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Preserving Fair Competition in Esports: How Should We View the Lifetime Ban Handed Out to Shyshko?

Introduction and Background In its statement published at the end of last year regarding the disciplinary action taken against Alexey Shyshko, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) pronounced that Shyshko’s actions had “tarnished the reputation of esports as a whole” and “threatened the very foundation of fair competition in esports”.[1]  ESIC’s public statement accompanied a lifetime … Continue Reading

Demystifying the Athlete Biological Passport

Introduction Following a three-day hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 7-9 February 2024, the outcome of Simona Halep’s appeal against her doping suspension is imminent and eagerly awaited.  In September 2023, the former world number 1 tennis star was banned for four years by an independent tribunal for breaches of Article 2 … Continue Reading

All I Want for Christmas is Effective Sports Governance

At the start of this year, following his appointment as Chair of the UK’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (“DCMS”), Damian Green MP put sports governance firmly on the agenda. This commitment came after the publication of the Whyte Review in June 2022 (the “Review“), which was an independent report into allegations of mistreatment … Continue Reading

Tackling Online Abuse In Sport: The UK’s Online Safety Act 2023

After years in the making, the Online Safety Act (the “OSA”) has come into force after receiving Royal Assent on 26 October 2023 (as discussed in our blog here). Amidst the proliferation of social media use, there has been a worrying increase in the levels of abuse that players, athletes, officials, managers, coaches and other … Continue Reading

Crossing The Line: Criminal Liability On The Field Of Play

Introduction In February 2023, as discussed in a previous blog article, an amateur rugby player was held liable by the English civil courts for injuring an opposition player “without any regard for [their] wellbeing or safety… and intent only on exactly revenge”.[1] Given the nature of the offending ‘tackle’ (which rendered the claimant paraplegic and … Continue Reading

On icy ground: Kamila Valieva and the challenge of pleading “no fault or negligence” in anti-doping cases

Introduction On 21 February 2023, the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) issued a statement confirming that it was appealing the decision of the disciplinary tribunal of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (“RUSADA”) in the case of Kamila Valieva to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”). Although the full decision has not been published, the RUSADA tribunal … Continue Reading

On-field Negligence in Sport: The English High Court rules in Czernuszka v King

On 23 February 2023, the English High Court ruled that amateur rugby player Natasha King had been negligent when she executed a “tackle” on opponent Dani Czernuszka “without any regard for the well-being or safety of the [latter] and intent only on exacting revenge” during a women’s developmental match.[1]  As such, Ms King (the Defendant) … Continue Reading

Disqualified For Technical Breach Despite No Advantage: The Cautionary Tale Of A Rally Driver

This article was written for and first published by LawInSport. While nearly all of the column inches relating to recent FIA stewarding decisions have (unsurprisingly) focused on the fall out of the ‘Hamilton v Verstappen’ F1 2021 season finale, an interesting recent decision1 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC3)2 underlines just how impactful decisions in the fast-paced world of … Continue Reading

The FA v Marc Bola

On 3 September 2021, The FA announced that Marc Bola (“the Player”), of Middlesbrough FC, had been charged with misconduct for an alleged Aggravated Breach of the FA Rules, 2021/2022 (“the 2022 Rules”), rules E3.1 and E3.2 (“the Charge”). The Charge related to a Tweet the Player posted from his Twitter account on 14 April … Continue Reading

Cheating in esports: Lessons to learn from the Formula E Racing at Home Challenge

As Sports Shorts reported last month, many ‘traditional’ sports have turned to esports during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain engagement with fans while their own competitions have been cancelled or postponed. However, esports can be vulnerable to scandal in much the same way as regular sports. In this blog, we will look at … Continue Reading

Dealing with on-field misconduct in Rugby League

In a recent on-field misconduct incident, Joel Tomkins, the current captain of rugby league’s Hull Kingston Rovers (ʺHull KRʺ) received a two-match ban and £500 fine from the Rugby Football League (“RFL”) for using offensive language towards a match official. At a hearing in Leeds, the disciplinary panel found that Tomkins swore twice at referee … Continue Reading

Not illegal, not specified, not described, not restrained – Leeds United, utmost good faith and the EFL Regulations

On 18 February, the English Football League (“EFL”) handed Leeds United a sizeable fine of £200,000 as well as issuing a formal reprimand and warning for sending staff to ‘spy’ on opposition training before matches. This was an initiative instigated by the Head Coach, Marcelo Bielsa. The decision followed Bielsa’s comprehensive PowerPoint presentation in January … Continue Reading

NBA Enforces Respect for Match Officials

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was fined $25,000 before the All-Star break for “verbally abusing and confronting a game official”. Last year’s NBA champions found themselves trailing the Portland Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter of a heated matchup. Draymond Green was called for what would usually be considered a common foul, but … Continue Reading

Ben Stokes & Alex Hales: Disciplinary Matters in England and Wales Cricket

Given its escalation all the way to the Bristol Crown Court, even the casual sports fan will have noted the media furore regarding Ben Stokes and the street brawl he engaged in last September. Although Stokes was found not guilty for the offence of affray, he has not escaped all liability for his actions just … Continue Reading

How Not To Celebrate a Goal at the World Cup

Scoring at a World Cup deserves a celebration and we have been entertained by a range of them throughout the tournament. From Fortnite inspired dances by Lingard and Griezmann to Colombia’s choreographed routine and Batshuayi’s self-inflicting kick in the face. Yet none of these resulted in the same reaction from FIFA as Xhaka and Shaqiri’s … Continue Reading

Badminton World Federation Ethics Hearing Panel Delivers a Strong Warning to Those Engaging in Match Fixing

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has handed out 20 and 15 year suspensions to two leading players after finding them guilty of match fixing. Badminton has been hit by a few scandals before, with one of the most well-known names in the sport, Lee Chong Wei, banned for eight months for doping in 2014. Yet … Continue Reading

UEFA charge Liverpool over fans conduct in Champions League

UEFA is investigating the conduct of Liverpool fans over the two-legs of Liverpool’s Champions League quarterfinal fixture. UEFA has charged Liverpool under Article 16(2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, which provides: However, all associations and clubs are liable for the following inappropriate behaviour on the part of their supporters and may be subject to disciplinary … Continue Reading

Racism in football – what can we expect at this summer’s World Cup?

In 2016, FIFA disbanded its anti-racism task force, citing that its work was complete ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. FIFA wrote that the task force “completely fulfilled its temporary mission”, which was to develop concrete solutions to fight discrimination in football and strengthen FIFA’s approach to the issue. Whilst FIFA declares that … Continue Reading

French referee faces red card for ‘kicking’ player after accidental collision

We’ve seen Eric Cantona kung-fu kick an opposition supporter. We’ve seen Patrice Evra kick a supporter of his own team. Now we can add to the list another Frenchman, only this time it’s not a player but referee Tony Chapron, and it wasn’t a fan he kicked but a player. Football fans are accustomed to … Continue Reading

FA Introduces Greater Protection for Referees at Grassroots Level

In the 77th minute of England’s victory over Slovakia in last night’s World Cup qualifier, Tottenham’s midfield maestro Dele Alli, was unceremoniously body checked by former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel. Despite going to ground in a promising attacking position, the referee, Clement Turpin, waved play on. Television camera subsequently showed an unhappy Alli making a … Continue Reading

Crime and Punishment: Violence in Sport – Part One

Following the unlikely victory of little-known Sport Pacifico over relative giants Estudiantes in an Argentinian cup match this month, came the still more unlikely admission by Sport Pacifico defender Federico Allende that during the game he used a needle to pierce opponents, a tactic he openly bragged about in a radio interview. The jury is … Continue Reading

Does Southern hemisphere rugby have a recreational drug problem?

Another week, another drugs scandal in Southern Hemisphere rugby. Or more accurately another four scandals. On Monday, it was announced that New Zealand rugby league captain Jesse Bromwich and international teammate Kevin Proctor would not be selected for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup having breached the team’s code of conduct following allegations that both … Continue Reading
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