Updated: October 5, 2022
Sports attorney Dr Emir Crowne launched a representation clinic for Canadian and Caribbean athletes yesterday.
The Sports Law Clinic provides pro bono representation to athletes on matters across various sporting tribunals and is also staffed by Toronto based attorney Amanda Fowler and Matthew Gayle, based in Trinidad.
The clinic is based in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and Crowne describes it as the first of its kind in the region.
“For far too long, athletes have been unable to access justice,” Crowne told The Gleaner. They were simply at the mercy of their national sporting organisations, anti-doping bodies, and others. The clinic seeks to address that imbalance. Athletes now have access to experienced representation when defending their rights, be it doping allegations, team selection, disputes, disciplinary matters, or otherwise.”
Crowne said that there are many athletes who are not financially capable of gaining representation when the need arises, and the clinic has aimed to address that.
“So many athletes get cheated by their sports federations,” he said. “They have nowhere to turn, they have no one to ask, and they sometimes end up retiring from sport. It just ends up a mess. So, we’re trying to add a piece to the puzzle. Lately, everyone’s talking about sport psychology, fitness, and all of that, but there’s the other side of it, the business legal side. So we’re just trying to do our part [so] that when athletes unfortunately have to appear before some sort of sports tribunal, they have at least have access to some sort of competent representation. That’s what we’re trying to achieve with the clinic. Hopefully we can do our part to give back to the community because as lawyers we owe it to the community. If we could even help only one athlete, we’d be happy.
Another aim of the clinic, Crowne said, is to create job opportunities for young attorneys just leaving law school.
“The clinic is more than happy to hear from young Jamaican attorneys at law, with an interest in sports law who would like to join us. We’re more than happy to have them on board,” Crowne shared.
Crowne had previously offered his services pro bono to Olympian Nesta Carter in February 2017 ahead of his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding Team Jamaica’s disqualification in the men’s 4x100m final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Carter and his teammates were stripped of their gold medal after he retroactively tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine.