Last week, West Ham United were at pains to explain that their offer of the lowest ticket prices in the Premier League was based on their share of broadcast revenue rather than being facilitated by their successful efforts at securing the use of the Olympic Stadium (The Guardian account can be found here). West Ham are determined to ensure that they are not accused of securing an unfair advantage from the deal. EU State Aid rules seek to prevent Member States tilting the playing surface in favour of one of the competitors. The rules are designed to ensure a level playing field. If West Ham was secured a stadium through government resources that conferred an advantage on West Ham then other clubs might complain. Problems might arise because lower stadium costs could allow West Ham to use the resources saved to bid above the odds for playing talent or to reduce their ticket prices. Rivals would argue that their ability to compete for players or fans is hampered by the actions of the government. West Ham sell the story of ticket price reductions while other raise the issue of state aid (here). I would be shocked if any state aid case was taken against West Ham.
Then there is the interpretation of failed drugs tests. On April 21st, UK Anti-Doping confirmed that rugby league player James Lockwood was being banned for two years (here). When I examined the list of Current Sanction on April 24th, the list was dominated by rugby union and rugby league. Rugby Union players accounted for over a third of the names. When Rugby League is added to Rugby Union then these two sports account for over 50% of the names on the list. On Sky Sports, Dewi Morris and Brian Carney argued that rugby players found using substances should be banned for life (here and here). Crucially, Carney explains how a large number of participants in a particular sport failing drugs tests can be interpreted as a positive.
A relatively large number of drug test failures can show a rigorous testing programme rather than a doping problem for a particular sport. It might be better to evaluate the testing programmes, and the willingness to publish the results, rather than the number of positives. As to the harshness of the penalties, there is a possibility that a zero tolerance approach to test failures, including lifetime bans, could be somewhat counterproductive - especially where the testing is conducted in-house. Where this is possible it might be better to go for a progressively stronger series of penalties.