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Category: Sport politics

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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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Millwall fans’ group continue protest by fielding candidate in general election

• Millwall AMS supporters group to run for parliament in Lewisham
• CPO has left legacy of distrust between club, fans and local politicians

Millwall’s battle against the seizure of its land by the local Labour council has taken an unexpected twist, with a supporters’ group candidate set to stand in the general election.

The plan to compulsorily purchase land occupied by Millwall’s community trust and sell it on to an offshore-owned developer was abandoned in January. An independent inquiry into the affair is being carried out by Lord Dyson, a former Master of the Rolls but the beached scheme continues to cause uncomfortable vibrations, not least as part of a profound sense of distrust between club, supporters and local politicians.

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Russia’s Kuchina and Shubenkov cleared to compete as neutral athletes

• Two world champions get chance to return to sport
• Pair will be in contention for medals at London world championships

The world champions Maria Kuchina and Sergey Shubenkov have been cleared to compete as neutral athletes by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Kuchina, a high‑jumper, and Shubenkov, a hurdler, won gold medals at the 2015 world championships in Beijing and would have been among the favourites at Rio 2016 if Russia had been allowed to send an athletics team.

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Independent inquiry into Millwall CPO deal gets green light to begin

• Inquiry into developer Renewal’s plans expected to last for rest of 2017
• Role of Lewisham council and Surrey Canal Sports Foundation under scrutiny

The independent inquiry into Lewisham council’s plans to seize Millwall’s land at The Den is set to begin in the next few days. The inquiry, which was announced last month, will be led by Lord Dyson, a hugely distinguished retired judge and former Master of the Rolls. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year and to cost up to half a million pounds of public money.

The inquiry was called after a series of questions emerged over the process and due diligence behind the council’s plans to compulsorily purchase land in Bermondsey and sell it on to an offshore-registered developer called Renewal. The scheme has been the subject of fan protests, a mass petition and in the last few months a campaign of public and media pressure.

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Shashank Manohar defers resignation as ICC pleads for him to continue reforms

• Manohar stood down as chairman after pledging to break-up ‘Big Three’
• ICC wants him to continue to curtail India, England and Australia influence

Shashank Manohar has deferred his resignation as chairman of the International Cricket Council and will continue in the post until administrative reforms of the governing body is complete, the ICC said on Friday.

Manohar had resigned earlier this month, citing personal reasons, having been elected unopposed on a two-year term as the ICC’s first independent chairman in May last year.

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British Cycling to miss out on £17m of funding until culture fears are addressed

• Sport England says body must meet ‘highest standards of governance’
• British Cycling has been accused of allowing a ‘culture of fear’

Sport England is to withhold £17m of funding from British Cycling until the sport’s governing body can ease fears over how it is being run.

The Sport England chairman Nick Bitel insists British Cycling must “meet the highest standards of governance” before receiving the funding after a draft report of an investigation into alleged failings in the culture at cycling’s governing body was leaked. The report accused the cycling body of allowing a “culture of fear”, with riders and staff bullied and a “dysfunctional leadership”, before concluding that “more work on their action plan was required”.

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British Cycling to miss out on £17m of funding until culture fears are addressed

• Sport England says body must meet ‘highest standards of governance’
• British Cycling has been accused of allowing a ‘culture of fear’

Sport England is to withhold £17m of funding from British Cycling until the sport’s governing body can ease fears over how it is being run.

The Sport England chairman Nick Bitel insists British Cycling must “meet the highest standards of governance” before receiving the funding after a draft report of an investigation into alleged failings in the culture at cycling’s governing body was leaked. The report accused the cycling body of allowing a “culture of fear”, with riders and staff bullied and a “dysfunctional leadership”, before concluding that “more work on their action plan was required”.

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UK Sport ‘went easy’ on British Cycling to keep medal factory intact

• UK Sport told governance unit to ‘go easy’ on British Cycling, says source
• Sport funding body denies claims

Senior figures at the funding body UK Sport told its in-house governance unit to “go easy” on British Cycling because “that’s where the medals come from”, more than two years before Jess Varnish made public allegations of bullying and sexism, the Guardian has been told.

Other UK Sport insiders have also come forward to tell of their deepening unease about a culture where the zeal to beat the London 2012 medal haul in the Rio Olympics dominated everything and led to less strict governance checks than they felt were required.

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Women in Sport says FA, RFU and ECB risk cuts over lack of boardroom diversity

Report says the three governing bodies do not employ enough women in senior positions and may lose government fundingThe Football Association, the Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Board are at risk of losing government support and…

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Women in Sport says FA, RFU and ECB risk cuts over lack of boardroom diversity

Report says the three governing bodies do not employ enough women in senior positions and may lose government fundingThe Football Association, the Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Board are at risk of losing government support and…

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Women in Sport says FA, RFU and ECB risk cuts over lack of boardroom diversity

Report says the three governing bodies do not employ enough women in senior positions and may lose government fundingThe Football Association, the Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Board are at risk of losing government support and…

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Women in Sport says FA, RFU and ECB risk cuts over lack of boardroom diversity

Report says the three governing bodies do not employ enough women in senior positions and may lose government fundingThe Football Association, the Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Board are at risk of losing government support and…

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Olympic bidders face harsh reality of costs heavily outweighing benefits | Sean Ingle

The IOC may find fewer cities eager to host the Games with experts agreeing that staging the event is economically damaging despite a larger revenue cake

These days even the Olympics is going on the 5:2 diet. Less than 18 months ago, the politicians and panjandrams of Hamburg, Rome, Budapest, Paris and Los Angeles all craved the right to host the 2024 Games. Now, following Budapest’s withdrawal last week, only Paris and Los Angeles remain. But it is merely reflective of a bidding process that is getting worryingly slimmer.

Twelve cities fought over the 2004 Olympics. Yet only two were in the running for the 2022 Winter Olympics. And now here we are again. Even LA, one of the last pair standing for 2024, was a replacement for Boston after a concerted public campaign forced a rethink at the US Olympic Committee.

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Sebastian Coe faces increasing scrutiny over what he knew at IAAF | Sean Ingle

The IAAF president has always maintained he only knew the Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova was blackmailed after watching revelations on German TV

At some point the death knell will sound for Lord Coe’s IAAF presidency. Tuesday, however, was not that day. True, there were fresh questions regarding when he knew about serious allegations of corruption within track and field’s governing body. And the sacking of his close friend and aide Nick Davies for failing to disclose a €30,000 payment for services rendered to the disgraced former IAAF marketing executive Papa Massata Diack was unpleasant. But in the cold light of day these were superficial wounds not job-ending blows.

Related: Sebastian Coe ally Nick Davies sacked for lying over secret payments

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Sebastian Coe facing new questions over when he was aware of corruption claims

• Coe told select committee in 2015 he was ‘not aware’ of Russian allegations
• Email from 2014 from Coe said: ‘I have been made aware of allegations’

Lord Coe is facing fresh questions over when he became aware of corruption within the IAAF after emails showed him referring to “serious allegations” involving the Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova four months before they become public.

Related: Sebastian Coe’s moment of truth | Owen Gibson

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US Olympic Committee: foreign athletes will not be affected by Trump travel ban

  • Athletes to get expedited access for international competitions, say USOC
  • President Donald Trump has banned visitors from Muslim-majority countries

The US Olympic Committee has been told by Donald Trump’s government that the ban on visitors from some Muslim-majority countries should not impact athletes traveling to the United States for international events.

USOC leaders have received a number of inquiries about the impact of Trump’s travel ban and said the US government told them it would work to ensure foreign athletes get expedited access to the US for international competitions.

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IOC’s pursuit of Chinese money is hardly fair play | Sean Ingle

A billion-dollar deal with Alibaba is just the latest incident in which the International Olympic Committee appears to be violating its own principles

Sometimes when they interrogated Xie Yang they sat him on top of a stack of plastic stools. And then, between threats to turn him into an “invalid”, they kicked, punched and head-butted him, blew cigarette smoke in his face and suggested that his wife had better take care when driving. “If you move, we can consider that you attacked a police officer, and we can take whatever steps to deal with you,” he was warned.

Xie, a prominent Chinese lawyer who was among around 300 human rights activists detained in July 2015, was also hung from the ceiling and beaten so badly he lost consciousness. “We represent the party centre in handling your case,” one police officer told him, referring to China’s leadership. “Even if we leave you dead, you won’t find any evidence.”

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UK Athletics chairman warns sport has ‘much to do’ to deter drug cheats

• Governing body has launched its own ’Clean Athletics’ brand
• Repeat calls for hard-hitting measures against dopers

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has warned that the sport still has plenty of work to do in order to deter drug cheats.

The governing body has launched its own ’Clean Athletics’ brand, which will replace the former anti-doping department, and has again called for hard-hitting measures to be brought in against dopers.

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UK Athletics chairman warns sport has ‘much to do’ to deter drug cheats

• Governing body has launched its own ’Clean Athletics’ brand
• Repeat calls for hard-hitting measures against dopers

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has warned that the sport still has plenty of work to do in order to deter drug cheats.

The governing body has launched its own ’Clean Athletics’ brand, which will replace the former anti-doping department, and has again called for hard-hitting measures to be brought in against dopers.

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Sebastian Coe ignorance of corruption ‘undermined’ by Dave Bedford

• Bedford told select committee he called and texted Coe in August 2014
• Coe must now face committee again before the end of January

Sebastian Coe faces fresh questions about what he knew of corruption within athletics before his election as president of the sport’s governing body the IAAF after MPs heard evidence that “undermined” his claims of ignorance.

Coe told the Culture, Media and Sport select committee in December 2015 that he was unaware of any specific allegations about the extent of Russian doping or that senior IAAF officials were extorting money from Russian athletes to bury positive drug tests until German broadcaster ARD broke the story on 3 December, 2014.

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