TSX REPORT: IBA to pay $3.1 million in Paris Olympic prizes; good TV audience for Pre Classic; Torch Relay proceeds “without major incident”

Signing of the 2027 Pan Am Games hosting agreement in Lima. In the middle (l-r): Lima Mayor Rafael Lopez Aliaga, Peru President Dina Boluarte and Panam Sports head Neven Ilic (Photo: Panam Sports).

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1. IBA to award boxing prize money for Paris; IOC unimpressed
2. Strong: 1.17 million viewers for Pre Classic T&F on NBC
3. Demus to receive 2012 hurdles gold on 9 August in Paris
4. Two world leads at Ostrava Golden Spike, plus 6 m for Mondo!
5. Paris 2024 torch relay proceeding “without major incident”

The International Boxing Association, no longer a part of the Olympic Movement, says it will pay $3.1 million in prize money to top-five finishers in Paris Games. The IOC was not amused, and essentially ordered national federations to disassociate themselves from the IBA.

● Good audience for the Nike Prefontaine Classic last Saturday, with an average of 1.166 million viewers on NBC, the second-biggest audience for a track telecast this year.

● American Lashinda Demus, who was advanced to the gold medal for the London 2012 women’s 400 m hurdles after the Russian winner was disqualified for doping, announced that she and the other medalists will have their presentation in Paris at the Champions Park on 9 August.

● Two world-leading marks in the men’s 800 and women’s vault at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet this week, but also excitement from vault world-record holder Mondo Duplantis, who nearly set another world mark, despite cold, wet and windy conditions.

● The French Interior Ministry reported that the Olympic Torch Relay, which began in France on 8 May has progressed “without incident,” but also with 78 arrests so far and 30 destroyed drones.

Panorama: Paris 2024 (3: first invitations for free opening tickets; “Ticketing Thursdays” program introduced for more ticket sales; protest to foul the Seine River called for 23 June) = Olympic Games 2036 (Spanish site says, without sources, Games going to Qatar) = Milan Cortina 2026 (no back-up plan for sliding track, but other sites still in contact) = Lima 2027 (Pan Am Games host contract signed) = Russia (consular heads warns Russia of unfriendly reception in Paris) = Archery (passing of Olympic gold medalist Butch Johnson) = Athletics (2: vault star Braz suspended for doping, to miss Paris; another Kenyan sanction) = Cycling (Colombian rider Lopez sanction for four years on doping) = Fencing (USA Fencing readying try-it-yourself demos in 12 cities during Games) = Gymnastics (Douglas withdraws from U.S. nationals, looks ahead fo 2028) = Swimming (Chinese star Yang Sun, twice sanctioned for doping, wants to swim again) = Weightlifting (three doping sanctions against Ukrainian lifters, could endanger Olympic participation) = Wrestling (UWW appeal review found no refereeing bias in Chamizo-Byramov match) ●

IBA to award boxing prize money for Paris; IOC unimpressed

Although the International Boxing Association was excommunicated from the Olympic Movement in 2023, it does not want to divorce itself from the Olympic Games.

On Wednesday, IBA President Umar Kremlev (RUS) announced that the federation will pay prize money for Paris 2024 Olympic medalists, despite having nothing to do with the tournament:

“We support all our athletes participating in the 2024 Olympics, and on behalf of the entire international boxing community, I am extremely proud to announce that all Paris gold medallists in the boxing tournament will receive a substantial financial reward of $100,000.

“Out of this amount, the athlete will receive $50,000, their National Federation will receive $25,000, and their coach will receive $25,000. For a silver medal, $50,000 prize money will be awarded, with the athlete receiving $25,000, and the remaining $25,000 being distributed evenly between the coach and the National Federation. For a bronze medal, we will provide $25,000, of which $12,500 will go to the athlete, and $12,500 will again be distributed evenly.

“Additionally, athletes who lost in the quarterfinals and finished 5th, will each receive $10,000 from IBA, making the total prize money fund commitment equalling more than $3.1 million USD distributed to over 100 boxers.”

This follows the 10 April announcement by World Athletics – which is the Olympic governing body for track & field – that it would pay $50,000 to each Paris gold-medal winner, the first time an International Federation has made prize money available at an Olympic Games (this has been done routinely by National Olympic Committees however).

The IBA added that a “special awards ceremony to honor the Paris Olympic medallists will be announced shortly.” The IBA will also allow Olympic winners to fight at its “IBA champions’ Night” events, which carry additional prize money.

The International Olympic Committee was not amused, posting a reply on X (ex-Twitter) that included:

“As always with the IBA, it is unclear where the money is coming from. This total lack of financial transparency was exactly one of the reasons why the IOC withdrew its recognition of the IBA. The IBA was not prepared to transparently explain the sources of its financing or to explain its full financial dependency, at the time, on a single state-owned company, Gazprom.

“Due to the suspension and the subsequent withdrawal of recognition by the IOC in 2023, the IBA had no involvement in either the qualification for or the organisation of the boxing tournament of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and is not involved for Paris 2024, either. …

“For all these reasons, boxing is currently not on the sports programme of the Olympic Games LA28. The IOC has made it very clear that it cannot again organise such Olympic boxing competitions.

“In order to remedy this, Olympic boxing needs to be organised by a credible, well-governed International Federation. It is therefore already clear that any boxer whose National Federation adheres to the IBA will not be able to participate in the Olympic Games LA28. The respective NOC will have to exclude such a National Boxing Federation from its membership.”

The recently-organized World Boxing group is trying to be that new International Federation, and has 27 members so far. Its message on Wednesday noted, “the IOC has sent a clear and unambiguous message to all NFs and NOCs that if they want their boxers to have the opportunity to compete at an Olympic Games after Paris 2024 they need to take immediate steps to join World Boxing.”

Observed: The IOC has taken a further step to remove the IBA from involvement with the Olympic Movement by requiring that any National Olympic Committee which has a national boxing federation that is an IBA member “will have to exclude such a National Boxing Federation from its membership.”

The IOC statement, however, did not say that boxers cannot accept such gifts from the IBA, and doing so would be incongruous with its athlete-centric focus.

As far as the IBA and money, it continues to list the Russian energy giant Gazprom as its sole sponsor and “general partner” (it also has an equipment supplier, who is not a sponsor). That’s where the money is.

Strong: 1.17 million viewers for Pre Classic T&F on NBC

A meet with history and cache, good fields and a good time slot on NBC added up to a very good 1.166 million average audience for the Nike Prefontaine Classic last Saturday, the second best audience of the year for track & field on U.S. television this year.

The seven meets shown on NBC in 2024:

● 04 Feb.: 1.197 million on NBC for New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
● 25 May: 1.166 million on NBC for Prefontaine Classic
● 11 Feb.: 1.087 million on NBC for Millrose Games
● 17 Feb.: 1.051 million on NBC for USATF Indoor Nationals
● 18 May: 846,000 on NBC for USATF L.A. Grand Prix
● 28 Apr.: 790,000 on NBC for USATF Bermuda Grand Prix
● 03 Mar.: 539,000 on NBC for World Indoor Championships

The Pre meet, shown from 4-6 p.m. Eastern, was the second-highest-rated sports program in its time slot, behind the 1.656 million for the PGA Tour’s Colonial at Ft. Worth, Texas on CBS. Both out-drew the in-progress telecasts of the Tennessee-Alabama NCAA softball Super Regionals (1.078 million) and the UFL’s Birmingham at San Antonio game (1.069 million).

In terms of the key age 18-34 audience, the Pre meet drew 73,000, while the golf on CBS had 82,000. The leader on the day was the Boston at Indiana NBA Eastern Conference playoff on ABC, which drew 6.482 million total and 973,000 in the 18-34 demo.

Thursday’s Bislett Games Diamond League meet from Oslo (NOR) will be shown on Peacock live, with a replay on Saturday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Sunday’s Bauhaus Galan meet in Stockholm (SWE) will be shown live on Peacock at 10 a.m. Eastern, and replayed same-day at 2 p.m. on CNBC.

Demus to receive 2012 hurdles gold on 9 August in Paris

Following the disqualification of Russia’s Natalya Antyukh for doping in the women’s 400 m hurdles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the details are now set for the re-awarding of the medals to American Lashinda Demus, Zuzana Hejnova (CZE) and Jamaican Kaliese Spencer this summer in Paris.

Antyukh won the race on the track, 52.70 to 52.77, then was disqualified in October 2022 from evidence gathered from the infamous Moscow laboratory that was the headquarters for the Russian state-sponsored doping program from 2011-15. That result was confirmed in 2023 and the IOC agreed to re-allocate the medals, with Demus moving up to the top of the podium.

Demus said of the original result, “This broke my heart as I knew I was the best runner in the race. Once I get to Paris, for the Olympic Medal Ceremony, my broken heart will finally be healed.”

She, Hejnova and Spencer will make more history, as the re-allocation is reported to be the first such ceremony to be held during an Olympic Games. Demus had wanted to have the ceremony during the track & field competition in Paris at the Stade de France, but owing to the schedule, it was agreed to have the presentation in Paris’s unique Champions Park ay the Trocadero Gardens in front of the Eiffel Tower. The park is a first-time concept to showcase Olympic medal winners outside of the stadiums, similar to what is done at the Winter Games medal plaza.

Demus had dreams of the IOC presenting the medal to her in Paris’ Olympic Stadium at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Due to Olympic Stadium scheduling and IOC regulations, the IOC and Demus collaborated together on the idea of holding the medal reallocation ceremony in the Champions Park on Friday, 9 August. Said Demus, now 40:

“I’m thrilled the IOC will also recognize the deserving silver and bronze medalists, Zuzana Henjnova of the Czech Republic and Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, respectively, as well. I also want to thank the [U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee] for their continued support.”

Demus expects to receive the honors with her family – husband Jamel Mayrant and sons Dontay and Duaine (both 16), Syre (5), and Sincere (4).

They have established a GoFundMe page for help with travel costs, explaining:

“[T]he IOC and the USOPC are only able to partially fund this trip of a lifetime for my family and I. This is where you come in. I’m hoping you can donate to help my family partake in this once in a lifetime moment. No gift is too small. We will use the money for airfare, meals, hotel, and Olympic tickets when we travel to Paris in August. We appreciate your donation and we can’t wait to get to Paris to get that GOLD MEDAL! Finally.”

Two world leads at Ostrava Golden Spike, plus 6 m for Mondo!

The 59th Ostrava Golden Spike meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet, offered cold , wet and windy conditions, yet the quality was high, including two world-leading marks:

Men/800 m: 1:43.51, Djamel Sedjati (ALG)
Women/Vault: 4.84 m (15-10 1/2), Molly Caudery (GBR)

Sedjati, the 2022 Worlds runner-up, ran away from the field, taking off with 300 m to go and no one could challenge him, in just his second race of the season and first at 800 m. It’s his third fastest time ever and more than two seconds up on second-place Gabriel Tual (FRA: 1:45.79).

Caudery, the World Indoor Champion in 2024, started this season with a best of 4.66 m (15-3 1/2), but cleared 4.86 m indoors (15-11 1/2) and now a world-leading 4.84 m outdoors, despite the conditions.

Men’s world-record holder Mondo Duplantis (SWE) also won, clearing 6.00 m (19-8 1/4) on his third try and then trying for a world record of 6.25 m (20-6) and was actually encouraged despite three misses:

“The cold and windy conditions today made it a challenging competition for all of us. Pole vaulting is particularly sensitive to such weather. Despite this, I’m pleased with my performance, especially the close call on my third attempt at 6.25.

“It almost felt like the best jump of my life, and it’s boosted my confidence for future competitions. Sometimes, the first couple of attempts are about safety and conserving energy, but on the last one, I felt good enough to really go for it, and I was surprisingly close. It’s about mastering these conditions, and today was a solid step forward.”

Also in the field, Italian star Leonardo Fabbri won the shot at 22.40 m (73-6), but American Jordan Geist broke through the 22 m barrier for the first time at 22.09 m (72-5 3/4) and moved to no. 4 in the world for 2024.

On the track, Tokyo 200 m gold winner Andre De Grasse (CAN) took the 100 m in 10.10 (wind 0.0) and the 200 m in 20.09 (+0.4). The most exciting finish on the track might have been the final straight in the men’s 400 m, with Olympic champ Steven Gardiner (BAH) solidly in the lead, but with 2024 World Indoor Champion Alexander Doom (BEL) closing hard. Gardiner, coming back to full fitness after injuries last season, won in 44.39 to move to no. 6 in 2024. Doom finished in 44.44.

Italy’s Federico Riva barely won the men’s 1,500 m from Raphael Pallitsch (AUT), with both getting lifetime bests of 3:33.53 and 3:33.59 (national record). Germany’s Julian Weber, the 2022 European champ, won the javelin at 87.26 m (286-3), quite good for the conditions.

Poland’s Ewa Swoboda won the women’s 100 m (11.05 +0.7) and Natalia Kaczmarek took the 400 m in 50.09.

Another world lead, this time in Sochi (RUS) for Belarus’ 10-time national champion Viyaleta Skvartsova at the Russian national team championships on 22 May, at 14.85 m (48-8 3/4), a massive improvement over her prior best of 14.59 m (47-10 1/2) from 2023.

Paris 2024 torch relay proceeding “without major incident”

Three weeks into the Olympic Torch Relay in advance of the 26 July opening of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the French Interior Ministry cited “an unprecedented level of protection which allows this beautiful popular festival to take place without major incident.”

The short “interim assessment of the security system” issued Wednesday noted that 1,000-1,500 police are engaged daily to secure the relay and that 610,000 spectators have so far participated in the evening welcoming ceremonies at each stop. As for protests (computer translation from the original French):

“Thanks to the anticipation system and the commitment of law enforcement and intelligence services, nearly 110 protest actions were obstructed. 78 individuals wishing to disrupt the relay were arrested. In addition, 30 suspicious drones were intercepted.

“To date, 393,000 administrative security investigations have been carried out, including 16,000 on the torchbearers and 17,000 on the personnel responsible for organizing the ‘cauldron ceremonies.’ These made it possible to exclude 1,550 people, including 33 torchbearers and 31 staff responsible for organizing the ‘cauldron ceremonies.’ More broadly, 41 individuals on S and FSPRT files were excluded from the organization of the Olympic Games and the torch relay.”


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● The City of Paris announced that the process of distributing the 222,000 free spaces to watch the Olympic opening on 26 July has begun.

The first set of invitations were sent by electronic mail on Monday (27th) to about 55,000 addressees, with a follow-up message to be sent in 13 days, allowing invitees to claim up to four tickets. Responses will be required within four days.

Access codes will initially be sent to those accepting places on 10 June. A second set of codes will be sent once the first wave responses have been confirmed and duplicates eliminated. A final set of codes will sent in July.

The upper quays will be divided into 15 spectator zones, with concessions and shade area, will open at 3:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. ceremony, with entries closed by 6:30 p.m.

Officials at a news conference on Tuesday noted that by keeping the bookstalls in place, the free seating for spectators was reduced by about 80,000 places.

Paris 2024 announced that it will be featuring new ticket offers for the Games on “Ticketing Thursdays”:

“Every Thursday from 10am CEST, Paris 2024 will be selling new tickets for the Olympic Games. These tickets will come either from places that had been allocated on a quota basis, pending the finalisation of the capacity of the various competition venues, or from places that had been reserved for various stakeholders involved in the Games. …

“To kick off this operation, over 40,000 tickets will be released on Thursday, 30 May, from 10 am CEST, including 30,000 in sports or category seats that are currently sold out.

“Tickets will be on sale across artistic gymnastics, rugby sevens, beach volleyball, basketball, skateboarding, BMX racing, 3X3 basketball, handball, athletics, water polo, boxing, wrestling, and many more!”

The statement also noted that 1,000 tickets for the Olympic opening would also be available.

A social-media-promoted “protest” tagged “#JeChieDansLaSeineLe23Juin” is calling for people to defecate in the Seine River on 23 June – the same day that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would swim in the river after the city’s enormous overflow reservoir to reduce pollutants was opened earlier this year.

French President Emmanuel Macron also said he would swim in the river prior to the Olympic Games, but has not said when or where.

● Olympic Games 2036 ● The Spanish site Relevo posted a story on Tuesday stating that a deal is being worked out between the IOC and Qatar for the hosting of the 2036 Olympic Games, claiming:

“As Relevo has learned, members with weight in the International Olympic Committee confirm that the Qatari candidacy will be the one chosen to the detriment of the other cities that have shown interest in organizing the event.”

The story identified and quoted no sources, and is quite incredible, since – like the 2022 FIFA World Cup – the event would need to take place near the end of the year due to the hot climate in the Gulf region. That is a non-starter for U.S. broadcasters and most European broadcasters, who are both deeply involved in football (both kinds), basketball and hockey at that time.

Oh yes, NBC’s contract for the U.S. Olympic television rights ends after the 2032 Games in Brisbane. The IOC itself has said that no procedures toward naming a 2036 host would come until 2026 or 2027.

● Olympic Winter Games 2026: Milan Cortina ● The Milan Cortina 2026 organizers are not working on a back-up plan – they say – as the construction of the controversial new sliding track continues in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The project, begun in February, must be essentially completed in time for pre-Olympic testing in March 2025, and while the work continues, there are grave doubts. The Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, however, reported Tuesday that:

“A first step of control over the timetable, also wanted by the IOC, is scheduled for the end of June. Yet, no later than a month ago, the managers of the existing tracks in Lake Placid (USA), Saint Moritz (Switzerland) and Innsbruck (Austria) were contacted again.”

● Pan American Games 2027: Lima ● The hosting contract for the 2027 Pan American Games in Lima was finalized and signed in the Peruvian capital city by Panam Sports chief Neven Ilic (CRC) and Peru’s President, Dina Boluarte.

The city of Lima and the Peruvian Olympic Committee were also signatories to the agreement. Said Boluarte:

“They are the most important sports games on the continent, through which discipline, fraternity, cultural exchange and solidarity are promoted between participating nations. They are also a platform for disseminating the image of Lima and Peru internationally and a driver of the national economy.

“These Games will provide sporting growth for more than 9,000 athletes and for athletes, and in the face of this challenge, their realization requires the support and joint work of all the competent authorities. The contract signed today is palpable proof of the commitment we have with Lima 2027 and the guarantee that this event will be a total success.”

Peru won over Asuncion (PAR) for the re-award of the Games in March in part because it successfully hosted the 2019 Pan American Games and has limited construction needs for a second Pan Ams in eight years.

● Russia ● Alexey Klimov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department is warning any Russians planning to travel to the Olympic Games in Paris to beware:

“As for the possibility of provocations against Russian citizens, unfortunately, it should be taken into account when deciding to travel to France. The current French authorities are pursuing a generally unfriendly course towards our country, and the French media are deeply affected by aggressive Russophobia, which cannot but have a negative impact on the general atmosphere in France towards Russia and its citizens..

“As for the Olympic Games, I would like to remind you that French representatives have repeatedly declared a ban on the demonstration of Russian symbols at the Games.

“So far it is still hard to say how meticulously this ban will be implemented, for example, not in the stadiums, but on city streets, however, we cannot exclude the worst.”

● Archery ● Sad news of the death of Richard “Butch” Johnson, a member of the U.S. men’s miracle gold-medal team at Atlanta 1996.

A five-time Olympian in 1992-96-2000-04-08, he passed at age 68, and had a major impact on the sport in the U.S. He was also part of the Sydney 2000 men’s Team bronze for the U.S. and was a member of the Team gold winners at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro BRA).

He was remembered fondly by his Atlanta teammate, the 1996 individual gold medalist, Justin Huish:

“Butch was a fierce competitor, never wanted to share any of his trade secrets, and could care less if he embarrassed you on the field. He just wanted to beat you and win!!!

“However, there was this other side of Butch that shined brighter than any of his archery achievements did. He was one of the funniest [guys] you’ve ever been around. I never laughed so hard when he got rolling. He was also really caring, kind, supportive, and all things like that. The list would be way too long for this post.

“Truly one of a kind. I feel blessed to have returned back to archery at the exact time I did. His last tournament was my first tournament back at Nationals 2019. We shot the same score the first day and were paired up on the same target the last day. I got to shoot with him again which I am grateful for. Especially being his last time scoring at a tournament.”

Johnson stayed with the sport his entire life, managing the Hall’s Arrow Indoor Range and shop in Connecticut and still competing locally. He is survived by his wife Teresa.

● Athletics ● Another doping sanction against a champion athlete, this time of Brazilian vaulter Thiago Braz, the Rio 2016 upset men’s champion and a home-country highlight of that Games.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced Tuesday that he has been suspended “for 16 months for the presence of ostarine glucuronide which the athlete said he consumed through sports supplements containing the banned substance.”

Braz, now 30 and the bronze medalist from Tokyo in 2021, tested positive on 2 July 2023 at the Bauhaus Galan meet in Stockholm (SWE), and was provisionally suspended on 28 July. He is now banned through 27 November 2024. The AIU wanted a four-year ban, but the hearing panel felt Braz was not completely reckless in his use of the supplements, having used them under medical supervision. The AIU could appeal the ruling.

Braz has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as the sanction would remove him from the Paris Olympic Games.

The AIU also announced sanctions against Kenyan distance runner Josephine Chepkoech – also known as Jepkoech – “for 7 years from 7 May 2024, for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Testosterone). DQ results from 18 February, 2024.”

She has a marathon best of 2:22:38 for a runner-up finish at the Sevilla Marathon in February, at which she tested positive. She had previously served a suspension from March 2015 to 2017 for use of Norandrosterone, extending her ban as a two-time offender.

Spanish steeplechaser Abderrahim Ougra – also reported to have run for Morocco – was provisionally suspended for “Evading, Refusing or Failing to submit to Sample Collection.” He’s run 8:24.76 in 2023.

● Cycling ● Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez, 30, who has won stages at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, was suspended for four years by the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal.

He was found to be using the banned peptide hormone Menotropin during the 2022 Giro d’Italia and has not ridden in a UCI World Tour event since 2022 and not at all in 2024. The ban’s effective date as 23 July 2023. The International Testing Agency noted:

“The disciplinary proceeding was initiated following an investigation conducted by the ITA based on evidence obtained from the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Spanish Anti-Doping Organisation (CELAD) in the so-called Operation ‘Ilex’ concerning Dr Marcos Maynar.”

The decision is appealable to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

● Fencing ● USA Fencing will be happy if you watch some or all of the action on the pistes from Paris. But it also wants you to try out an Epee, Foil or Sabre yourself.

The federation announced its “Fencing Across America” initiative for 25 July to 4 August this summer at 16 marquee locations across the U.S. in 12 metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The venues include Grand Central Terminal in New York, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Union Station in D.C. and so on.

You’ll be able to pick up a weapon and understand what it feels like:

“Each site will be staffed by local club owners, with fencers from these clubs ready to demonstrate fencing techniques, answer questions and guide newcomers. In some cities, these ‘coaches’ may even include Olympians and Olympic coaches who are not competing or coaching in Paris.”

● Gymnastics ● London 2012 Olympic All-Around champion Gabby Douglas withdrew from this week’s USA Gymnastics National Championships, due to an ankle injury suffered in training this week.

The withdrawal ends her pursuit of an Olympic berth for Paris, already a long shot after a difficult result – with two falls – on the Uneven Bars at the Core Hydration Classic. Now 28, she said she plans to continue competing with her eyes now on Los Angeles 2028.

● Swimming ● Three-time Olympic champion and twice banned for doping, China’s Yang Sun told the Chinese site The Paper on Tuesday that he wants to return to competition.

He won’t be in Paris as he missed the Chinese trials due to his four-year ban that ended this month and Chinese regulations do not allow those with sanctions of a year or more to be on national teams. But at 32, he wants to get back into the water:

“I hope to be able to select a competition soon enough and stand on the starting block, getting back to the pool I was familiar with, getting back to the feeling that I was familiar with.

“I’m proud enough of all the results and honours I’ve achieved throughout my career. At the moment I just hope I can bravely stand on the starting block.”

● Weightlifting ● Bad news for Ukraine, as the International Testing Agency announced confirmed doping sanctions against three lifters: Ruslan Kozhakin, Bohdan Taranenko and Alina Marushchak.

Kozhakin (seventh at the 2021 Worlds at 89 kg) and Taranenko (+109 kg class) tested positive on 27 October 2022 for trimetazidine, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed the results on 24 May 2024 and imposed a ban of four years from 2 December 2022, reduced by six months for cooperation.

Marushchak, the 2021 World Champion at 91 kg, tested positive on 10 March 2023 for the prohibited substance hydrochlorothiazide and under a plea agreement, was banned for two years from 13 April 2023.

Under the rules of the International Weightlifting Federation, a country is subject to fine, suspension and removal of qualified athletes for three or more positives in a 12-month period. Ukraine has qualified one lifter, Kamila Konotop, the 2023 Worlds women’s 59 kg silver medalist, for Paris; the matter has been turned over to the IWF’s Independent Member Federation Sanctioning Panel for review.

● Wrestling ● United World Wrestling’s Appeal Committee reported back on the claims of bias in the Olympic qualifier tournament 74 kg semifinal match between Italian star Frank Chamizo and Turan Byramov (AZE):

“After carefully considering the statements from the refereeing officials involved (Mr. Alexei Bazulin, Mr. Roman Pavlov, Mr. Ibrahim Cicioglu, Mr. Kamel Bouaziz, and Mr. Casey Goessl), the reports of the two review panels, and the opinions of impartial refereeing experts, the Appeal Committee concluded that there was no indication of bias in the officiating of the match. The issues identified were determined to be related to refereeing errors and technical aspects of officiating.”

Chamizo apparently scored a final takedown that would have given him the match (then at 8-8), but an appeal from the Azerbaijan coaches was upheld and the match ended with Byramov winning on criteria, and qualifying for Paris 2024.

The UWW Disciplinary Chamber, in response, reduced all of the sanctions imposed on the five officials involved.

Two-time World Champion Chamizo said he was offered $300,000 to lose this match, but did not take the bribe. No word on any further developments concerning his accusation. Chamizo did not end up qualifying for Paris 2024.

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