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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The "storm engulfing Team Sky and British Cycling erupted again on Monday," according to Matt Lawton of the London DAILY MAIL. It emerged that the medical supplier that sent a batch of a banned substance to British Cycling's HQ "has refused to co-operate with the governing body's own investigation." The company which sent testosterone patches to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester in '11 was reportedly Oldham-based Fit 4 Sport Ltd. Team Sky's then-medical director and current team psychiatrist Steve Peters claimed in March that the "highly controversial" package was "sent in error," but neither the company nor a former team doctor have provided sufficient evidence to prove that. British Cycling said on Monday that it will terminate its relationship with Fit 4 Sport. British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington: "As part of our own internal investigation, we invited Dr. Freeman and our national medical supplier, Fit 4 Sport, to contribute and we were disappointed we didn't get any cooperation. We will be reviewing our supply partner" (DAILY MAIL, 11/20).

SUTTON SCRUTINIZED: In London, Ben Rumsby reported British cyclists "angrily condemned" former British Cycling Technical Dir Shane Sutton for declaring that applying for a therapeutic use exemption was a "legitimate way" to "find a gain" if athletes felt "below their best." Sutton, who was also a coach at Team Sky, said that he had "definitely" never crossed the line and broken any rules but added, "If you have an athlete who is 95 percent ready and that little five percent niggle or injury that is troubling him ... if you can get that TUE to get him to 100 percent, yeah, of course you would in those days. ... Finding the gains might be getting a TUE? Um, yes, because the rules allow you to do that." Olympic champion Katie Archibald and Paralympian Jody Cundy "hit out at the outspoken Australian." Archibald said, "That's completely against the ethics of the sport." Cundy added, "If that's the attitude people are taking to medical things then it's a good job he's gone. It's disappointing to hear that the TUE system was abused but I don't think it's just our country, it's the whole world and it was seen as, 'If they're doing it, then we'll do it.' ... It pisses me off that there are people out there who are willing to abuse it to get an advantage" (TELEGRAPH, 11/20).

The boats teams will race at the 2021 America's Cup in New Zealand "will feature monohulls, a departure from the catamarans used during this year’s competition in Bermuda," the designers said on Monday, according to Rory Carroll of REUTERS. The "futuristic-looking," 75-foot long boats have "wing-like foils" attached to the hull that will "lift them out of the water when they accelerate to reduce drag and increase speed." Team New Zealand Design Coordinator Dan Bernasconi said, "It's early days but we think that when the boats are up and foiling it's got the potential to be even quicker than the AC50 cats were." In an "effort to make the boats safer," the Team NZ and Luna Rossa design teams said that the boats "would be able to right themselves in the event of a capsize" (REUTERS, 11/20). REUTERS' Alexander Smith reported Land Rover BAR CEO Grant Simmer said that designing, building and eventually sailing the new boats will pose "one hell of a challenge." Simmer: "It's not a boat like any of us has sailed before." He likened the hydrofoil design to the "tiny Moth dinghy which has become a favourite for top-level sailors looking to hone their foiling skills" (REUTERS, 11/21).

A majority of the Indian Premier League franchises "batted for a retention policy, which will allow them to hold on to their core group of players," during a meeting with BCCI officials on Tuesday, according to Sanjjeev K. Samyal of the HINDUSTAN TIMES. With the auction likely in January, the franchises will have to "build their teams from scratch." IPL Chair Rajeev Shukla said, "A majority of the franchises felt that retention or 'right to match' should be given. ... We will keep that aspect in mind before taking a decision." There was also discussion on whether the two returning franchises -- Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals -- will be "allowed to retain their original players." CSK is "trying hard" to get former captain M.S. Dhoni -- around whom the club's "brand was built" -- back. Shukla: "I cannot say anything now. Once we take a decision on retention and 'right to match,' only then can I say something." On the subject of increasing the salary cap for teams -- their share from the central revenue pool "will increase by almost" 300% -- most franchise owners were "not very enthusiastic." The last salary cap was fixed at R66 crore. According to estimates, the CRP "could be in excess" of R260 crore ($39M) from next season, "owing to a whopping" R16,000 crore ($2.4B) the BCCI made from the IPL media rights sale (HINDUSTAN TIMES, 11/21).

The Australian Football League Commission voted to "retain the traditional centre bounce, despite increasing calls from umpires to have it scrapped." AFL Chair Richard Goyder and Head of Football Operations Steve Hocking said that the bounce was a "unique" and "iconic" part of the game, "speculating that fans would be happy with the decision" (London GUARDIAN, 11/20).

The Rugby Players' Association agreed to a new deal to "support Pacific Island players" in the U.K. A memorandum of understanding "means more work will be done to safeguard the welfare" of U.K.-based Pacific Island players. The Pacific Rugby Players will appoint a U.K.-based player relationship manager to work with the RPA (BBC, 11/21).

The Pakistan Cricket Board "convened an emergency meeting of the Board of Governors for Wednesday" over a "one-point agenda" -- making an amendment in its constitution to "allow an extended term" to Shakil Shaikh as president of the Islamabad Cricket Association. The PCB's "bigwigs" are reportedly "trying to resist this amendment which, if made, will allow the candidates to contest the elections for three or more tenures of any regional cricket association" (DAWN, 11/21).

FIBA, along with global partner Tissot, launched the free FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 app ahead of the tournament's qualifiers commencing on Thursday. The app is the most versatile platform to follow all of the action worldwide, and is available for Android and iOS devices. FIBA also signed a five-year agreement with Māori Television for '17-21. The broadcaster will have exclusive live rights to carry FIBA national team competitions featuring the Tall Blacks, Tall Ferns and juniors, with commentary options provided in te reo Māori and English (FIBA).