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                                                                            Issue 26  //  March 2017


 WHEN YOU NEED HIM?                                                                       EDITORIAL  |  02

                                                                             FROM HERO TO ZERO  |  04
 hree recent cases involving   Folau’s lawyers said under Section 772 of the Fair Work Act,
 it was unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion.
 the International Association   In a similar non-sport case recently, Britain’s Court of Appeal told
 Tof Athletics Federations (IAAF),   Sheffield University that it must reconsider its decision to banish    THE EVOLUTION OF TENNIS  |  06
 a Christian student from its social work course after he posted
 Rugby Australia and the National Rugby   a series of anti-same-sex marriage Bible verses on Facebook.
 League (NRL) illustrate the pitfalls of   The three High Court appeal judges concluded that the university   DAVID WARNER: AUSTRALIAN CRICKET’S ANTIHERO  |  08
 ‘wrongly confused the expression of religious views with the
 decision making facing governing bodies.  notion of discrimination’, and ‘the mere expression of views on
 Each case contains controversy in spades, both in relation   theological grounds (for example, that ‘homosexuality is a sin’)   GETTING OLD? GET FIT INSTEAD  |  10
 to the athlete themselves and to the decisions taken by the   does not necessarily connote that the person expressing such
 relevant governing body and the courts.  To be fair to the sports   views will discriminate on such grounds’.
 regulators, even King Solomon would have difficulty coming to   Christian lobby groups in Australia have seized upon the   THE SOFT POWER OF SPORTS  |  12
 the right decisions!  judgment as a win for freedom of religious expression, saying it
 In the case of South African Olympic Champion middle distance   could be “manna from heaven” for Folau in his legal battle against
 runner Caster Semenya, the question was more than whether   Rugby Australia.  HILLSBOROUGH: 30 YEARS OF PAIN |  14
 she should be competing against women or men. It goes to the   Whilst (almost) everyone would agree that all sport should
 very foundation of the difference between a good athlete and   be inclusive and non-discriminatory, how much power should
 a great athlete, a world champion even? In other words, what   the governing body have over the personal views and the public   WORLD SPORT NEWS  |  16
 kinds of naturally occurring advantages should be permitted?   presentation of the athlete?
 Semenya is the victim of a need to categorise gender. Her naturally   In St George Illawarra star Jack de Belin’s case, the National
 occurring high levels of testosterone have given rise to a ban from   Rugby League (NRL) made an employment policy change to adopt   MIND THE GAP  |  18
 competing as a woman. However, all athletes gain advantages   a ‘no fault stand down’ provision and then applied it retroactively.
 by the particular attributes of their bodies. For swimmer Michael   De Belin, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape, has
 Phelps, having a wide wingspan, long torso, and producing low   taken the League to the Federal Court over its decision to stand   AT RISK  |  26
 amounts of lactic acid are what made him a world champion. For   him down while he is facing an aggravated sexual assault charge.
 Usain Bolt, the tallest sprinter in history, it is his height and length   He is attempting to sue the NRL on the basis it did not have the
 of stride that makes the difference. But for Semenya, the response   power to suspend him when it did.  SPORTS SHORTS  |  30
 has been different. Athletic officials decided an elevated level of   The court was told the main point of contention was whether
 testosterone should disqualify her from competing as a woman.  the rule went further than reasonably necessary for the protection
 The two to one decision handed down by CAS in April upheld   of the integrity of the NRL.  LEGAL FOCUS  |  32
 the ‘discriminatory but necessary’ decision by the IAAF. It has   But what about the rule of law? Standing him down from
 enormous consequences, not only for the sport itself but also for   the game would seem to be at odds with the presumption of
 the rules around the male and female competition classes in all   innocence until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. And does   RISK MANAGEMENT FOCUS  |  36
 sports - in circumstances where gender itself isn’t binary. The core   the stand down provision potentially influence the outcome
 issue is that “sex” is different from “gender” and there are many   of the verdict? Could it be implied that the NRL must have
 ways a person’s sex can develop beyond typical categories for   thought that he had been involved in wrongdoing to stand
 men and women.   him down in the first place?
 The IAAF has used science to argue that the only events where   All three cases illustrate the big decisions facing sporting codes.  For information on advertising in Touchline, email us at
 her elevated testosterone levels will not be allowed are those in   The rights of the individual and the rule of law are the cornerstones
 which she currently competes — from 400 metres to 1500 metres.   of democracy, but looking at de Belin, Folau or Semenya it seems that
 No wonder she feels she’s been personally targeted.  these principles are being turned on their head.   Sportscover endeavours to ensure that the information contained in Touchline is correct at
 In another controversial case, Israel Folau is taking on Rugby   None of these cases are simple and they explore difficult
 Australia, which has torn up his contract because he publicly   questions relating to morality, sexuality, freedoms and   THE TIME OF PUBLICATION AND CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS MADE
 shared his fundamental Christian views on social media. Rugby   independence. But therein lies sport’s biggest challenge — finding
 Australia says Folau’s attitudes do not fit its mandate of being an   a solution to modern-day problems!.
 “inclusive” and “diverse” sport, but does excluding him make the   Over to you Solomon!
 sport inclusive?

 2  |  TOUCHLINEMAGAZINE.COM                                                     TOUCHLINEMAGAZINE.COM  |  3
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