Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

June 2016 Archives

Over the past year, few have fought as hard or as vocally against daily fantasy websites as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman's office was among the first to begin investigating sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, and soon the AG was demanding that the sites stop taking New Yorkers' money and even return money they had accepted previously. But the icy relationship between NY and DFS may be warming a bit.

The state legislature approved a bill that would legalize and regulate daily fantasy sites last week, perhaps looking for a piece of the billion-dollar online gambling pie. But no touchdown dance yet -- the bill still needs approval from the governor.

Johnny Manziel's legal problems are no secret. And when it's not the 23-year-old former Browns quarterback getting himself in trouble, it's his lawyer. Already facing misdemeanor charges for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Manziel was allegedly the victim of a hit-and-run last week. And when the AP reached out to his lawyer for comment, Robert Hinton spilled a whole lot of beans about his client.

"Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle," the attorney texted the AP last week, before going into detail about a receipt allegedly detailing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise purchased from a Dallas marijuana shop. In the least surprising news ever, Hinton has withdrawn from further representing Manziel.

We can quibble about whether certain substances are in fact performance enhancing, and we point out that global anti-doping agencies don't always have the most due process-friendly testing and punishment schemes. What we can all agree on, though, is that you can't have one country's drug testing authorities surreptitiously swapping out tainted urine, destroying incriminating samples, and having drug testers threatened by federal security agents.

So it's hard to gather any sympathy for Russia's track and field team, which will be barred from the Olympics in Rio this summer, punishment for the largest drug scandal since East Germany was secretly doping its own athletes in the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Jack Montague, who was captain of Yale's basketball team before being expelling for having non-consensual sex with another student, is now suing the school, alleging that he was unfairly targeted for punishment and would not have been prosecuted had he not been a man. It's a reversal of most Title IX lawsuits following campus sexual misconduct cases, this time with the accused claiming the school did not properly protect his rights.

Montague's lawsuit isn't the first of its kind, but does it have a chance of winning?

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has been banned from competitive tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ban is the result of positive tests and Sharapova's own admissions that she had used meldonium, an alleged performance-enhancing drug that was just placed on World Anti-Doping Agency's List of Prohibited Substances and Materials this year.

Here's a look at the ban, and Sharapova's options to appeal the decision.

The wide world of sports often exists free of the laws that govern our behavior normally. For instance, cops aren't arresting hockey players for assault and battery after a fight. And teams can punish players for their off-field behavior, even if the authorities don't.

Every now and then, though, federal lawmakers dip their regulatory toes into the sporting water. The Washington Post recently took a look at when, why, and how Congress gets involved in sports, and it got us thinking about other famous (and infamous) times the legislative branch turned its eye to the playing field.

If any state should know skier and ski resort liability law, it's Colorado. Home to Vail, Aspen, and a couple dozen other world class ski destinations, the Mile High State has been a Mecca for skiers and snowboarders for decades.

So when the Colorado Supreme Court tells you avalanches are one of the "inherent dangers and risks of skiing," it's hard to argue. The ruling further shrinks liability for ski resorts, which were already immune from lawsuits stemming from injuries due to weather, snow, or terrain conditions.