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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Two days from the start of the '17-18 EuroLeague season, "a scheduling agreement does not appear imminent," according to Faustino Sáez of EL PAÍS. Since '12, when FIBA established new windows for the qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup -- which will take place this season -- the EuroLeague and FIBA have not reached an agreement, "and through at least November, the ball will be in the players' court." EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu said, "From here to November, it is a closed topic. We will not stop trying to fix something that to us is very bad for basketball. We will make the proposals we need to make to correct this mess, but it does not depend on us." Barcelona forward Víctor Claver said, "It's a controversial topic. Both the EuroLeague and FIBA have to come to an agreement. The players should not have to decide. We want to play with both our club team and our national team. We don't like being in this situation. I don't believe that it is best to have games without the best players. An agreement between everyone would be good" (EL PAÍS, 10/10). 

Australian Super Rugby teams "could share live player data with each other" midseason as part of a "new unified push to return Aussie rugby to the top of the world," according to Iain Payten of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The "unprecedented idea was part of a historic summit in Sydney on Wednesday," where a large group of Australian rugby’s "best minds gathered to figure out how to pull together and get back to winning." The meeting, which was convened by Australian Rugby Union High Performance Dir Ben Whitaker and ARU Head of Special Projects Rod Kafer, saw Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and his staff in attendance, along with the coaches, football staff and high performance heads of all four Australian Super Rugby teams. The men's and women’s Aussie sevens programs "were also in the room." They agreed to a new "One Plan" model that will see all teams operate under a national high performance system covering "athletic performance to player welfare, coaching and talent management." Whitaker: "The detail will be thrashed out now in terms of strength and conditioning coaches, analysts, high performance managers." After decades of "suspicion and distrust between states," and toward the ARU, the solidarity in the "One Plan" system is "unprecedented" in Australian rugby. The player data "was shared retrospectively this year but one topic of discussion at the Sydney summit this week is whether the player data will be shared in real time" during the '18 Super Rugby season. Whitaker said that he hoped the summit would "establish a consensus" on how to track "performance" measurements during the season (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/11).

Senior figures in world cricket "have warned of the growing threat of corruption" within the "vulnerable" women’s game, with an "explosion in interest making it more attractive to fixers," according to Tim Wigmore of the London GUARDIAN. The warnings come in the wake of a "successful World Cup" and as England prepares in Australia for the Women’s Ashes, which begin on Oct. 22. Federation of Int'l Cricketers' Associations Chair Tony Irish warned that the women’s game "is particularly at risk." He said, "expressing concern about how the quality of anti-corruption measures differs" between nations, "Women's cricket is receiving more attention and is more and more on TV so it is likely to be targeted. As with the men's game there are very different standards of anti-corruption education received by women across the world." Irish called on the Int'l Cricket Council to "do more to safeguard the integrity of the sport for both genders" (GUARDIAN, 10/11). In London, Nick Hoult reported FICA warned that cricketers are "traditionalists" and "unlikely to support four-day Test cricket" as the game’s governing body meets this week to "finally" give the go-ahead for a World Test championship. The ICC's meeting from Wednesday until Friday in Auckland "is expected to announce separate league structures" for Test and 50-over cricket after years of discussions and failed attempts to introduce change. Irish warned his players remain skeptical "about the need for four-day Tests." He said, "We urge the ICC and boards not to look at ad hoc solutions to Test cricket in isolation" (TELEGRAPH, 10/10).

Premiership Rugby players "could go on strike because of extra demands on them," former Rugby Football Union Dir of Professional Rugby Rob Andrew said. Proposals to extend the Premiership season by a month from the '19-20 campaign have been opposed by players. Andrew: "What's giving in is the players' bodies -- that's not sustainable long term. Something will give and eventually if the players decide not to turn out, then there isn't much of a product" (BBC, 10/11).

Middlesex County Cricket Club's appeal over its two-point deduction, which effectively resulted in its relegation, "will be considered" by the England & Wales Cricket Board. The appeal has been referred to ECB Discipline Commission Chair Tim O'Gorman (BBC, 10/11).

The Australian Football League and reigning champion Richmond have "come under fire for their lack of response to a topless photo scandal as police ­investigate possible charges against a player who allegedly shared an intimate photo of a woman without her consent." The scandal "raised fresh questions" about the league’s ­commitment to teaching players about respectful behavior ­toward women (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/12).