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World Sports Advocate

Volume: 14 Issue: 7
(July 2016)


The International Olympic Committee (‘IOC’) announced on 24 July 2016 that individual sporting federations will need to decide whether or not to ban Russian athletes from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, ignoring calls for an outright ban on Russia’s participation in the Games, following the publication of the McLaren report on 18 July 2016, which uncovered evidence of mass state-sponsored doping in Russia as well as the decision issued by CAS on 21 July 2016, rejecting the Russian Olympic Committee’s request for arbitration and the appeal filed by 67 Russian athletes against the IAAF suspension of Russia’s membership. Paul Greene, Founder of Global Sports Advocates LLC, expects the IOC's decision to be overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, possibly through an Ad Hoc Tribunal in Rio. / read more

The EU Commission (‘EC’) announced on 4 July 2016 that public support measures granted to seven professional football clubs in Spain must be paid back as such subsidies gave those clubs an unfair advantage over other EU clubs, and were therefore in breach of EU State Aid rules. The Spanish authorities must now recover the illegal State Aid, including interest, given to FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Atlético Osasuna, Elche and Hercules. / read more

India’s Supreme Court accepted the majority of the governance and reform recommendations made by the Lodha Committee to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (‘BCCI’) on 18 July 2016, and has given the BCCI six months to implement the necessary reforms. / read more

With the Rio Olympic Games 2016 set to begin on 6 August 2016, 11 procedures have already been filed between 26 July 2016 and 1 August 2016 to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’), many of which seek to overturn bans against participation in the Olympic Games by Russian athletes. These particular procedures follow decisions by each of the 28 sports federations, who were asked by the International Olympic Committee to determine as to whether athletes from Russia could compete in their respective events. The CAS opened two temporary divisions in Rio on 26 July 2016: an Anti-Doping Division and an ad hoc Division, to which doping cases can be appealed. These temporary divisions will close on 21 August 2016. / read more

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) issued its decision in Anastasia Karabelshikova & Ivan Podshivalov v. International Rowing Federation (FISA) on 24 July 2016, finding that paragraph 3 of the International Olympic Committee (‘IOC’) Executive Board’s decision of 24 July 2016, which states that the Russian Olympic Committee is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Rio Olympics who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if their sanction has been served, is ‘unenforceable’ because it does not respect the athletes’ right of natural justice. / read more

Virgin Media announced on 9 August 2016 that it will subsidise all away tickets for fans travelling to Southampton FC’s home ground, St Mary’s Stadium, for the 2016/17 Premier League Season, as part of its three-year sponsorship deal with the football club. Virgin Media’s move to support fans could see the start of a new, closer brand relationship between fans and sponsors, if fans take to it and another sponsor looks to follow Virgin Media’s lead, thinks David Winnie, Head of the Sports Law team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP. / read more


The United Kingdom’s decision to join the European Union in 1973 has led to the business of sport being shaped and developed to the form it holds now. Bosman, Meca-Medina, the specificity of sport and freedom of movement of people and services, harmonised regulations and imposed competition and State Aid processes have been significant factors in how sport is governed and regulated across the EU inclusive of the United Kingdom. The decision to leave in itself has, at face value, the potential to re-structure the sporting landscape in the UK in ways both predicted and wholly unexpected. Trevor Watkins, Global Head of Sport, and Angelique Bret, Partner, competition law, at Pinsent Masons, examine the likely consequences for sport in more detail. / read more

In January 2016, the cycling world was choked by the discovery of a concealed motor in the bike of Belgian female cyclo-cross rider Femke Van den Driessche. Van den Driessche was competing in the U23 women’s race at the World Cyclo-cross Championships in Belgium, and this was the first high-profile discovery of its kind. The world governing body for cycling the Union Cycliste Internationale (‘UCI’) has the task of ensuring that Van den Driessche is the first and last rider found to be using a motor in competition. The rise of technological fraud started in 2010 when Fabian Cancellara rode away from Tom Boonen on the steepest part of the Kapelmuur in the Tour of Flanders, leaving commentators stunned at the force of his acceleration while seated. The UCI has started using various detection techniques since then, and has adapted its regulations accordingly, as Willem-Alexander Devlies, Lawyer at Lovius, explains. / read more

Thomas Webb, Legal Director at Burges Salmon LLP, summarises the recently announced changes to the Formula One Grand Prix regulations for 2017 and explores their potential impact on the smaller teams and the sport in general. / read more

France is currently in the process of regulating eSports at national level. Arnaut Kint and Sébastien Ledure, Founding Partners of Cresta, a boutique law firm dedicated to sports, provide an overview of the French eSports initiatives so far. / read more

Withers LLP represented the Italian Second Division League (‘Serie B’) in a dispute initiated by U.S. Città di Palermo S.p.A. (‘Palermo’) to challenge the Contributo di Solidarietà Promozione (‘Promotion Contribution’), a financial contribution imposed on clubs promoted to the Serie A under the Serie B’s regulations. / read more

Following the passing of a new anti-doping bill in Kenya in an attempt to secure participation in the up-coming Rio Olympics, Dr Moni Wekesa Professor of Law, Advocate and Member of the Board of Kenya’s Anti-Doping Agency, discusses Kenya’s new Anti-Doping Bill in brief, the criticisms voiced by the World Anti-Doping Agency (‘WADA’), the difficulties Kenya faced having been deemed non-compliant by WADA and Kenya’s commitment to implementing its new Anti-Doping Bill to the letter. / 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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