Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

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Sports doping is a funny thing. First, some leagues or competitions seem to take doping more seriously than others, and punishments and other enforcement mechanisms can vary as well. Second, the list of banned substances can vary depending on the sport and the country, and in some cases there is little reason behind why some substances are banned and others are not. Third, some substances, perfectly legal under a nation's drug laws, may be banned, leaving athletes wondering which may garner a doping charge.

And then there's the matter of punishment: from the league or competition, from an anti-doping agency, and from law enforcement. But the British government, at least, put the kibosh on criminalizing doping in sports. The UK's minister of sport, Tracey Crouch, announced last week that those found violating the nation's anti-doping regulations would not face jail time.

It's safe to say that the tide of public perception of sports gambling has turned in the last ten or twenty years. With the rise of fantasy sports and March Madness, the image of placing bets on sporting events has changed from seedy mob-affiliated bookies to Karen from accounting throwing a few bucks into an office pool. And states, perhaps eyeing the money to be made from legalized sports betting, have begun pushing back on the federal restrictions on gambling.

California is just the latest, with Assembly Constitutional Amendment 18, a proposed bill that would change the state's constitution, paving the way for legalized sports gambling in the Golden State.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a lawsuit, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up the Fan Duel and Draft Kings merger to see: the FTC has alleged that the merger violates the Clayton Act due to concerns that it will create a monopoly for daily fantasy sports.

The lawsuit, filed last month by the FTC, seeks to resolve the concern created by the merger by stopping it. Namely, since Fan Duel and Draft Kings are the main providers of paid fantasy sports gaming nationwide, when it comes to these contests or games, consumers don't really have any other choices. By merging together, consumers will have even less choice, and this will allow the sole company resulting from the merger to not have to be concerned about competition in the free market.

When it comes to signing one of those summer sports camp injury waivers, many parents often worry that they are signing away all their rights to sue if something goes wrong. Fortunately, this is not entirely the case.

Courts routinely refuse to uphold waivers in all sorts of situations. Although waivers do get upheld and enforced, even the best liability waiver is not going to work every time. Parents that are concerned about their children being injured due to just playing the sport will likely be disappointed to find out that most sports related injuries where there was adequate supervision do not lead to legal liability.

Injuries are a reality of playing sports. But, as much as possible, clubs, coaches, and schools are responsible for minimizing injury risks, especially to younger athletes. And coaches especially have to be properly trained in order to avoid risky training drills and spot risks as they arise.

That training allegedly did not happen in Spackenkill, New York, where a high school softball player sustained serious brain injuries after being hit in the head with a metal bat during a drill. Four years later, a jury awarded her and her father $1.1 million for her injuries.

Good news for those that love buying signed collectibles: As of January 1, 2017, dealers in the state of California that sell signed collectibles are now required to provide a certificate of authenticity for any signed collectible worth over $5. While the law doesn't apply to private individuals conducting sales, there are still several concerns about the new law for consumers.

Whether it is a piece of fine art, a Jeremy Bulloch signed Star Wars action figure, some ultra-rare Christopher Rush signed Magic: the Gathering cards, or a signed Darryl Strawberry rookie card, if it's worth more than $5, a collectibles dealer risks serious legal consequences by not providing the legally required and rather specific certificate of authenticity. While California consumers may benefit from decreased fraud in the signed collectibles market, the law will likely impact many dealers' ability to even sell signed items moving forward.

A federal lawsuit against the Davis School District in Utah sought to overturn a school policy that prevented a female student from wrestling on her school's team, and succeeded in doing just that, and more. In addition to being allowed to join her school's team, the teen will receive a monetary award, and the district will be paying the attorney's and legal fees. 

Kathleen Janis was denied the right to wrestle on her middle school team, as the district's policy required middle school girls that wanted to wrestle to do so with the high school team. For Janis to do so, she would have to miss part of her school day, and would be put into a more advanced group than she was prepared for. However, after filing a federal lawsuit, she was successful in securing a court ordered preliminary injunction allowing her to participate on the 9th grade team while the case was pending.

Being a professional cheerleader ain't easy. Most are ludicrously underpaid, constantly body-shamed, and a federal appeals court even ruled that cheerleading is not a sport. Cheerleaders are overworked, underpaid, and held to physical appearance standards that are either impossible to meet or leave many of them with eating disorders.

But lately, professional cheerleaders are turning to the courts for protection, suing teams and even leagues for wage suppression and other employment law violations. And they're winning, out of court at least. Former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleader Lauren Herington just settled her lawsuit against the team last week, in a deal that could be good for her and her former teammates.

While the thought of an injury occurring to a person practicing yoga may seem improbable, it is more common than one might expect. Among the most common injuries include joint and muscle injuries, and injuries related to falls.

Often, yoga injuries, unlike CrossFit injuries, do not immediately manifest, but occur over time. However, sometimes, the injury can be the result of a yogi pushing their student too far or too hard. Like any other injury that occurs at a gym, or under the supervision of a personal trainer or class instructor, whether or not a legal claim can be made will depend on the particular facts involved, and potentially a liability waiver.

In a shocking civil suit stemming from the sexual assault of a 15-year-old football player at a high school in Texas, allegations surfaced that the school administration and coaches were aware of repeated sexual assaults related to student on student hazing incidents, and did nothing to stop them from continuing. As of now, over two dozen students, six of which that are now adults, have been arrested and charged with criminal sexual assault. More are still expected to come forward.

In essence, in the town of La Vernia's high school, varsity athletes seemingly had a regular practice of sodomizing underclassmen with foreign objects as part of a hazing ritual when the younger students made it to the varsity teams. There are numerous stories that are being uncovered of younger classmen being forcibly held down, while older students laughed and sodomized them with items like bottles, flashlights, and cardboard. The student that has filed suit has alleged nearly half a dozen separate assault incidents.