How sports leagues & federations around the world are sanctioning players breaking Covid-19 rules
Since the beginning of 2020, sporting regulatory bodies have had to deal with the legal, financial and commercial repercussions of Covid-19. The return of sport has inevitably caused difficulties – safety concerns are to be reconciled with the economic necessity of ensuring sports teams remain afloat and jobs are not lost.
A number of bodies have created guidelines, protocols and/or rules for the participants of their sport to follow to ensure safe environments are maintained, although for many, these have not been made publicly available. However, different sporting bodies have taken different approaches to creating rules and then enforcing them. This continues to be a live issue in 2021.
This article surveys examples of the different approaches taken, and considers possibilities as to why sanctions have varied so much in their severity.
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About the Author
Rhodri Thomas is a partner in Freshfields’ Dispute Resolution group. Rhodri acts for a range of national and international sports governing bodies, teams and individual athletes on regulatory issues and disputes.
Matt Evans is an associate in the disputes, litigation and arbitration department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Matt advises major contractors, utilities and corporates, specialising in construction and engineering, nuclear, utilities, energy and oil and gas. Matt advises on all forms of dispute resolution including litigation and arbitration. Matt also advises clients on non-contentious matters and has experience of structuring and negotiating construction and development documents.
Anne-Laure Vincent is a counsel in the disputes, litigation and arbitration department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. She specializes in the area of complex disputes, on a wide variety of legal issues (including financial services and banking disputes, commercial and business law-related matters, shareholder disputes and post-acquisition litigation). She also represents clients in the context of regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings (especially before the sanctions commission of the Autorité des marchés financiers).
In addition, Anne-Laure developed strong expertise in sports law, particularly in the sale of broadcasting and marketing rights.
Brayden is an associate in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s global transactions group and is based in their New York office.