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The Big Picture

THE BIG PICTURE: IAAF keeps Russia on suspension, then changes its name to...

No change. That was the decision of the International Association of Athletics Associations (IAAF) concerning the Russian Athletics Federation at its Council meeting in Monaco over the weekend. The RusAF continues on suspension, as it has been since 2015. The IAAF’s Russia Task Force chief, Rune Andersen (NOR) filed a report (available here) which didn’t […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: London Sunday Times says Russia covered up a doping violation...

If it’s in a British newspaper, the headline has to be dramatic: “Russia faces new Olympics ban over doping” and “There can be no way back for Russia after latest doping scandal.” Those are from the Sunday (2 June) editions of The Sunday Times of London (GBR), concerning a potentially significant new problem for Russia […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: World Beach Games folds in San Diego; may be held elsewhere...

/Updated: see footnote/A long effort to bring a major international event to San Diego ended failure on Thursday as word leaked out that the...

THE BIG PICTURE: IOC evaluation shows more (a lot more) confidence in Italy...

The International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission released its report on the two candidates for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games, with considerably excitement over the Milan-Cortina bid and not so much for Stockhom-Are. The 144-page report profiled each bid in specific areas including Games Concept, Games Experience, Paralympic Games and Games Delivery. There was no numeric […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Boxing confirmed for Tokyo 2020, but organized by the IOC,...

/Updated: see footnote/The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board kept its promise to the athletes. There will be a boxing tournament at the Tokyo Games in 2020, but the International Boxing Association – AIBA – will not organize it. The IOC’s statement included: “After a thorough discussion, the IOC EB recommended to the IOC Session that […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Poland’s Banka elected next head of the World Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency is headed by an elected Chair with a six-year term, rotated between a sports-organization candidate and one from governmental authorites. Poland’s Minister of Sport and Tourism, 34-year-old Witold Banka, was nominated on Tuesday by the the “Public Authorities” representatives on the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board. He is expected to […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Iran’s judo federation pledges not to discriminate against Israel …...

All credit to the International Judo Federation, which has consistently championed the right of all countries – notably Israel and Kosovo – to compete in its international competitions, especially those held in nations which either do not recognize their existence, or which do not have diplomatic relations. This has especially been an issue with Iran, […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Bach signals AIBA’s days may be numbered

The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board will meet on 22 May in Lausanne to determine whether the International Boxing Association – known by its French acronym, AIBA – should operate the Olympic Boxing tournament in Tokyo in 2020. The IOC’s President, Thomas Bach (GER), made his clearest statements yet that indicate his organization does not […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: LA28 releases its first budget summary, with detailed revenues and...

Under its agreement with the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles 2028 organizing committee was required to submit “An independent review and written report of the proposed OCOG operating budget for the 2028 Games will be completed within 18 months of the OCOG formation …” That time has come and the LA 2028 organizers […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: USA Gymnastics’ future collides with its present over the next seven...

On Tuesday, USA Gymnastics announced that the 2020 Olympic Trials in Artistic Gymnastics will be held at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri...

THE BIG PICTURE: Kenyan doping still an issue as Kiprop case proceeds with...

While the doping problems in Russia – and the cover-up – are still very much in the news, so is the less-well-publicized, but continuing problem of Kenya. The IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit posted a four-year suspension of 2008 Olympic 1,500 m champion Asbel Kiprop, further plunging the 2011-13-15 World Champion into disgrace. At age 29, […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Howman pushing for more innovation in doping control

When David Howman talks, people in the sports world should listen. The former Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency is increasingly critical of the standard testing program now in place, which still relies primarily on taking urine samples. Reuters reported on his Monday remarks to a conference of the Partnership for Clean Competition in […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Swedish government gets behind the Stockholm-Are bid … sort of

In what was essentially a fish-or-cut bait scenario, the Swedish national government finally indicated that it would supply the necessary guarantees to support the Stockholm-Are bid, with a formal announcement coming soon. Following up on the support announced by the Italian government for the Milan-Cortina bid last week, the Swedish reply was muted. While the […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Italian government to agree to modest support program for Milan-Cortina...

The key, distinguishing feature of the bid process for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games is the lack of national funding guarantees for either of the candidates: Stockholm-Are in Sweden or Milan-Cortina in Italy. Without any other choices, the International Olympic Committee is moving ahead with the procedure, to select one of the two as host, […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: AIBA releases interim financials showing it will die if not...

The International Boxing Association posted its interim financial statements for the six months ending 31 December 2018, with Executive Director Tom Virgets (USA) announcing that “Considering where we were one year ago, AIBA has made significant progress towards reducing its debt and has gone from a negative cash flow of over $2,000,000 annually, to a […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: AIBA accepts Rakhimov’s resignation, names Mohamed Moustahsane as President

The Executive Committee of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) met by teleconference over the weekend and accepted the resignation of Gafur Rakhimov (UZB) and nominated the head of the African Boxing Confederation, Morocco’s Mohamed Moustahsane as the Interim President. Moustahsane, 50, is a medical doctor who started in boxing as a ringside physician, then the […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Diack investigation might be moving along after all

We noted on Tuesday that the investigation by French authorities into the influence-buying and doping cover-up involving former International Olympic Committee member and IAAF President Lamine Diack (SEN) was continuing without end. But there were new developments this week, as Agence France Presse reported that arrest warrants had been issues for former IAAF Treasurer Valentin […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Under pressure, Japan’s Takeda to resign from Japan’s Olympic Committee...

The 71-year-old head of the Japan Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, announced on Tuesday that he will retire from the JOC and as a member of the International Olympic Committee in June. “I don’t believe I’ve done anything illegal or wrong,” Takeda said. “It’s regrettable that a shadow has been cast on the tournament because of […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: Thailand to skip Olympic weightlifting to atone for eight Worlds...

Weightlifting has become a favored sport in Thailand, especially after the 2016 Olympic Games, in which Thais won four medals, including golds in the women’s 48 kg for Sopita Tanasan and 58 kg, by Sukanya Srisurat. But the Thai weightlifting program was also shamed earlier this year with seven separate announcements of doping positives between […]
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THE BIG PICTURE: With Congress on its tail, USOC is putting heat on...

Stung by the multiple Congressional inquiries into its responses – or lack of responses – to the sexual-abuse situations in swimming, gymnastics and other sports, the United States Olympic Committee has begun an intense program of review of its affiliated National Governing Bodies. The USOC has already begun the process of formally revoking the status […]
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