Sports Law

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“Doping on a Hanger”: Regulatory Lessons from the FINA Elimination of the Polyurethane Swimsuit Applied to the International Anti-Doping Paradigm

By Rachel MacDonald

In 2008, swimwear manufacturer Speedo released the world‟s first polyurethane competition body suit, the LZR Racer. Compared to “doping on a hanger,” the suit was an unprecedented leap in swimsuit technology, and more than 130 world records were broken in only the first seventeen months after the LZR became available to competitive swimmers. Upon realizing the polyurethane swimsuits stood to radically change swimming, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) implemented regulation that swiftly and successfully eradicated the problem.

In contrast, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has yet to effectively control athletic doping. Focus on the international anti-doping regime intensified in 2014 upon the exposure of widespread, permissive doping among internationally competitive Russian athletes. Further, WADA statistics reveal doping remains a serious and growing problem.

Despite the different scopes and missions of FINA and WADA, there are several regulatory lessons that can be extracted from FINA‟s successful polyurethane swimsuit ban and applied to WADA’s struggle to eliminate doping in sports. The goal of this Note is to compare the international doping problem and the polyurethane swimsuit ban and then to ascertain how the successful FINA regulatory paradigm might be applied to the international anti-doping regime. Ultimately, FINA’s example suggests that WADA might benefit from making changes including: creating more specific regulations that can be articulated and then applied in a predictable and consistent manner, implementing a hierarchical bureaucratic scheme, effecting multi-tier monitoring and enforcement measures, enabling the establishment of independent oversight bodies, and a variety of other measures.

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If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again: Why College Athletes Should Keep Fighting for “Employee” Status

By Jennifer A. Shults

Beginning in the 1980s, innovations in television turned college sports from a modest, regional industry into a sprawling, billion-dollar enterprise. The various stakeholders in college sports did not benefit equally from these advancements, however. While those in charge of college sports rode the train of technological progress to extreme profits, the athletes under their care got left behind. Today, the college sports world is once again undergoing a period of transition and transformation—except this time, college athletes are the ones leading college sports into a new era.

In recent years, athlete activists and their allies have secured a series of major legal victories. Key victories have included the removal of the ban on college athletes profiting from their fame and the Supreme Court’s watershed decision in the antitrust case NCAA v. Alston. This Note focuses on college athletes’ recent efforts to improve their financial circumstances and to dismantle a system that deprives them of the basic right to fair compensation. This Note argues that Division I athletes’ best shot at getting fair compensation is to continue fighting for employee rights—specifically, the right to collectively bargain and the right to a minimum wage.

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