Essendon and Hird’s case is that ASADA had "no power to conduct a joint investigation, provide confidential information to the AFL and to supply the AFL with a 'tailored' interim report to prosecute disciplinary charges against the club and its staff" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/11). In Melbourne, Pierik & Cooper reported a solicitor for Essendon made a "secret recording" of an ASADA official addressing Bombers players after the football club had "begged" the anti-doping body to speak to the players. Representing ASADA, Daniel Star said Essendon solicitor Tony Hargreaves made a recording of that address and that Essendon now wanted to use the "covert secret transcript" as evidence in the case before Middleton. Star accused Essendon of running a "trial by ambush" by trying to have the transcript "introduced as evidence after submissions were made" (THE AGE, 8/11).

The Rugby Football League is to "investigate after fans ran onto the pitch following Castleford's Challenge Cup semi-final win over Widnes." Police and stewards "had to intervene to stop spectators from the Widnes section at the Leigh Sports Village" (BBC, 8/11). ... The possible scrapping of the U20 National Youth Competiton would "impact heavily on the ability of clubs to convince New Zealand schoolboy rugby union stars" to switch codes. While some within the game "believe the Holden Cup is too expensive and does not provide the best development pathway to the NRL, the profile of the competition has been a valuable recruitment tool" for luring young rugby union players to the Warriors and Australian-based clubs (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/11). ... Cricket participation numbers in South Australia have "skyrocketed to almost 100,000 on the back of Australia's spectacular Ashes success." National Cricket Census figures released on Monday showed 95,541 South Australians "play the sport making it the most played game in the state." The numbers represent 12% growth in the past year and 33% growth in the past four years, "with school and women’s cricket driving the boom" (SUNDAY MAIL, 8/11). ... The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has "struck a deal that will see the return of the National Sports Lottery, which ceased operation three years ago" (PHNOM PENH POST, 8/11). ... Japan's Central and Pacific leagues agreed on Monday to switch to an 18-game interleague format from the Nippon Professional Baseball league's '15 season. The representatives for the 12 teams adopted the change from 24 games to 18 as the "Pacific League clubs gave in to the Central League demands for a shorter interleague season" (KYODO, 8/11).