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Week in Review

By Ben Natter

World Anti-Doping Agency Suspends Brazilian Lab

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the global regulator of doping in sports that oversees testing labs around the world, confirmed last week that the laboratory in Rio de Janeiro set to handle testing for the upcoming Olympics is suspended indefinitely. Even though the lab had a history of prior suspensions, the Brazilian government invested approximately $60 million into revamping the lab and training staff. The lab is also housed within a federal university in Rio.

It was unclear whether or not the issues can be resolved prior to the Olympic games. It is customary to have a testing laboratory onsite during Olympic games. In 2014 WADA, with the need for onsite testing apparent, allowed the Sochi lab to conduct testing for the Olympics, despite suspicious results that had prompted a WADA investigation.

The Brazilian lab has the option to file an appeal in Switzerland within 21 days of the suspension.


The Department of Justice Will Not Alter Music Industry Royalty Rules

In 2014, ASCAP and BMI, the music industry's two biggest licensing clearinghouses, petitioned the Department of Justice (DoJ)for changes to the regulatory agreements that have governed them since 1941. The request came after both companies went through litigation with Pandora. This week the DoJ denied the petition, and announced that performing rights organizations will shortly have to adopt a policy known as "100 percent licensing," which means that any party that controls a part of a composition can issue a license for the entire composition.

Music industry experts feel that 100% clearance would potentially further lower hard to track royalty rates and further harm an already depressed industry. Many feel that the 100% licensing model would also have a negative impact on creativity as musicians currently work together without regard to performing rights organization. The decision will likely be fought by the performing rights organizations.


Manziel Attorney Slipped Text Reveals Plea Intentions

An attorney representing Johnny Manziel in a domestic violence case in Dallas, in a text message accidentally sent to a reporter from the Associated Press, discussed details of a drug paraphernalia related shopping spree shortly before his client was involved in a hit and run crash. The attorney also indicated that his client would be seeking a potential plea deal.


Moonshine Maker Loses Case for Kentucky Mist Moonshine in Connection With Apparel

Colin Futz, owner of Kentucky Mist Moonshine in Whitesburg, KY, brought suit in Federal Court in Kentucky in response to trademark oppositions by the University of Kentucky relating to Mr. Futz's application for registration of the Kentucky Mist mark in connection with apparel. Mr. Futz's shirts are sold in the University of Kentucky colors.

The judge felt it was apparent that Mr. Futz, who is attempting to enter into politics, was "attempting to create a controversy" and dismissed the case due to issues with respect to judicial standing. The opposition proceedings are still pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Drug Testing Lab in Kazakhstan Suspended

Just days after suspending the drug testing lab in Rio, WADA also suspended Kazakhstan's lab. This marks this sixth suspension of a lab by WADA in three months. The agency acknowledged that the increased scrutiny was due to tampering with samples from the 2014 Sochi Olympic lab. The lab has 21 days to appeal.


U.S. Antidoping Agency Seeks to Depose Doctor who Treated Track Athletes

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has filed an action in federal court in Houston seeking to depose Dr. Jeffrey S. Brown, an endocrinologist known in the track and field world for diagnosing thyroid conditions in athletes. Dr. Brown is being deposed in connection with an investigation of a Nike affiliated track coach, Alberto Salazar. The filing indicated that athletes affiliated with Salazar had flown great distances to see Dr. Brown, which raised questions about the performance benefits of his treatments. Thyroid medications are not on the WADA list of banned substances and many argue that they can lead to improved performance from athletes.


To Compete Better, States Curbing Noncompete Pacts

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a noncompete reform bill. Other states are also taking proactive measures to limit the scope of noncompete clauses in employment agreements.

Massachusetts, a technology hub in the 1980s, felt the impact of such agreements as technology evolved and its residents were prohibited from continuing their career as previous employers prohibited former employees from competing and/or related companies. In California, noncompete clauses are generally prohibited which has helped the startup culture as employees are free to move throughout Silicon Valley.

The House Bill would require companies to clearly explain noncompete agreements, limit the term to one year and pay 50% of the former employee's salary during the term. The bill would also limit the industries able to use noncompete agreements.


Whistle-Blowing Russian Athlete Gets Reprieve From Doping Ban

World track and field officials ruled that Yuliya Stepanova, a runner who first reported Russian doping at Sochi two years ago, should be allowed to compete in Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Stepanova and her husband, Vitaly Stepanov, who worked for Russia's antidoping program previously, spoke out in 2014 about a state-sponsored doping in Russia. The accusations led to the current investigation.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which oversees track and field globally, announced the decision to allow Ms. Stepanova to compete despite the bar of all Russian track and field athletes from the Rio Olympics.

The ban allows Russian athletes living outside of Russia to potentially compete. Ms. Stepanova is living in the United States (and is also now exempt from the ban). The final decision with respect to Ms. Stepanova's participation in the Rio Olympics lies with the IOC. It is also unclear if she will potentially run under a neutral flag or represent Russia.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 2, 2016 1:08 PM.

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