Welcome to The Sports Examiner SPEED READ, a 100 mph (44.7 m/s) review of the week (so far) in the turbulent world of international sport:
Wednesday: There really is a change going on in Olympic bidding, if you believe what the Milan-Cortina bid has in their presentation submitted on 11 January. Its organizing committee budget – thanks to a wealth of existing winter-sport facilities – is only 65% of what PyeongChang organizers spent in 2018. And the projected cost for construction by the regional governments and private investors is specified at 3.8% – you read that right – of what the Korean government spent in 2018. It’s only a bid book, true, but the IOC can – for now – pat itself on the back (as it is already doing) for starting to change the equation.
Friday: Let’s break down the first five requirements for the proposed USOC review commission in the Senate bill submitted Thursday by U.S. Sen. Cody Gardner of Colorado. One of them is likely to create a permanent watchdog over the USOC, funded by who else … American taxpayers.
THE BIG PICTURE:
Tuesday: Malaysia confirmed its commitment to anti-Semitism by banning Israeli para-swimmers from competing in July’s World Para Swimming Championships in Kuching. The International Paralympic Committee says it will “explore all options” at its Governing Board meeting next week.
Wednesday: U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) introduces a bill to create a Federal review commission to evaluate the performance and regulation of the United States Olympic Committee across 10 points over nine months, including subpoena power. Now this is serious.
Thursday: The World Anti-Doping Agency announced that its data retrieval team had left Moscow (RUS) after successfully copying what it believed to be complete copy of the database of the Moscow Laboratory that was at the center of the country’s doping scheme from 2011-15. Now the question is how good is the data and what will WADA’s Executive Committee do about Russia at its 22 January meeting. Perhaps Disney’s 1964 classic “Mary Poppins” figures in the answer.
Wednesday: American Lindsey Vonn is expected to make her seasonal debut in the Alpine World Cup in Cortina d’Ampezzo, where two Downhills and a Super-G will be held this weekend. Vonn likes it in Cortina: she’s won 12 times there. But U.S. star Mikaela Shiffrin will also be there, in Sunday’s Super-G.
Thursday: A Singapore court sentenced the owner of the defunct Black Tidings consulting firm to seven days in jail for lying about making payments at the direction of Papa Massata Diack to the husband of Russian Liliya Shobukhova as a “refund” of a failed bribe to cover-up her doping positive in 2014. Are we getting closer to the truth in all this?
Thursday: The IAAF keeps good statistics and can therefore note that five athletes will carry win streaks of 10 or more meets into 2019, with the most remarkable streak at nine marathons for 2018 world-record setter Eliud Kipchoge! Also, the IAAF announced two new events for the World Relays, including a Mixed Shuttle Hurdles and a 2x2x400 m, which takes a page out of Cross Country Skiing!
Wednesday: The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation sanctioned four Russian sledders from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi with two-year bans, including a prohibition on any activity in the sport. Well, the head of the Russian Bobsled Federation was one of those named; is he going to give up his office? He says no.
Thursday: The U.S. women’s national team starts its 2019 schedule on Saturday with a difficult match in Le Havre against third-ranked France. The Americans are 25-0-3 in their last 28 games, but haven’t beaten France since 2016 and lost their last game played in France, in 2015. Upset alert?
Tuesday: FINA “clarified” its position on swimmers competing in event not organized by FINA or its affiliates: no problem. That stance could pose problems for the two lawsuits filed against FINA by the International Swimming League and three swimmers in a class action.
Plus previews of more upcoming events in Archery ~ Badminton ~ Biathlon ~ Cross Country Skiing ~ Cycling ~ Freestyle Skiing ~ Nordic Combined ~ Ski Jumping ~ Snowboard ~ Table Tennis.
Highlights of the coming week, with previews in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Athletics: The IAAF World Indoor Tour for 2019 gets going in Boston on the 26th;
● Figure Skating: The U.S. National Championships get serious in Detroit;
● Handball: The IHF men’s World Championships continue in Germany and Denmark.
Monday’s Lane One will finish our look ahead as to what the proposed Federal review commission might find out in its examination of the United States Olympic Committee.