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Volume 7 No. 82

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Former Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that "it is inevitable" that manufacturers have criticized the proposed '21 F1 engine regulations and the rules "should have been left untouched or changed much more radically," according to Adam Cooper of MOTORSPORT. Ecclestone "believes the changes involve too much extra expense on top of the existing investment." He said, "The trouble is they've all spent a fortune on these bloody engines. And they don't want to go back to their boards and say, 'We need another few quid because we need to modify the engines.'" Ecclestone is skeptical about the prospect of Liberty Media "being able to execute the changes it wants to make to grand prix racing." He said, "They shouldn't have made so many predictions, should they, as to what they could do. They should have waited to see what can be done." Ecclestone questioned Liberty's "unprecedented investment in marketing and F1's enlarged commercial department," having always maintained that his brief from previous owner CVC "was to keep costs in check and bring in a profit." Liberty recently announced a reduced profit and "hence less income for teams, due in part to the extra investment." Ecclestone: "You have television every couple of weeks and television during the off-period, and the teams are all talking, everybody's talking." He "also expressed doubts" about Liberty's aim of having more F1 races in the U.S., "having tried to establish F1 in many American venues over the decades, most recently in New Jersey." Ecclestone added, "I want to see them get more races in America. As they don't seem to be looking for money, maybe it's possible. If you're looking to make money, that's not the way to do it. That's why I went east" (MOTORSPORT, 11/20).

Great Britain's elite athletes "have fewer rights than an Uber driver" and "desperately need an independent watchdog to protect them," U.K. Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee Chair Damian Collins said, according to Sean Ingle of the London GUARDIAN. Collins added that the "worrying number of bullying, sexism and racism cases inside the UK Sport system was directly linked to the lack of employment rights for athletes and it is not enough to hope for change to happen organically." His comments came as UK Sport Chair Katherine Grainger admitted her organization has faced "significant challenges" over the past 18 months that "can no longer be brushed under the carpet." Speaking before UK Sport's World Class Performance conference, which began in Manchester on Monday, Grainger said, "I recognize and accept that there have been a number of difficult issues across a range of sports in recent months that have challenged our system, and we have to rise to that challenge. These issues do not take away from the achievements of our athletes and coaches, but neither can we brush them under the carpet or just hope that they go away." Collins said that "more must be done to reform the culture of UK Sport" -- including an independent sports ombudsman, operating outside UK Sport's control, which he believes is "desperately needed" (GUARDIAN, 11/20). The BBC's Dan Roan reported several governing bodies are "embroiled in bullying allegations." UK Sport released new guidance to coaches and staff on "how to treat athletes with more respect." The funding agency said that coaching staff will be given guidance on four so-called "golden threads" of a positive and winning sporting culture -- inspiration, integrity, the pursuit of excellence and respect -- tailored to "12 critical moments in an athlete's journey through their sport" (BBC, 11/20).