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Volume 7 No. 149

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The England & Wales Cricket Board "will discuss new compensation deals for counties that lose players to the Indian Premier League in the wake of growing anger over the current system," according to Nick Hoult of the London TELEGRAPH. The counties learned recently that the ECB receives a fee of 10% of each player's salary from the IPL but "has not been passing the sums on to the clubs." The ECB argues the payments are "reinvested in the game evenly." But the ECB reportedly wrote to the counties on Tuesday to say that it will be "reviewing the current deals." The 18 county CEOs and the Marylebone Cricket Club are due to meet the ECB on Thursday to discuss the new Twenty20 competition. The IPL compensation payments have been added to the agenda "under pressure from counties" that want to know where the money has been spent and why they did not receive it. The ECB explained that it was "discussed and minuted in meetings in the past." The ECB will also look into a proposal for the return of a 50-over FA Cup-style knockout competition that was proposed by a working party chaired by Leicestershire County Cricket Club CEO Wasim Khan (TELEGRAPH, 4/17).

Formula 1 drivers will be allowed more fuel next season "to race at full speed from start to finish rather than having to worry about keeping enough in the tank to get to the checkered flag," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. FIA said that the rise from 105kg to 110kg was "among a number of issues agreed by the Strategy Group," which includes the top teams, and the Formula One Commission in Paris on Tuesday. The fuel increase will be sufficient to allow drivers "to use the engine at full power at all times." Other measures for '19 were for the weight of the car to be separated from that of the driver in the future and for all drivers to wear biometric gloves "to increase safety and facilitate medical rescue." The gloves contain sensors to gather personal data, such as heart rate, "to help assess a driver's condition in the event of a crash." FIA said that "discussions would continue about aerodynamics" (REUTERS, 4/17). The BBC's Andrew Benson reported F1 execs have given themselves "just over six weeks" to agree on new engine rules for the '21 season. FIA set a deadline of the end of May to finalize the new rules, "which have yet to be agreed by manufacturers." So far, the four car companies who make engines have rejected FIA's plan (BBC, 4/17).

Nate Nanzer said that the OWL is focused on adding clubs in France and Spain, among other regions.

Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer talked about the league's "plans for new teams around the world," according to Matt Porter of the London DAILY MAIL. He said, "We've kicked off expansion sales, and we're really looking at Europe as a key market." Within the past few weeks, Activision Blizzard has been traveling around Europe and "speaking to teams who could potentially buy in to the league next season." There are a "great deal" of large endemic esports organizations in the region with a "long history of success." Blizzard has been speaking to them, but it has also "put a particular focus on real life sports brands." Nanzer: "We were in Rome and our CEO, Bobby Kotick, gave a speech on esports at the European Club Association General Assembly. It's where all the European football clubs come together. ... We've had a lot of conversations with different clubs across the continent. Football clubs in Europe, many of them are among the most forward thinking and innovative in all of sports. Obviously, esports is a way they can reach new audiences." Nanzer added that the league is "particularly focused" on adding teams in markets like France, Germany, Spain, the Nordic region, Benelux and Italy. London Spitfire "is the only European team right now." He said, "We have London. We want teams in the big great cities across Europe like Paris, Berlin ... those are the kinds of places we're focused on" (DAILY MAIL, 4/17).

UK Anti-Doping is "planning to use a sniffer dog" at sports events and training facilities to "help track down drugs cheats and suppliers of performance-enhancing substances," according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. The agency has "already used a sniffer dog" belonging to the National Crime Agency in a raid on an illicit supplier of steroids and UKAD Chair Trevor Pearce said that one "could be used in events or training facilities to detect banned drugs or act as a deterrent." Pearce: "We are looking at innovative disruptive activities that could range from a bloke in a UKAD jacket at an event, as an obvious deterrent, to using sniffer dogs to detect money or doping products." The sniffer dog is one of 32 “disruption tactics” that UKAD will consider using. Others include “double bluffs” about whether testers will turn up at sports events or not. UKAD will use a new national anti-doping policy to be announced in September to "secure greater access to venues and training facilities" (LONDON TIMES, 4/17).

Justin Langer "remains the leading candidate" to replace Darren Lehmann as Australia's national cricket team coach but he will not "be appointed this week." Cricket Australia "moved quickly" on Wednesday to deny a report out of Western Australia that Langer's appointment would be ratified at Friday's CA board meeting. Langer is believed to be "one of several people who have had informal discussions with CA" about taking over from Lehmann, who quit in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/19).

A reduction in clubs but an expanded fixture list has given this year's Northern Ireland Football League Women's Premiership "an extra dimension." The new season begins on Friday. The extra matches are "being hailed by players as a reward for the improved quality across the league" (BBC, 4/16).

Spain's Olympic track cycling team from Atlanta 1996 was reportedly supplied banned substances by Lance Armstrong's former doctor, Michele Ferrari. According to a '16 testimony from Spanish doctor Luis García del Moral, the Spanish Cycling Federation "took part" in a doping program between '93 and '98. Del Moral, who was the track cycling team's medical manager at the time, told the Court of Arbitration for Sport in '16 that Ferrari "provided banned doping products" (SPORT24, 4/17).

A team from Tasmania could play in the North East Australia Football League in '19 if an option being considered by the Australian Football League's steering committee into the "future directions of Tasmanian football" is adopted. The committee met on Wednesday to discuss "potential ways to improve the pathway for talented players in Tasmania" as well as the future of the Tasmanian State League, which has run in its current form since '09 (THE AGE, 4/18).

The National Rugby League "locked in an inaugural six-team elite touch football premiership with games to act as curtain-raisers for first grade over the middle of the season." In the new-look competition, six yet-to-be announced clubs will play in amateur men's and women's leagues, "with links to NRL franchises and the goal to eventually turn semi-professional" (AAP, 4/18).

Five Spain rugby internationals were given bans for "confronting the referee after their team's controversial World Cup qualifying defeat by Belgium in March." Rugby Europe banned Guillaume Rouet and Sebastien Rouet for nine months and more than 10 months, respectively, for physical and verbal abuse of Vlad Iordachescu. Pierre Barthère, Lucas Guillame and Mathieu Bélie were banned for three-and-a-half months for "threatening actions/words" to the official (BBC, 4/18).

Fans voted for Son of Dreams to be the official mascot of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The mascot was officially unveiled on Wednesday in Beijing. Son of Dreams was brought to life by way of a hologram and video (FIBA).