The DP World Tour has made a statement summarising the findings made that:

  1. Keith Pelley, the DP World Tour’s Chief Executive, “acted entirely reasonably in refusing releases.”
  2. The relevant regulations are lawful and enforceable.  The regulations “cannot be said to go beyond what is necessary and proportionate to the DP World Tour’s continued operation as a professional golf tour” and the DP World Tour has a legitimate and justifiable interest in protecting the rights of its membership.
  3. The sanctioned members “committed serious breaches of the Code for Behaviour of the DP World Tour Regulations by playing in LIV Golf events despite their release requests having been refused.”
  4. All of the players’ challenges therefore failed, their appeals are dismissed in their entirety, and the £100,000.00 fines originally imposed must now be paid within 30 days.

The statement concludes with Mr Pelley confirming the DP World Tour will “consider the details of today’s decision” and “take appropriate action in due course”.

It has been widely discussed that a finding of this type will end the Ryder Cup careers of celebrated players Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, and Henrik Stenson all of whom joined the LIV Golf Tour but, to avoid further continued sanction, will likely resign their membership of the DP World Tour, and with it any future participation.  It is worth highlighting many of the players are wealthy beyond comprehension but undoubtedly this decision will have far reaching consequences for them and some others.  Some will feel announcing the decision on the opening day of the US Masters at August, Georgia,  golf’s first major of the 2023 season, is an unwelcome distraction given that there are 18 LIV Golf Tour members playing in the event, albeit neither of Poulter, Westwood and Stenson are part of that group as qualifiers or exempt players.

Both LIV Golf and the DP World Tour had agreed the process would be binding.  Sports Resolution has published its long-awaited decision and has upheld DP World Tour position in refusing releases to LIV contracted golfers. I discussed this in my recent article.

The full decision can be read here.

Mark Scott
Sports Law, Disciplinary & Regulatory

Mark specialises in sports disciplinary disputes, appeals, and holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sports Law from De-Montfort University.  He is a member of British Canoeing’s Appeal and Disciplinary Panel and has adjudicated on selection appeals by athletes from the Canoe Sprint World Class Programme for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games. 

He is a Regional Discipline Panel member for the Football Association and is appointed to its National Serious Case Panel, to hear all types of serious disciplinary cases by participants on wide ranges of improper conduct.  As a Director of the Norfolk Cricket Board, he is discipline lead, and Chair of its Disciplinary Commission, advising cricket leagues, affiliated clubs, and participants on the ECB General and Recreational Conduct Regulations.

Senior Associate
01603 751 984
markscott@hansells.co.uk

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