Russian Olympic Ban

In recent years, Russia has faced a world of controversy surrounding doping by their internationally competing athletes. Accusations also extended to bribing of officials in an attempt to cover up many of these scandals.   In May 2016, Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, detailed to The New York Times the elaborate plan set forth to help Russian athletes who were using performance enhancing substances to evade detection.[1]  Rodchenkov, who was exiled from Russia to the United States, admitted to playing a role in this campaign which spanned 5 years by producing several performance enhancing substances for the athletes and replacing positively-tested urine samples with clean ones.[2]   The first to make any statement regarding Rodchenkov’s exposé was the International Association of Athletics Federation Coucnil (IAAF); voting unanimously to place a ban on the Russian Athletics Federation. However, this ban exempts any Russian athletes that live or train outside of Russia, and allows them to compete neutrally. The IAAF is one of 28 sports federations representing their respective sports that compete in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Such sports federations serve as governing bodies for all teams globally that participate in their particular sport.   After the IAAF released their decision, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body for the Olympic games deferred all disciplinary decisions to the other 27 individual sports federations, and encouraged them to follow the IAAF’s lead in investigating each of the teams in the sport that they represent, and making a decision of disciplinary action based on their findings. The IOC also entertained the possibility of implementing a blanket...

Tom Brady’s Uphill Battle with the Supreme Court

Majority of people are having difficulty fathoming how the infamous “deflategate” case, a seemingly insignificant issue to the general public, has the potential to be heard by the highest court in the United States. It is important to note that a lower court must consider whether the litigant, Tom Brady (“Brady”), is entitled to have the court decide the merits of his dispute with the NFL before the case has potential to be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. In order to meet the minimum constitutional requirements a plaintiff must allege an actual or threatened injury to himself that is fairly traceable to the allegedly unlawful conduct of the defendant, and is likely to be redressed by the requested relief. Brady and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) were entitled to have their case heard by the Federal District Court because Brady is subject to a four game suspension, which is an economic injury. Brady and the NFLPA are alleging Roger Goodell and the NFL’s punishment and investigation of him was an unlawful breach of the collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). Review by the Supreme Court is considerably more burdensome and unlikely. In addition to establishing standing, the Supreme Court only reviews cases that have national significance, will avoid frequent and reoccurring litigation on the same matter, and/or establish precedent for future decisions.[1] Only 100-150 cases, out of the nearly 7,000 cases that are presented to the Supreme Court yearly, are accepted for review.[2] The circuit justice for the Second Circuit, Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will review Brady’s petition for stay, which is a legal order that...

Gender Wage Inequality in Sports – U.S. Woman’s National Team Seeks to Make History

It is indisputable that equal pay for women has been a long held controversial topic across the country. Pay discrepancies are beginning to be addressed in corporate America, Hollywood, and very recently in the world of sports. In March of 2016, five elite female athletes serving the U.S. women’s national soccer team (“WNT”), filed a complaint accusing the United States Soccer Federation (“USSF”) of pay discrimination, siting significant pay discrepancy with the U.S. Men’s National Team (“MNT”).[1]  The case, submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), a federal agency that enforces civil rights against workplace discrimination, provides leverage for the women’s team when they renegotiate their collective bargaining agreement at the end of 2016.[2]  The plaintiff’s named on the law suit are star players Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan. The five are representative parties to the suit. One of the chief issues in the case, and also the economic focal point, is the amount of revenue the women’s team grosses compared to the men. According to the budget report from the USSF, the women’s team is projected to bring in more than $17 million in revenues, including a $5 million surplus for fiscal year 2017, nearly doubling their male counterparts, who are expected to run a deficit.[3]  Despite this, the women’s team is being pad significantly less than their male peers. For example, in 2018, the MNT is projected to make $76,000 per player just for making the World Cup roster, while the women’s team made $15,000 in 2015 for the same accomplishment.[4]  Furthermore, when a player on the men’s team qualifies...