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Category: Olympic Games

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The ‘fix’ is in but is it right that Russia will compete in the Winter Olympics? | Sean Ingle

Despite calls from UK and US anti-doping bodies for shamed nation to be banned from February’s games, IOC and Wada inaction could let them off the hook

‘It wouldn’t surprise me if the fix is already in,” warned Travis Tygart, the venerable head of the US Anti-Doping Agency, when I asked him on Thursday whether Russia will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics. It was not so much pessimism as prophecy. Twenty-four hours later Alexander Zhukov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, confidently predicted at the 131st IOC summit in Lima: “It will be a Russian team with the Russian anthem and Russian flag” in Pyeongchang.

Of course it will be. No one who follows the arcane politics of the International Olympic Committee believes otherwise. The fix is indeed in, just as it was before the Rio Olympics, when the IOC niftily side-stepped massive evidence of state-sponsored doping and allowed hundreds of Russians to compete, and again in what is now claimed to have been corrupted bidding processes for the Rio and Tokyo Games, in 2009 and 2013, when votes were allegedly traded for cash.

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Fresh claims that Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid teams bought votes

• Central figure in scandal ‘bought expensive jewellery’ days after each vote
• Revelations come on day 2024 Games awarded to Paris and 2028 to LA

On the day that the International Olympic Committee had hoped all eyes would be on Lima and the awarding of the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Games, it risked further embarrassment as fresh claims emerged surrounding the alleged buying of votes by bid teams for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Related: ‘The biggest lie in the history of world sport’: Diack dismisses corruption allegations

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Charities still waiting for millions raided to build West Ham stadium | Rachel Cain

The government has reneged on a pledge to refund £425m to charities after the Olympics, instead leasing the stadium to West Ham for a mere £2.5m a year

  • Rachel Cain is senior researcher at the Directory of Social Change

As West Ham United kick off a new season in the Olympic Stadium where the nation cheered Mo Farah and Usain Bolt in the World Athletics Championships this summer, few will be aware that this fabulous venue, now the London Stadium, was partly funded by money intended for charities, which are still waiting for repayment.

The story so far: back in 2007, the government raided millions from lottery funds to pay for the infrastructure of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than £400m of this money should have been distributed by the Big Lottery Fund in grants enabling charities to do vital work in communities.

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Matt Carroll: the man tasked with restructuring the Australian Olympic Committee | Bret Harris

At a time when the AOC is facing an organisational overhaul in the wake of bullying claims, the new CEO says he is well positioned to action change

It did not take long for Matt Carroll to face his first major challenge as the new chief-executive of the Australian Olympic Committee: last month an independent review found the AOC’s workplace culture to be dysfunctional amid claims of bullying, favouritism and open hostility.

Related: AOC promises overhaul after review says it is ‘out of step’ with Olympic ideals

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David Torrence, Olympic 5000m finalist, found dead at age of 31

  • Peruvian-American’s body found in Arizona swimming pool
  • Scottsdale police are not treating death as suspicious

The Olympic 5000m runner David Torrence has been found dead in a swimming pool in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Peruvian-American was 31-years-old.

Torrence was from California and had come to Scottsdale to train a few weeks ago. Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious. “Firefighters removed the male subject from the pool and he was pronounced deceased,” said Sergeant Ben Hoster of the Scottsdale Police Department. “Detectives learned that there were no obvious signs of foul play.”

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eSports could be medal event at 2024 Olympics, Paris bid team says

  • Paris bid committee co-president to meet with IOC about competitive gaming
  • In April, it was announced eSports will be medal sport at 2022 Asian Games

eSports could be added to the Olympic programme as an official medal sport in 2024.

Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris bid committee, has confirmed that he will speak with the International Olympic Committee and eSports representatives about the full-fledged inclusion of competitive video gaming when the Games come to France in seven years’ time.

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Betty Cuthbert, four-time Olympic gold medallist, dies aged 79

Sprinter won three golds at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and added a fourth eight years later in TokyoAustralian sprinting legend Betty Cuthbert has died aged 79.Cuthbert was a four-time Olympic gold medallist, winning three at the 1956 Melbourne games …

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Bolt’s time finally runs out, but he departs as the greatest champion of all

Injury took its toll and perhaps his last 100m was one too many – a poignant end for a peerless competitor

The roar was not the same. This time around the cacophony of Super Saturday had a sadder, even an angrier note. Five years on from securing his legend at the 2012 Olympics, Usain Bolt had hoped to bow out of the sport he has for so long electrified, with one last trademark burst of unanswerable speed and joy. In the event, his last act as a solo athlete was to take a bronze medal behind his long-time rival, the American Justin Gatlin.

Few athletes know more about time than Bolt. Having chased it down and exploded it into unlikely tenths and hundredths for more than a decade, it finally caught up with him. His sweatshirt coming into the stadium before this final 100m race of a peerless career bore the motto“forever faster”, but his eyes and his manner told a slightly different story. He went through the motions of his pre-race hype routine, striking the poses, but his heart wasn’t quite in it.

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The brilliant Caeleb Dressel doesn’t need to be the next Michael Phelps

The young American sprinter, fresh off a record-tying seven golds at worlds, could be in position to become the face of swimming at the Tokyo Olympics

Caeleb Dressel knew the comparisons were inevitable. The 20-year-old University of Florida student had barely toweled off after capturing his seventh gold medal at last week’s world aquatics championships when he found himself cast as the heir to Michael Phelps as the face of swimming in the United States and, potentially, the world.

Not only had the American sprinter become the first swimmer to win seven golds at a single worlds since Phelps in 2007, Dressel joined Phelps and Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to win seven titles at any long-course international championship.

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LA has signed up but rapacious IOC is running out of conquests | Marina Hyde

The outrageous demands that the International Olympic Committee places on hosts means fewer cities in the democratic world are interested in the Games

There’s a scene in When Harry Met Sally where the two principals run into each other on a plane, some years after their first abrasive encounter. The previously relentlessly cynical Harry tells Sally he’s getting married. She lets out an involuntary peal of laughter. “What’s so funny about that?” he demands. “Well,” titters Sally, “it’s just … it’s just so OPTIMISTIC of you, Harry.”

I confess a similar reaction to the news that Los Angeles have come to a deal with the IOC, to host the 2028 Olympics. For this guarantee – and a cash advance and youth sports investment sweetener – they will stand aside to let Paris run unopposed for the 2024 Games. Congratulations and everything … but it’s just so optimistic of them.

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Los Angeles reaches deal over hosting 2028 Summer Olympics

  • Paris expected to land 2024 Games after Tokyo hosts in 2020
  • IOC president Thomas Bach welcomes LA’s decision

Los Angeles has accepted a deal to stage the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games – which means that the 2024 Games will be heading to Paris.

The Los Angeles Organising Committee confirmed that it had signed a contract with the International Olympic Committee that will see it given £1.8bn to compensate it for stepping aside until 2028 and to help it increase participation for youth sports programmes.

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London 2017 world championships: how stadium has changed since Olympics

More noise, football branding, better conditions for athletes and the same old lousy food are among the descriptions from those involved in London 2012Chairman of London 2017 bid committee and former chairman of UK Athletics (2007-May 2017) Continue re…

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Adam Peaty: patriot, performer, and the best breaststroker in history

Initially, the British swimmer didn’t want to give up the things other teenagers take for granted. Then he caught the Olympic bug

While you’re on the way to work, Adam Peaty is already in the pool. While you’re eating lunch, he’s in the gym. When you’re getting ready to leave, he’s back in the pool again. And while you’re winding down at night, he’s already asleep.

Peaty gets up at 6am to train, completing three two-hour sessions a day, six days a week. Then he’s in bed each night by 9pm. “To be embraced and sustained by the light green water was less a pleasure,” wrote John Cheever in his famous short story, The Swimmer, “than the resumption of a natural condition.” In peak training, Peaty, 22, will swim seven miles a day, every day but Sunday. That’s 1,680 lengths a week, up and down the same lanes. Why? He says it’s because deep down he knows he’s no good at anything else.

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Adam Peaty: patriot, performer, and the best breaststroker in history

Initially, the British swimmer didn’t want to give up the things other teenagers take for granted. Then he caught the Olympic bug

While you’re on the way to work, Adam Peaty is already in the pool. While you’re eating lunch, he’s in the gym. When you’re getting ready to leave, he’s back in the pool again. And while you’re winding down at night, he’s already asleep.

Peaty gets up at 6am to train, completing three two-hour sessions a day, six days a week. Then he’s in bed each night by 9pm. “To be embraced and sustained by the light green water was less a pleasure,” wrote John Cheever in his famous short story, The Swimmer, “than the resumption of a natural condition.” In peak training, Peaty, 22, will swim seven miles a day, every day but Sunday. That’s 1,680 lengths a week, up and down the same lanes. Why? He says it’s because deep down he knows he’s no good at anything else.

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Cricket is on the verge of making its application for Olympic inclusion

The approval of India is needed before a bid can be put forward but Olympic status would help the sport’s image become more global and less colonial

For all that the Olympic Games has become a byword for corruption and greed, it is challenged by only the football World Cup in terms of global popularity. Inclusion brings exposure to new audiences and opens up cash from national governments and the International Olympic Committee itself. That is why rugby and golf rejoined in Rio last year and the World Squash Federation president was “heartbroken” to learn that squash would not feature in 2020.

Cricket has long been unique among major sports in its reticence about joining the Olympic Games: an oddity that speaks of the sport’s conservatism and the historic lack of concern of its largest members for increasing the sport’s global footprint.

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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.

Continue reading…

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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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