The Australian Sports Commission is "poised to launch a swimming-type review of athletics in Australia after the dysfunctional off-track performance at the Commonwealth Games which culminated in the extraordinary public brawl between the head coach and Australia's best athlete," according to Michael Gleeson of THE AGE. The ASC, which "almost entirely funds athletics in Australia," is expected to announce a "broad-ranging review into the sport in the manner of that undertaken into swimming after the scandalous Stilnox drug use at the London Olympics." The ASC review will not focus on the "spectacularly public breakdown of the relationship" between high-performance coach Eric Hollingsworth and Olympic Gold Medalist Sally Pearson. The ASC believes that was "symptomatic of other issues in the sport." ASC Chair John Wylie said, "It would most likely be an independent review so it would be similar in character to what happened in swimming ... I think it's too early to be putting dates and deadlines and time-frames on this. We are still looking at all options and looking at the right way for a whole of sport review to be done." Athletics Australia has "already started its review of what happened in Glasgow and all issues relating to the structure of the high-performance department and how it broke down so spectacularly" (THE AGE, 8/20).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
If National Rugby League side Cronulla Sharks players admit they were "doped and duped" during the supplements program in place at Cronulla during the '11 season, they will receive a "three-week ban following a deal offered" by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority on Wednesday, according to Roy Masters of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The 17 past and present players, all of whom have been "offered the same deal, will receive a 12-month sanction for doping, but will have their sentences back-dated" to Nov. '13. They have "until Friday to accept the deal, effectively a three-week ban, or it will be off the table and they could face the mandatory two-year punishment for use of prohibited substances." ASADA lawyers offered the deal to players and their legal representatives at a "series of meetings in Sydney." ASADA has applied the "no significant fault" concession to the players "believing they were unwitting victims of an ad-hoc, experimental doping program" (SMH, 8/21). REUTERS' Nick Mulvenney reported Australian doping authorities "began issuing formal allegations of possible anti-doping violations" to 17 current and former Cronulla players. An ASADA statement said, "A total of 17 'show cause' notices are to be issued (and) relate to the use of prohibited substances." The Sharks said that five of the players were "still at the club and had been offered the chance to accept a possible ban as punishment for their alleged infractions" (REUTERS, 8/20). In Sydney, Read & Honeysett reported the NRL is "believed to be ready to act against sports scientist Stephen Dank." The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has reportedly "done everything within its power in terms of Dank, and the pursuit of the sports scientist is now in the hands of the major sports." While the AFL is "likely to wait until the outcome of the current Federal Court case" involving Australian Football League side Essendon, the NRL has "no reason to hesitate and could act against Dank imminently" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/21).
Football Federation Australia’s "attempts to prevent a return to the sport’s ethnic labels of the past will be tested by law," after its rules were referred to the Human Rights Commission, according to Tom Smithies of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Melbourne Knights have "complained of racial discrimination to the Commission, after it was banned from displaying a sponsor’s name on its kit for the FFA Cup." The club "has also claimed it will go to the Federal Court if it does not get satisfaction from the Commission." The club was told three of its proposed sponsors fell foul of national rules brought in earlier this year, which ban any new club names or logos including "ethnic, national, political, racial or religious connotations." Its major FFA Cup sponsor had been due to be Melbourne Croatia Soccer Club, "which falls into a grey area under the wording of FFA’s policy" on so-called ethnic terms (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/20).
The retired Justice Mukul Mudgal-led Indian Premier League probe committee on Wednesday "made it clear" that it will not be traveling to England to interact with members of the Indian cricket team. It also "clarified that the panel members did not speak" to Board of Control for Cricket in India President-in-exile and Int'l Cricket Council Chair N. Srinivasan or his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan (PTI, 8/20). ... IPL club Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday announced its association with the South Australian Government that will give 15 Indian cricketers an opportunity to travel to Adelaide to experience South Australia’s cricket facilities as part of Adelaide’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 program (Rajasthan Royals). ... Tui Brewery, which is owned by DB, teamed up with the New Zealand organizers of next year's Cricket World Cup "to offer a Catch a Million promotion which last summer saw two members of the public walk away from Black Caps matches" NZ$100,000 ($84,000) richer. To enter the competition, crowd members "had to wear an orange Tui t-shirt and catch a six one handed." About 20% of the adult crowd "took part in the promotion, with thousands of cricket fans turning up to the Black Caps one-dayers and T20 matches against the West Indies and India wearing the t-shirts" (STUFF, 8/20).