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Category: Olympic Games

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Paralysed Olympic BMX rider Sam Willoughby progresses to a crawl

  • London Games silver medallist constantly improving in rehabilitation
  • But Australian accepts his racing days are over

Australian Olympian Sam Willoughby says his recovery from the BMX cycling crash that paralysed him continues positively, but he accepts his racing days are over, focusing on walking fiancée Alise Post down the aisle when they marry on 31 December.

Related: A public lottery in Australia could be a good thing – and deliver more than Olympic gold | Martin Farrer

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Women’s World Cup moves cricket closer to Olympic return in 2024

• Popularity of women’s tournament has helped sway the ICC and the IOC
• India’s BCCI will meet on Wednesday to discuss its support, seen as vital

The success of the Women’s World Cup won by England on Sunday and watched by millions around the globe has propelled cricket closer to a return to the Olympic Games in 2024. The International Cricket Council is determined to capitalise on recent advances in the women’s game and push on with a bid for Twenty20 competitions, for both genders, to be included. Agreement with the Games is considered closer than ever.

After the World Cup, the ICC recognises how cricket featuring in the Olympics would give the women’s game even greater profile and open up new funding from national governments. There is stronger support for the concept among the ICC’s 104 members than ever before, recognising the opportunity that the Olympics presents.

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Women’s World Cup moves cricket closer to Olympic return in 2024

• Popularity of women’s tournament has helped sway the ICC and the IOC
• India’s BCCI will meet on Wednesday to discuss its support, seen as vital

The success of the Women’s World Cup won by England on Sunday and watched by millions around the globe has propelled cricket closer to a return to the Olympic Games in 2024. The International Cricket Council is determined to capitalise on recent advances in the women’s game and push on with a bid for Twenty20 competitions, for both genders, to be included. Agreement with the Games is considered closer than ever.

After the World Cup, the ICC recognises how cricket featuring in the Olympics would give the women’s game even greater profile and open up new funding from national governments. There is stronger support for the concept among the ICC’s 104 members than ever before, recognising the opportunity that the Olympics presents.

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Russian doping mastermind benefited from London 2012 drugs ‘preview’

• Grigory Rodchenkov was invited to inspect laboratory before Games
• ‘Without this, all Russian doping situation will be collapsed’

The mastermind behind the Russian doping programme has revealed that he was able to corrupt the London 2012 Olympics only because he was invited to Britain by organisers and shown how they planned to catch cheats.

Related: Russian state doped more than 1,000 athletes and corrupted London 2012

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Russian doping mastermind benefited from London 2012 drugs ‘preview’

• Grigory Rodchenkov was invited to inspect laboratory before Games
• ‘Without this, all Russian doping situation will be collapsed’

The mastermind behind the Russian doping programme has revealed that he was able to corrupt the London 2012 Olympics only because he was invited to Britain by organisers and shown how they planned to catch cheats.

Related: Russian state doped more than 1,000 athletes and corrupted London 2012

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Ryan Lochte cleared of criminal false robbery report charge in Rio incident

Appellate court in Brazil dismisses criminal case against US swimmerLochte had been charged with falsely reporting a crime to authoritiesRyan Lochte has been cleared of falsely communicating a crime to authorities for his role in vandalizing a gas stat…

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Caster Semenya could be forced to undertake hormone therapy for future Olympics

Study shows performance-boosting effects of testosterone in female athletes, reopening controversial debate about intersex and hyperandrogenous competitors

Caster Semenya, the Olympic 800m champion, may be banned from competing at future Games unless she undergoes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or even surgery in the wake of a landmark study into athletes with raised testosterone levels which has just been published.

The International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body, commissioned research which has produced the most conclusive evidence yet that female athletes with very high levels of naturally occurring testosterone receive significant performance-enhancing benefits in competition.

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UK Sport faces revolt from 11 sports governing bodies over funding cuts

• ‘Disenfranchised’ sports criticise obsession with medal targets
• Governing bodies of badminton, basketball and fencing among critics

A mass rebellion is set to put UK Sport under further pressure to reform, with 11 national governing bodies of sports calling for a major overhaul in how the funding agency allocates lottery and exchequer money.

The Guardian understands the governing bodies will claim the spirit of sport has been obscured by what is seen as UK Sport’sgrowing obsession with medal targets over the past decade.

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Team GB athletes unlikely to receive reallocated medals this summer

• Goldie Sayers says she will be ‘gutted’ not to get 2008 Olympic bronze
• Legal challenges jeopardise London ceremony in August

Goldie Sayers will be “gutted” if she is one of the British athletes robbed of the chance to receive medals denied to them by drug cheats at a special ceremony at the world championships in London in August.

Organisers have offered to host extra ceremonies for Sayers and other British athletes, including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jo Pavey and Kelly Sotherton, who also missed out on medals at Olympic Games and world championships owing to athletes subsequently found to have taken performance-enhancing drugs. Yet because of legal challenges it appears unlikely the reallocation of medals will happen before 10 August, when the ceremonies are due to take place.

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Forget dancing horses, surfing and BMX – the Olympic Games need eSports

eSports can be the spark for the International Olympic Committee to update the Olympic Games and reach a larger, more diverse audience

If we have learned anything from the previous few Olympics, it is that the Games are going through an identity crisis. Rocked by a doping scandal and with an older audience than ever, the International Olympic Committee is attempting to rehabilitate its image by appealing to a disinterested youth.

With sports such as BMX freestyle and baseball taking their place alongside archaic remnants from the age of imperialism, like modern pentathlon and dressage, it is difficult to know what or who the Olympics represent anymore. If the IOC is serious about joining the brave new world that seems to have passed it by and more importantly if it wants to keep its sponsors happy, it needs to make serious changes – starting with introducing eSports.

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McDonald’s pulls out of Olympics contract to end 41-year sponsorship

• US fast-food giant, an IOC partner since 1976, had deal to Tokyo 2020
• McDonald’s quits three years early ‘to focus on different priorities’

The US fast-food giant McDonald’s has ended its 41-year-long sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee, pulling out of its contract three years early.

Related: Olympics 2020: three-on-three basketball among five extra sports in Tokyo

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McDonald’s pulls out of Olympics contract to end 41-year sponsorship

• US fast-food giant, an IOC partner since 1976, had deal to Tokyo 2020
• McDonald’s quits three years early ‘to focus on different priorities’

The US fast-food giant McDonald’s has ended its 41-year-long sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee, pulling out of its contract three years early.

Related: Olympics 2020: three-on-three basketball among five extra sports in Tokyo

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McDonald’s pulls out of Olympics contract to end 41-year sponsorship

• US fast-food giant, an IOC partner since 1976, had deal to Tokyo 2020
• McDonald’s quits three years early ‘to focus on different priorities’

The US fast-food giant McDonald’s has ended its 41-year-long sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee, pulling out of its contract three years early.

Related: Olympics 2020: three-on-three basketball among five extra sports in Tokyo

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Paddy Barnes: ‘A title in my third fight? I hadn’t sparred 10 rounds until this camp’

As he prepares to fight for a European title in just his third bout as a pro, Paddy Barnes discusses his controversies, his MBE regrets and his mate Rory McIlroy

By Paul Gibson for The Balls of Wrath, part of the Guardian Sport Network

“A lot of people don’t realise how big and how serious a fight this is,” says Paddy Barnes a few days before he challenges for the vacant WBO European flyweight title in just his third professional outing. “A 10-rounder for a title in your third fight? I hadn’t even sparred 10 rounds until this camp.”

Driven by a fear of the unknown for the first time in years, Barnes left the comfort of his young family behind for a long, hot slog at the MTK headquarters in southern Spain. “It was a hard camp because of the heat. The gym in Marbella is like a sauna and that makes every session tougher. But the ring on fightnight is hot under the lights so it stands me in good stead. I nearly died when I did my first five-round spar but I soon learned to pace myself.”

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Canoeing sexual assault allegations leave UK Sport facing up to a crisis | Martha Kelner

Cycling’s bullying culture has already rocked the government organisation, which may now find itself with even more questions to answer

The debate over whether medals have been prized over morals in Olympic sport has been escalated by the revelation that talented young women training with a view to sporting glory now allege they were sexually abused in pursuit of their dream.

British Canoeing and the police are currently investigating the claims. These were sportswomen who put their trust in a coach who they claim took advantage of them in the most deplorable way. Once more it gives rise to serious questions about duty of care for athletes, a discussion which will reignite on Wednesday with the long awaited publication of the independent report into the culture at British Cycling that was sparked by claims of bullying and discrimination first made by the cyclist Jess Varnish.

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Michael Jordan’s Olympic Converse sell for record six-figure sum at auction

Shoes from 1984 gold medal match in Los Angeles fetch $190,373 Thought to be last time Jordan wore Converse in an official gameA pair of game-worn Michael Jordan sneakers sold at auction for $190,373 on Sunday, setting a record for game-used shoes. The…

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A public lottery in Australia could be a good thing – and deliver more than Olympic gold | Martin Farrer

In a country with a gambling problem, any lottery will be controversial. But the UK’s example shows how much public good can come from such a scheme

It’s August 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics have just finished. Once again, the USA and Team GB top the medal table. But the real story is the collapse of the once-great Australian team who only have one shooting gold to show for their efforts. Humiliated, they board the plane back home where a festival of national self-flagellation awaits.

A bit over the top? Maybe, but this was the reality for Great Britain’s team back in 1996 when they took home only one gold (in rowing), prompting a decision to use the proceeds of the newly begun national lottery to fund elite sport.

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A public lottery in Australia could be a good thing – and deliver more than Olympic gold | Martin Farrer

In a country with a gambling problem, any lottery will be controversial. But the UK’s example shows how much public good can come from such a scheme

It’s August 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics have just finished. Once again, the USA and Team GB top the medal table. But the real story is the collapse of the once-great Australian team who only have one shooting gold to show for their efforts. Humiliated, they board the plane back home where a festival of national self-flagellation awaits.

A bit over the top? Maybe, but this was the reality for Great Britain’s team back in 1996 when they took home only one gold (in rowing), prompting a decision to use the proceeds of the newly begun national lottery to fund elite sport.

Continue reading…

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Vote Paris and keep the Olympics out of Donald Trump’s sticky little fingers | Richard Williams

The IOC has the choice of Paris or Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympic Games and both have relatively sensible proposals

With the contest for the right to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games down to the last two contestants and nearing a final verdict, there may be several good reasons for giving Paris the right to stage the 2024 Olympics while postponing the return of the Games to Los Angeles until four years later. The most compelling of them must surely be that such a decision would put the Olympics out of the reach of Donald Trump’s sticky little fingers.

The two-term limit of the recently inaugurated US president will end in 2025 – unless, that is, Trump decides to follow the example of Julius Caesar and declare himself dictator perpetuo. He might even emulate Caligula by pronouncing himself divine before presiding over the Games on a golden throne. And then why not go all the way? In the Olympics of 67AD, Nero awarded himself an entry in the 10-horse chariot race. Having persuaded the organisers to insert the event into the schedule, Trump could then invent a local rule forcing all competitors who are not heads of state of the host nation to blindfold their horses.

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Australian Olympic Commitee: John Coates defeats Danni Roche to stay on as president

Victory comes with a big margin of 58 votes to 35, but Coates could still be under pressure to change the way the AOC is run

Australian Olympic commitee president John Coates has been re-elected for another term, surviving a challenge from newcomer Danni Roche and ending a bruising six-week election campaign.

Coates won the secret ballot by a significant margin, securing 58 votes to Roche’s 35. The vote was held at the AOC’s general meeting in Sydney on Saturday morning.

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