This Week In Sports Law: Maria Sharapova Suspended, Darren McFadden Duped, Gawker Gutted?

By June 12, 2016Bitcoin Business
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Sports Law
Maria Sharapova Sentenced To Two Year Ban

One of tennis’ greats, Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federal (ITF) for testing positive for meldonium, a heart disease drug. The two year penalty was not longer in length because it was deemed that Sharapova did not intentionally use the banned substance. The ITF had prayed for a four year ban.

Sharapova will appeal the suspension. The Court of Arbitration for Sports will hear the appeal, with its decision binding on the parties.

Meldonium had become a banned substance as of January 1, 2016.

Darren McFadden Says He Lost $15 Million Because of Advisor

Darren McFadden has filed a lawsuit against his business advisor Michael Vick, not to be confused with the NFL quarterback, for allegedly misappropriating and mishandling his money, which includes $3 million that was squandered as part of investing in a Bitcoin business.

A big issue is a power of attorney that Vick possessed. The lawsuit does not make it clear as to whether Vick obtained this power to act on McFadden’s behalf with or without McFadden’s true consent.

The Complaint claims that Vick used McFadden’s money as a “personal slush fund to subsidize his own lifestyle and expenses.”

Gawker Crumbles At The Hands Of Hulk Hogan

Gawker Media Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, blaming its struggles on a $140 million jury verdict after being sued by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Fortunately for Gawker, it has already received an opening bid of $90 million for its assets.

Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit was based on invasion of privacy when a sex tape was released on the Gawker platform. Gawker was not allowed to stall the $140 million judgment and felt it was left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy.

It is expected that the bankruptcy auction will occur at the end of July. Gawker still intends to appeal the jury verdict.

Former NFL Lineman Sues The Biggest Loser

Former NFL lineman LeCharles Bentley and his company O-Line Performance have sued The Biggest Loser for trademark infringement. Bentley claims that the show is using a logo for “LB” that is confusingly similar to the stylized mark he owns for “LB.”

biggestloser

Bentley’s lawyer originally sent a demand letter to Shine Television, LLC (producer of the show) and NBC Universal demanding that they immediately cease and desist what was claimed to be infringing activity.

“We believe that the use of O-Line Performance’s service marks/trademarks is not mere coincidence. As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Bentley was previously approached and interviewed by individuals associated with the show. At that time, Mr. Bentley was being considered for a role as a celebrity trainer on The Biggest Loser based upon his expertise and prominence in the field of sports performance and strength training, nutrition, and exercise science,” reads the demand.

Apparently the cease and desist demand was ignored, and a case was filed by Bentley, which is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Western Division – Los Angeles).

Tweet Repeat

This Tweet delivered by Warren K. Zola was worth repeating.

.@Nike plays hardball to keep Its athletes: sues world indoor 800-meter champ Boris Berian over move to @newbalancehttps://t.co/6nIMctsyNq

— Warren K. Zola (@WarrenKZola) June 7, 2016

Lucky Number $307 Million

Top European soccer club Inter Milan will have a majority of its shares (70%) sold to a Chinese retail giant Suning Commerce Group Co. in exchange for the payment of $307 million. Suning’s chairman is already calling China Inter Milan’s second home.

Jack Montague Calls Foul On Yale Expulsion

Former Yale basketball captain Jack Montague has filed a lawsuit against the school based on causes of action of breach of contract and defamation. He was expelled this past season based on claims of sexual harassment.

Yale is accused by Montague as making him a poster child for enforcement of equality laws and the university is blamed for singling Montague out based on his performance and captain status.

“Montague — captain of Yale’s basketball team and one of the most prominent male students on campus — was Yale’s ticket to restoring its tarnished image,” reads part of a statement from Montague’s representatives.

Montague maintains that he and his accuser had a prior sexual relationship wherein the intercourse was consensual in nature, and he was never aware that the accuser failed to consent to any physical touching.

You Probably Didn’t Know That

The Regional Court of Munich has enjoined the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and FIBA Europe from sanctioning or threatening to sanction national federations, leagues and clubs in Europe. FIBA Europe has since filed an objection to the injunction, pointing out that FIBA and FIBA Europe were precluded from presenting their position on the matter before the court came to its conclusion.

The issue surrounds an attempt to purportedly threaten European national teams from being withheld from tournaments and Olympic qualification as a result of participating in competing leagues.

“Excluding or threatening to exclude the national teams by reference to the exclusivity clause . . . constitutes the abuse of a dominant position,” held the court.

Connecticut-based Betty Advertising has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against PepsiCo PEP -0.34% Inc., claiming that Pepsi stole the advertising agency’s design concepts in the production of its Super Bowl commercial featuring Janelle Monae. Specifically, Pepsi is blamed for stealing the idea of creating a human jukebox hero character shifting from room-to-room as the music changes throughout. Betty Advertising insists that it pitched PepsiCo the concept in November 2015.

This is why many companies refuse to even accept unsolicited pitches or pitches from persons unfamiliar to companies’ executives. The result can be the opening of a door for individuals to file claims for improper use of intellectual property provided by way of the communications.

NHL Gets Its Own Form Of ‘Deflategate’

The facts, circumstances and procedural history differ, but the grounds for a new lawsuit filed by the NHL against the players union is in accord with the NFL’s fight against Tom Brady. Each concern Commissioner power.

The NHL wants the court to intervene and vacate a ruling by an arbitrator that knocked down a suspension for defenseman Dennis Wideman from twenty to ten games. It asks the court to determine that the arbitrator went beyond his powers to make the change, thereby further empowering the Commissioner’s power in making determinations on appeals of discipline.

Potent Quotables

“We respect survivors’ freedom to choose whether, when and how to share their experiences and will support survivors who choose to share their experiences publicly. The details of these individuals’ experiences will not be discussed publicly by the University. We hurt for these students and deeply appreciate their willingness to speak with Pepper Hamilton as part of this review. Their insights and participation will help us better address these issues in the future.” – Baylor University interim president David Garland as part of statement refusing to release full findings of Pepper Hamilton’s investigation of sexual assault.

Darren Heitner is a lawyer and the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C., which has a focus on Sports Law and Entertainment Law.Follow @DarrenHeitner

Sharapova will appeal the suspension. The Court of Arbitration for Sports will hear the appeal, with its decision binding on the parties.

Meldonium had become a banned substance as of January 1, 2016.

Darren McFadden Says He Lost $15 Million Because of Advisor

Darren McFadden has filed a lawsuit against his business advisor Michael Vick, not to be confused with the NFL quarterback, for allegedly misappropriating and mishandling his money, which includes $3 million that was squandered as part of investing in a Bitcoin business.

A big issue is a power of attorney that Vick possessed. The lawsuit does not make it clear as to whether Vick obtained this power to act on McFadden’s behalf with or without McFadden’s true consent.

The Complaint claims that Vick used McFadden’s money as a “personal slush fund to subsidize his own lifestyle and expenses.”

Gawker Crumbles At The Hands Of Hulk Hogan Gawker Media Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, blaming its struggles on a $140 million jury verdict after being sued by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Fortunately for Gawker, it has already received an opening bid of $90 million for its assets.Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit was based on invasion of privacy when a sex tape was released on the Gawker platform. Gawker was not allowed to stall the $140 million judgment and felt it was left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy.It is expected that the bankruptcy auction […]

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