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World Sports Law Report

Current Issue (February 2015)

Volume: 13 Issue: 2


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About World Sports Law Report

The monthly law journal 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

Welcome to the World Sports Law Report

February was another rather eventful month in the world of sports law. To some extent, if January 2015 was a month of ‘surprises’, as former World Sports Law Report Editor Andy Brown characterised it, then February 2015 was a month of reactions to those surprises.

A strong response to the speedily introduced TPO ban was always widely anticipated by the football industry, and we weren’t left disappointed, with the Iberian leagues launching a legal challenge that could leave the ban on relatively shaky ground. Our news story on this provides a taste of what’s to come and foreshadows the outcome of the proceedings, which could take FIFA right back to the drawing board in regulating this issue.

Speaking of TPO, with all of the attention that’s been placed on the ban, a number of other important measures with far-reaching implications, including FIFA’s venture into the regulation of overdue payables, have somewhat slipped under much of the industry’s radars. Fortunately enough, not ours - you can find a considered analysis of the new Article 12bis to the FIFA Regulations in this month’s issue.

The turn of the year also brought with it the introduction of the latest manifestation of the WADA Code – the 2015 version – and attention has shifted to how those affected would react to the raft of changes and incorporate them into their anti-doping rules. The February issue of World Sports Law Report provides a comparative analysis of how the international federations have responded from two experts in the area, and the timing couldn’t be better as we approach the Tackling Doping in Sport conference in London on 18-19 March. In fact, we are fortunate enough to have authors Emily Wisnosky and Marjolaine Viret leading a session at the event, titled ‘Legal Perspectives on the 2015 WADA Code’.

Doping is certainly not the only disciplinary aspect of sport that’s been topical so far this year. In terms of on-field conduct, we had Cristiano Ronaldo reprimanded for lashing out at an opposing player, although the punishment did not factor in the full extent of his indiscretions, raising questions as to whether ex-officio use of evidence could have been utilised. Off the field, the trials and tribulations of convicted rapist Ched Evans’ campaign to re-enter football have been well documented by the media, although little consideration has been given to the legal rights and obligations of the various stakeholders involved. Both of these topics are canvassed in this month’s issue.               

There have also been some other interesting developments at both ends of the Altantic which could impact upon the commercial side of sport. In the US, an anti-trust lawsuit filed by UFC fighters against the organisation have begun a long process which could yield significant changes to the way the sport of Mixed Martial Arts is run. Over in the UK, the opposition party is signaling a broadening of the sports events captured under its anti-siphoning laws should it win the May election, with various possible flow-on effects, including to the broadcasting revenues that would be generated by affected sports.

The waters have been tested across a number of areas of sport in a major way and it will be interesting to see each of these unfold over the course of the coming months.

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