Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

August 2016 Archives

With glory comes a price. American athletes took home a record 121 medals from the Rio 2016 Olympics, including 46 golds. But it's not all profit, sunshine, and rainbows. The tax on winning even a single gold medal could be close to $10,000.

So how much could multiple medal winners end up paying in taxes on the medals themselves and their bonuses? And is there any relief on the horizon?

Ryan Lochte had a truly incredible story about being robbed at gunpoint. The preternaturally adolescent U.S. Olympic swimmer told his mom -- and the FBI, the U.S. State Department, USOC security, and Rio de Janeiro tourist police -- that cop impersonators put a gun to his head in Brazil, taking wallets and cash from he and three other swimmers while they were taking a cab home from a party.

Only that's not what happened. Fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger have admitted to police that Lochte made the whole thing up, and surveillance video shows the group damaging a gas station bathroom door on their way back to the Olympic Village.

For years, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has tried to legalize sports gambling in the state, in an attempt to revitalizing state casino and racetrack industry. Those efforts took a huge turn this week when the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Christie's New Jersey legislation violated federal anti-sports betting laws.

Those of you who've followed the checkered history of state gambling laws (or have happened to see a commercial reassuring you that what happens in a certain city stays in that certain city) may be asking yourselves why some states get to allow sports betting while others cannot. Unfortunately, the Third Circuit's ruling may not clarify that issue for you.

NFL players and the NFL Players Association have long complained that Commissioner Roger Goodell is acting as judge, jury, and executioner under the league's disciplinary system. But every now and then, his decisions are reviewed by other, real judges. And in almost all of those cases, the judges side with Goodell and the NFL.

Last month, it was the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstating Tom Brady's punishment in Deflategate. And this week, it's the Eighth Circuit upholding Adrian Peterson's suspension and fines from a child-beating incident in 2014. In both cases, federal courts basically told players and their union, "Hey, you get what you bargain for."