By Dan Chapman
Full Contact’s Will Buckley last weekend chaired a panel at the Inner Temple’s Cumberland Lodge weekend. The topic was “Integrity in Sport” and on the panel were Max Mosley, Jonathan Taylor (Head of Sports Law at Bird & Bird) and Michele Verroken (Founding Director of Sporting Integrity consultancy and former UK Anti-Doping Chief). In the audience were a host of QCs, a smattering of judges, and Michael Beloff QC – the doyen of sports lawyers.
In what turned out to be a spirited debate, Mr Mosley argued that all drugs should be allowed other than those that were detrimental to an athlete’s health. This paternalistic approach was founded on the fact that on the day he joined Formula One, Jim Clark died and he resolved, if he reached a position of power, to make the sport safer. A resolution he achieved. Mr Taylor meanwhile, who was lead lawyer in the case against the three Pakistani bowlers, argued for a zero tolerance approach.
There was much discussion about morality in sport. And if sports law was to have a moral basis, whose morality should it be? The tension arose from Mr Taylor talking about the help the News of the World had given in the case against the cricketers and that without the “Fake Sheikh”, there would have been no case. And Mr Mosley – for understandable reasons – took a less sanguine view about the benefits of unfettered News of the World investigations. As Chair, Will pointed out that not only had Mohammed Amir taken 4-0 during his wonderful spell at Lord’s, but also won a putative quarter of a million pounds off the bookies. An unprecedented double in the murky history of sport!
The spearhead and Senior Partner of Full Contact, Dan is an experienced solicitor and advocate, with a specialist background in employment law and sports.
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