5-Ring Circus

LANE ONE: This is the season to be thankful … you are not...

The traditional Thanksgiving holiday in the United States came yesterday, with millions remembering the many blessings in their lives, along with the challenges ahead of them. One of the things everyone in the Olympic Movement is thankful for is that they are not in Yury Ganus’s shoes. Who? Ganus is the 54-year-old Director General of […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: IOC says no events for countries that don’t admit everyone

The International Olympic Committee has come out with its most direct statement yet on the question of issue of athletes competing in international events in countries which do not recognize their home nation. “The most recent example is in Spain, where sporting delegations from Kosovo have encountered recurrent difficulties with regard to their participation in […]
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LANE ONE: Dealing with state-run doping: Indecision, then punishment, now a defined protocol

Since the Russian doping scandal exploded in 2015, a series of organizations have tried to deal with the fallout, including what to do with currently-competing Russian athletes. What we have seen in the past three years is a slow and steady evolution of the bureaucratic responses to this shock and which has now reached its […]
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5-RING CIRCUS: Calgary ends its 2026 Winter Games bid

The Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Games was officially “suspended” by a 15-0 vote of the City Council, following the defeat of the citywide referendum last week. The GamesBids.com site noted that only two bids – Stockholm (SWE) and Milan-Cortina (ITA) – remain as bidders from the seven cities which originally signaled serious interest […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: What happens now in Calgary?

The International Olympic Committee reacted to the public rejection of Calgary’s plan to bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games last Tuesday with a shrug, and will carry on with the bids from Italy and Sweden. “It comes as no surprise following the political discussions and uncertainties right up until the last few days,” the […]
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LANE ONE: Willie Banks seeks to heal USA Track & Field’s open wound

In the avalanche of horrific sex-abuse scandals that have plagued many of the U.S. National Governing Bodies, USA Track & Field has barely been mentioned. While USA Gymnastics stands at the edge of dissolution and Congressional inquiries have featured a parade of NGB senior executives from bobsled, figure skating, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and others, track […]
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THE 5-RING CIRCUS: Calgary’s new problem is how to fund venue maintenance

The Calgary bid is dead, and one of the results is that no Games funding will become available for the repairs already needed to the winter sports facilities used for the 1988 Games and now 20 years old. A Canada.com story detailed the issue after the defeat of the bid referendum in Calgary, noting that […]
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IOC’s victory lap on Spain and Kosovo appears premature

There has been considerable angst over the reports of the Spanish government’s refusal to allow Kosovo’s team for last week’s World Karate Championships to compete in their own uniforms and have their flag displayed and anthem played at victory ceremonies. Spain and Greece are the only European countries which do not recognize’s Kosovo’s self-declared independence […]
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LANE ONE: WADA Board holds the line on Russia, expands internal independence drive

There was no clap of thunder or bolt of lightning which came from the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board meeting in Baku (AZE) on Thursday, and in many ways, that’s a good thing. There were three themes coming into the meeting which needed attention and all were addressed: • The status of the reinstatement of Russia’s […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Reno-Tahoe out for U.S. bid for 2030 Winter Games

Beyond the drama in Calgary for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games was the announcement that the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition announced on Monday that it would not pursue the U.S. designation as a candidate city for the 2030 Games. The announcement included: “After reviewing the workbook and undertaking significant deliberation, the RTWGC regrettably, but respectfully, […]
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LANE ONE: Calgary turns away from the 2026 Winter Games by 56-44%

It took a long time to get everyone in who wanted to vote, but Elections Calgary finally announced the results of the city’s referendum on whether Calgary should bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games at 9:58 p.m. Tuesday night: • YES: 132,832 (43.6%) • NO: 171,750 (56.4%) That’s a total of 304,774 ballots cast, a turnout […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: IOC tells Spain to admit Kosovan athletes … or else!

In a comment to the InsideTheGames Web site, the deputy director of the IOC, Pere Miro (ESP) made it clear that the conditions under which athletes from Kosovo were required to compete at last week’s World Karate Championships in Madrid (ESP) are unacceptable. Spain has no diplomatic relations with Kosovo, and while their athletes could […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: USA Gymnastics estimates $75 million cost of Nassar’s claims on...

There was significant reporting this past week about the filings by USA Gymnastics of its 2017 financial statements and its IRS Form 990 tax filing, which is required by all non-profit organizations. The key item regarding the federation’s potential liability for the Larry Nassar sex-abuse cases was treated in Note 12, which described the financial […]
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LANE ONE: Fasten your seat belt: The Olympic Movement has a rough November...

This promises to be a turbulent week for the Olympic Movement with two major off-the-field events taking place in Canada and Azerbaijan and at the end of the month in Japan: • 13 November (Tuesday): Referendum on the city’s bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (CAN). • 15 November (Thursday): Meeting of the World […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: USOC timing slaps USAG athletes right before their World Champs

The United States Olympic Committee announcement that it will begin the process to de-certify USA Gymnastics as the National Governing Body for gymnastics came two days after the end of the FIG World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics in Doha (QAT). But the timing could hardly have been worse for another U.S. team. USA Gymnastics has […]
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LANE ONE: Not all hosting costs are going down; Budapest to spend $111...

The plague of high costs which has confounded the International Olympic Committee, especially in attracting cities to host the Olympic Winter Games is spreading to other sports, most notably track & field. It’s true that we’re talking millions vs. billions, but did you know that the 2021 and 2023 IAAF World Track & Field Championships […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Baumann’s World Urban Games becoming a reality

The newest multi-sport competition is the “World Urban Games,” a project of the late Swiss IOC member Patrick Baumann, who was the Secretary-General of the International Basketball Federation and head of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Baumann championed the concept of new multi-sport events which he felt could bring added interest and […]
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LANE ONE: U.S. Olympic Committee drops the hammer on USA Gymnastics, but also...

The FIG World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics finished in Doha (QAT) on Saturday. On Monday, new U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive, Sarah Hirshland, announced that the organization would begin the process of revoking the membership of USA Gymnastics as the National Governing Body for Gymnastics. Hirshland’s comment was significant in the details, including: “In the […]
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ANTI-DOPING: A call for ethics in sports medicine

The chief of the United States Anti-Doping Agency is now campaigning about more than doping; he’s now working on ethical use of allowed drugs. Travis Tygart told the online version of the British newspaper The Daily Mail that “‘The days of blood transfusions, and open and obvious growth hormone and testosterone use we saw at […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: IOC tells Int’l Biathlon Union they are OK (and starts...

One of the international sports federations in hot water over the past several months has been the International Biathlon Union (IBU), which had its president step aside and its secretary-general suspended over an investigation of possible bribes to ignore Russian doping positives. The International Olympic Committee noted the turmoil and suspended payments of Winter Games […]
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