When we talk about sports law, there is no central or state legislation to regulate sports in India. The Government of India is primarily responsible for achieving excellence in different sports events which are conducted in India and also to build a good infrastructure for players.
However, the administration of the different sports is in the hands of autonomous bodies such as Sports Authorities of India (SAI), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Hockey India (HI), Indian Olympic Association etc. All these bodies are registered under the Indian Societies Act and are duly responsible for the administration for their jurisdiction. These bodies are also responsible for the distribution of telecasting and broadcasting rights.
Further, the Government has also established the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), to commensurate with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency. NADA is responsible to plan, coordinate, implement, monitor and advocate improvements in Doping Control.
How can we Help?
Being well versed with the structure and functioning of such administrative bodies, regulatory policies framed by them relating to conduct and ethics, disciplinary guidelines, we are able to efficiently assist our clients in compliance of the laws pertaining to sports.
The Key Elements that revolve around Sports Law in India are:
Contract law: Contract between professional athletes and teams that employ them are of critical importance and can define the entire career of an athlete. For star athletes, contracts can involve millions of rupees. A contract must carefully spell out terms of performance, tenure, exit policy, remuneration etc. Therefore, in order to truly protect our Client, we often serve as both agents as well as a legal negotiator. Apart from this, there are other contracts as well such as Appearance Contract Endorsement Contract, Indemnity Agreement, Agency Contract etc.
Law of Torts and Personal injury law: Whenever one engages in sports, there is always an inherent risk of injury. Most athletes accept this risk as part of the game. While an athlete may bring a legal claim after a personal injury, the millions of fans that attend sporting events may have personal injury claims too. Any venue that hosts sporting events must take care to avoid negligent behaviors that may lead to personal injury liability.
Trademarks: Trademark infringement is a challenging area of the Sports Law for the attorneys who work to enforce trademarks on behalf of the agency, club, college and professional sports teams. Sports lawyers perform a critical function enforcing the trademark rights of teams they represent.
Labour and employment law: Professional sports teams and sports venues’ management are often employers and therefore, they are governed by the Labor and employment laws. Practicing sports law means helping a client understand and implement applicable labour and employment laws including hiring practices, termination procedures, workers compensation, health insurance mandates, taxes and medical leave.
Criminal Law: Professional athletes are subject to the laws of society. When they face criminal charges, it’s often high profile. Their professional reputation or participation in their athletic league may be on the line. Criminal charges for athletes in professional sports can be high-stakes, which may include physical contact off the field, administration of steroids by both, the players or the coaches. Our firm works to protect our client’s record as well as their professional reputation, in pursuit of getting them back on the field as quickly as possible. Additionally, Sports law operates on the slippery ground as certain transactions can touch the ambit of bidding and gambling issues and therefore, strict compliance is necessary.