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World Sports Advocate

Volume: 11 Issue: 12
(December 2013)


The European Commission opened three separate investigations into whether Spain provided illegal State Aid to seven football clubs: Valencia, Hercules, Elche, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, on 18 December. The first will focus on whether Spain’s decision to exempt Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona, Osasuna and Real Madrid from an obligation requiring professional sports clubs to convert into limited companies, giving them tax advantages, constitutes illegal State Aid. / read more

England’s Football Association (FA) has no plans to review the use of ‘blood spinning’ techniques by football clubs to aid injury recovery. “We are guided by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] and PRP [platelet-rich plasma therapy] is not a prohibited method under the WADA Code”, said an FA spokesperson. / read more

FIFPro, the international players’ union, has launched a legal challenge to the way in which the international football transfer system is regulated. ‘The FIFA transfer regulations and their practical application continue to impede the players’ freedom to move’, read a 17 December statement. ‘Training compensation is calculated against the European Court of Justice’s Bernard ruling at much higher levels than actual cost incurred…Exorbitant compensation for breaches of contract is imposed on players…the threat of sporting sanctions for breaches of contract during the protected period is constantly maintained through the renewal of contracts’. / read more

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set up a US$20 million fund to examine new doping detection methods and to protect athletes from manipulation and corruption, it announced. US$10 million has been earmarked for a research into new techniques for the detection of prohibited substances and methods, whilst US$10 million will provide an ‘increase in support’ to protect ‘clean athletes’ from manipulation or corruption. / read more


UEFA’s actions in strictly enforcing its Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations have been underpinned by the publication of a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling, Málaga CF V. UEFA. Clifford J. Hendel, a Partner with Araoz & Rueda Abogados, examines the ruling in comparison with previous UEFA action in this area, and assesses what indication it gives about how UEFA will enforce its regulations in the future. / read more

Despite an admission he had used prohibited substances, a German criminal court recently failed to prosecute cyclist Stefan Schumacher for defrauding his team management by doping. Martin Schimke and Christoph Florin, of Bird & Bird, examine the ruling and the impact it could have on potential amendments to German law regarding doping. / read more

The 2015 World Anti-Doping Code was approved at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in South Africa during November. It will come into force on 1 January 2015. In this article, Antonio Rigozzi and Brianna Quinn consider how the new Code will achieve the World Anti-Doping Agency’s stated aim of ‘intensifying the fight’ against doping, and potential issues that could arise in attempting to do this. Rigozzi is a professor of international arbitration law and sports law at the University of Neuchâtel Law School and a Partner at Lévy Kauffman-Kohler. Quinn is a specialist in sports arbitration currently working with Lévy Kauffman-Kohler. / read more

New Jersey has attempted to authorise sports betting in the US, challenging the Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act as unconstitutional. Linda Shorey, Anthony Holtzman and Tad Macfarlan, of K&L Gates, provide an update on the status of New Jersey's challenge. / read more

In 2009, FIFA announced that it would be reforming its licensing system for players’ agents, as over 70% of international transfers were being conducted using unlicensed agents. Its proposal was to require clubs and players to record the use of any intermediary in a player transfer, and to regulate how such intermediaries are used. Robert Turner, an Associate with Bird & Bird, examines FIFA’s proposals and the extent to which they may successfully address FIFA’s stated goals. / read more

About World Sports Advocate

The monthly law publication providing guidance on all aspects of sports law, including licensing and sports data, anti-doping and doping sanctions, TV and broadcasting rights, sport technology, players agents, disciplinary measures, sports integrity, sports betting, player contracts, intellectual property, transfer regulations, sports sponsorship and marketing, and governance, as well as coverage of key legal cases, sporting regulations and governing bodies including the IOC, UEFA and FIFA and sporting events such as London 2012. / read more

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