TSX REPORT: IOC’s Dubi says Salt Lake bid “has it all”; Malaysia offered £100 million to host 2026 Commonwealths; Pan Am Games decision Tuesday!

Cross Country star Jessie Diggins: the first American to be awarded Norway's Holmenkollen Medal! (Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

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1. Dubi: Salt Lake City “has it all” for 2034 as April inspection readied
2. IOC to examine taking on more of the Games post-Paris
3. Malaysia offered £100 million to host Commonwealth ‘26
4. WADA vigilant on Russian, Belarusian testing
5. Swimming Australia asking for new 2032 swim center

● The International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission will visit Salt Lake City in April, reviewing the already-impressive bid for the 2034 Olympic Winter Games, and re-checking the venues used for the successful 2002 Winter Games.

● The IOC’s Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi, explained that a review is made after each Games to determine if there are areas which the IOC can do itself, in place of the host organizing committee. One major test is used to decide whether to move forward.

● The Commonwealth Games Federation has offered Malaysia £100 million as a subsidy to take over the 2026 Commonwealth Games, abandoned last year by the Australian state of Victoria. A government study on the practicality of staging the event is underway.

● The World Anti-Doping Agency reiterated its concerns over Russian and Belarusian athletes allowed to participate at Paris 2024, promising to continue testing, especially at competitions attended outside of the country.

● With a government report on Brisbane 2032 infrastructure spending due next week, Swimming Australia asks for the planned new, publicly-funded arena to be scrapped in favor of a national swimming center.

Spotlight: Pan American Games (2027 host to be decided Tuesday) ●

Panorama: Paris 2024 (S&P Global says Games will have no impact on French finances) = U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (58 medical staff and volunteers to support Team USA in Paris) = Athletics (AIU imposes new testing requirements on four countries) = Boxing (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan lead World Qualifiers) = Cross Country Skiing (Diggins receives Holmenkollen medal) = Football (Shaw named best player at CONCACAF W Gold Cup) = Speed Skating (Stolz sets world scoring record for Allround Champs) = Weightlifting (2: USA Weightlifting post-Paris stipend policy published; two more retired Russian lifters sanctioned) ●

Dubi: Salt Lake City “has it all” for 2034 as April inspection readied

Next month’s visit to Salt Lake City by the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games was previewed on Monday during a media briefing with Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi (SUI) acknowledging that Salt Lake City “has it all.”

Nevertheless, the visit is designed to be more than perfunctory and to confirm that the bid plan, to host a 2034 Olympic Winter Games using essentially the venues from the 2002 Winter Games, is valid. The IOC’s Director for Future Olympic Games Hosts, Jacqueline Barrett (GBR), explained:

“We’re going to be looking at all aspects covered by the [bid] questionnaire. The ‘why’: why does Salt Lake, Utah, want to host the Games again? The alignment with Olympic Agenda 2020 and 2020+5, and including the alignment with local socio-economic development plans.

“Ultimately, we want to see that every partner we’re going to be hosting the Games with has the same objectives and the same vision we do and that we can be working together to achieve this.”

Barrett also emphasized the sustainability aspects of the plan, before and after the Games, and political support at the local, State and national levels.

Asked about the Olympic use of a possible future new arena and a possible new baseball park in Salt Lake City, possibly to be built with public funds, Barrett said “If it’s there, we could use it” but noted that the visit will “look at the plan for today.” Dubi added:

“We have to be extremely clear. Those two venues, we cannot put them on the Games, or if you put it differently, at no point in time should these venues be conditional upon being part of the Games.

“We don’t want any of these venues to say, ‘OK, now, we need to develop the MLB [park], the NHL [arena] or whatever purpose because they’re going to serve for the Games as well. That needs to be very clear. …

“We need to be opportunistic and flexible, if these venues do make sense because they have been built in the meantime, great. If it can be used by the organizing committee, even better. But let’s not create the link between investment in these venues and their necessity for the Olympic Games.”

The 10-13 April tour will be followed by an online presentation by the French Alps 2030 bid and the Salt Lake City 2034 bid to all IOC members and the winter-sport International Federations in May or June. The IOC Executive Board will decide at its 11-14 June meeting whether to forward one or both bids to the IOC Session in July prior to the Paris Games for final approval.

Dubi noted that a major difference in the Salt Lake City bids for the 2002 Games and now for the 2034 Games, explaining “now we go in the context that they did it once. And that’s a major difference. They have done it before, they are not first-timers, and it’s a totally different ballgame. I really like this feeling, now go back to some of the greatest experts: they’ve been there, done that. They’ve been successful, they know the recipe.

“And yes, it’s a long time ago, but guess what: the logic of organizing the event and delivering the event remains the same. So, we go and we speak, probably from experts to experts, and this is a very good feeling.”

Dubi emphasized the IOC Future Host Commission’s concerns over the future conditions:

“We all have to look for solutions of delivering an event in what will be a warmer temperature and climate. But what we know in Salt Lake City and this is most important when we look at all the projections is that it is a region that is really climate-reliable for a very long period of time.”

Asked about possible new events for 2034 – Milan Cortina added ski mountaineering for 2026 – Dubi said there is no formal protocol at this stage, but discussions could be started: “This is a process that now is fairly flexible, but in the future and for sports, we should keep that same flexibility as well.”

IOC to examine taking on more of the Games post-Paris

As the IOC’s Executive Director of the Olympic Games since 2014, Dubi has seen the organization of the Games change, with the IOC itself taking charge or more and more functions, leading to questions about whether it will simply organize the Games by itself, as FIFA is doing for the 2026 World Cup.

Asked about what future functions the IOC might be running by the time of the Salt Lake City Winter Games in 2034, he explained the ongoing thought process already underway:

“The answer is, after every edition of the Games, we have to look back and this is Paris now, and say, ‘could it be more efficient and would it be more efficient if it would have been delivered by the IOC or a partner of the IOC?’

“We have taken, for example – and this will happen in the next few days – the entire digital environment from Paris. The Games-time Web and all the applications will be developed by the IOC and operated by the IOC. So this is, to some extent, piggy-backing on what we do for the Olympic Broadcasting Services, that is very successful.

“Now it’s not always the case that the IOC would better than an organizing committee, for one reason: if the context is more important than the risk it entails to develop a new solution, it’s always better locally.

“So what we’re thinking about constantly is, if we do it, it’s because it’s fully repeatable, and some areas – like technology for example – it makes sense either to own or buy from the market for several editions of the Games. And you mentioned ticketing, you have hospitality, where we have also now the same provider [OnLocation] for three Games.

“But it’s not always the case. Sometimes, it’s really better that the local context is developing those solutions. So, this is what we always what we try to find: a balance between what is more efficient, here or in the local context, and in the end, it’s a question of assessing constantly the risks and opportunities involved.

“That’s what makes our jobs fascinating, irrespective of the fact we’ve been here with Jacqueline for decades now, it’s always different because the Games are becoming more sophisticated. I was mentioned [artificial intelligence] before; A.I. is here to stay, including [in] our business. So the games tomorrow will not be the same as the Games yesterday.

“And every context is different between China, France and United States; every time, we have to find out the right balance between here and the organizing committee.”

Malaysia offered £100 million to host Commonwealth ‘26

“The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has offered Malaysia the opportunity to replace Victoria as hosts of the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

“The offer includes significant financial investment of £100 million to support the local delivery and legacy planning of the 2026 edition.

“Following a formal invitation from the CGF to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) as the Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) of Malaysia last month, OCM started discussions with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia on the possibility of staging the 2026 Commonwealth Games following the withdrawal of winning bidder Victoria, Australia last year.”

Monday’s statement is not an agreement to host the Commonwealth Games, but an opportunity, which the Olympic Council of Malaysia now endorses. OCM President Mohamad Norza Zakaria said:

“The CGA Malaysia and CGF have been in discussions regarding the opportunity for Malaysia to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The last time Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games was in 1998, thus CGA Malaysia is of the opinion that the Government of Malaysia should consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – and the associated support and financial investment – which will build on the success of Kuala Lumpur 1998 and put Malaysia back onto the world sporting map.

“With the existing world-class facilities, Malaysia is well-equipped to host an international event of Commonwealth magnitude involving 74 Commonwealth nations and territories. The hosting will involve minimal Government spending and bring significant socio-economic benefits to the country.”

So, the Malaysian government will have to get involved; Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said on Saturday that her ministry is preparing a report for the Malaysian Cabinet, to be delivered in the next few days. This is the first concrete proposal which has surfaced for a new host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The CGF offer of £100 million (about $128.1 million U.S.) represents a little more than half of the A$380 million (about $251.2 million) paid by the Australian state of Victoria after it abandoned the 2026 Commonwealth Games last year.

Malaysia has Commonwealth Games experience, with Kuala Lumpur hosting in 1998, with 3,633 athletes competing in 15 spots and 313 events. The last Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham (ENG), hosted a record 5,054 athletes in 20 sports and 280 events.

WADA vigilant on Russian, Belarusian testing

“WADA remains vigilant and wary when it comes to Russia. We must leave no stone unturned when it comes to ensuring that all the proper education and testing have taken place in advance of Paris. When they gather on the starting line, the athletes of the world want to know that all their competitors, regardless of where they are from, have faced the same pre-Games anti-doping conditions as they have and that they can be reassured the system is protecting them. To achieve this, Anti-Doping Organizations must use every available tool. The athletes of the world are counting on us.”

That’s World Anti-Doping Agency President Witold Banka (POL), in a Friday statement on preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which noted an extensive education program, now completed by 3,299 athletes and coaches.

But a special focus on Russia remains. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency is still non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code, with one issue now headed to a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The statement noted in detail:

“As it relates to athletes from Russia who may be eligible to compete at the Games as neutrals, they too remain subject to proportionate in- and out-of-competition testing. Top athletes from that country are included either on their NADO’s or respective International Federation’s registered testing pools. Between 1 January 2023 and 27 February 2024, RUSADA collected 12,873 samples from Russian athletes in Russia, sending them for analysis to WADA-accredited laboratories located outside of Russia.

“In addition, the ITA and the International Federations have collected 1,232 samples within Russia since the start of 2023, focusing on international-level athletes that are actively competing or bound to participate in high-level events such as the Olympic Games. During the same period Russian athletes training or competing outside of their countries have also been tested by the international authorities.”

WADA also said on Monday that 250 Russian athletes have now been sanctioned for doping offenses based on information retrieved from the infamous Moscow Laboratory in 2019, the facility that was at the center of the state-sponsored doping program from 2011-15.

There are an additional 32 athletes who have been charged with doping, but whose cases are still in process, and another 106 cases under investigation.

Swimming Australia asking for new 2032 swim center

The IOC’s strong preference for future Olympic host cities is to build as little as possible. The Queensland government’s proposal for a multi-billion-dollar refurbishment of The Gabba stadium in Brisbane is now expected to be abandoned, with a report from former Mayor Graham Quirk and an independent review committee due next week.

The Brisbane 2032 plan also calls for a new indoor facility, current identified as the “Brisbane Arena,” a publicly-funded, 17,000-seat venue for concerts and sports, to be built in downtown Brisbane above the Roma Street transit station. Swimming would be held there with temporary pools, and be a highlight venue for the 2032 Games and beyond.

But that doesn’t help Swimming Australia, the national federation for the outstanding Australian team, which posted a statement last Friday, and “renewed calls for the Games to deliver a new permanent aquatic facility.

“Swimming Australia considers plans for temporary pools at the proposed Brisbane Arena are a missed opportunity for the Games to deliver a much-needed, world-class aquatic facility for Brisbane, Queensland and the nation.

“Instead, investment in a new permanent aquatic facility could deliver lasting legacy benefits for swimming, aquatic sports, the broader community and the Queensland economy.”

Swimming Australia provided a seven-page submittal to Quirk’s independent review group that emphasized the usefulness of a new swimming facility for elite and community use, and also asked for consideration of an expansion of Brisbane’s existing swim venue:

“We are also disappointed that plans to refurbish Brisbane Aquatic Centre (Chandler) as a secondary aquatics venue do not include an expansion of that facility to include additional water space, for example a second 50m indoor pool. Further, there is no defined timeline for these planned upgrades, nor a plan to manage the likely dislocation of tenants and users during the construction period.

“Plans to upgrade the Brisbane Aquatic Centre at Chandler are much needed – the venue was originally constructed for the 1982 Commonwealth Games – but these plans will not meet the current or future needs of Swimming Australia in the absence of a separate new permanent aquatic facility.”

The request is for a new venue with two 50 m indoor pools with movable bulkheads and a 25 m training pool, competition and changing rooms, a gymnasium, offices and post-Games seating for 6,000 spectators. No cost figure is attached to the submittal, but the sales pitch points to new aquatics facilities built for the Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The current Los Angeles 2028 venue plan shows swimming in a temporary facility at the University of Southern California.

Quirk’s report next week is expected to review the Brisbane Arena concept and costs compared to other options, including the alternative of creating a facility for Swimming Australia instead of a multi-purpose arena. Or it could propose that neither could be built.


● Pan American Games 2027 ● Panam Sports will convene a special, online General Assembly on Tuesday (12th) to select the host for the 2027 Pan American Games, between 2019 host Lima, Peru and Asuncion, Paraguay.

The program will be streamed live, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern time, with each bidder given 40 minutes for its presentation, followed by the vote.

The 2027 PAG was originally awarded to Barranquilla, Colombia, but recalled due to contract breaches, notably the non-payment of $4 million in host fees.


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● Credit rating agency S&P Global reported Monday its estimate that the public expenditures on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will do no harm to national finances:

“We do not expect the games to weigh significantly on French public-sector entities, including Paris and the central government.”

S&P expects public spending to account for just 28% of the overall cost of the Games, most of which will come from privately-raised funds by the organizing committee.

● U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee ● A medical services team of 18 staff members and 18 volunteer physicians, chiropractors, trainers and technologists will service the expected 850-member American delegation to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The USOPC staff medical team for Paris is led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, and includes athletic trainers (4), medical technologists (2), a Doctor of Chiropractic, two Doctors of Physical Therapy, four Doctors of Psychology, three PhDs in psychological services and a health and exercise science professor.

The volunteer squad includes 11 Medical Doctors, three Doctors of Chiropractic, two athletic trainers and two medical technologists.

A small team of 12 USOPC staff and 10 volunteers will support the U.S. Paralympic Team in Paris. Between the two events, 30 USOPC staff and 28 volunteers will be on the ground in Paris to provide medical services.

● Athletics ● The Athletics Integrity Unit issued a stern statement on Monday, announcing added testing of athletes from Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Portugal:

“The four federations received clear warnings from the AIU about the insufficiency of their national testing programmes after the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Eugene. All four failed to ensure that there was proportionate [out-of-competition] testing for their teams at the following World Athletics Championships in Budapest 2023.”

The World Athletics Council approved a minimum testing regimen for athletes from these countries, including:

(1) “In the ten months prior to 4 July 2024, each athlete must have undergone at least three no notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) including, if they compete in any event from 800m upwards, at least one Athlete Biological Passport test and one EPO test;”

(2) “The three no-notice out-of-competition tests have been conducted at least three weeks apart;”

(3) “The first of the three no-notice out-of-competition tests has been conducted no later than 19 May 2024.”

The sanctions were imposed because the four federations did not step up their out-of-competition testing, in contrast to the Czech Republic and New Zealand, who were also warned and upped their testing regimens significantly.

● Boxing ● The first of two World Qualification Tournaments for Paris 2024, in Busto Arsizio (ITA), saw Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as the big winners, with five Olympic qualifiers each. Italy gained four and Poland had three; no other country had more than two.

The U.S. gained one qualifier: Omari Jones in the men’s 71 kg class. Four others made it to the deciding bout and lost: Roscoe Hill in the men’s 51 kg class (lost, 3-2), Jamar Talley at 92 kg (lost, 5-0), Shera Mae Patricio in the women’s 54 kg (lost, 5-0), and Alyssa Mendoza at 57 kg (lost, 3-2).

A final qualifying tournament will be held in Bangkok (THA) from 23 May to 3 June.

● Cross Country Skiing ● Another signal honor for Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion and current women’s seasonal leader Jessie Diggins of the U.S., as noted by U.S. Ski & Snowboard:

“Today, @jessdiggs became the first American to receive the Holmenkollen Medal – Norwegian skiing’s highest award for competitors.

“Following the completion of the men’s 50k classic, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway presented Jessie with the medal. Historically, the Holmenkollen Medal has been awarded to 162 athletes, across all Nordic disciplines, and signifies top placings in international championships and other international events, including the Holmenkollen!”


● Football ● Beyond the CONCACAF W Gold Cup trophy, won by the U.S. women in a 1-0 victory on Sunday over Brazil, there were individual awards, dominated by the winners:

Best Player: Jaedyn Shaw (USA): four goals
Best Goalkeeper: Alyssa Naeher (USA)
Top Scorer: Adriana Leon (CAN): six goals
Young Player: Olivia Smith (CAN)

The U.S. won the Fair Play Award, and midfield star Lindsey Horan, who scored the championship match goal, had the most shots in the tournament (17) and was also the most fouled player (13).

● Speed Skating ● “I’ve been beaten by a phenomenon.”

That was Dutch four-time Olympic medalist and three-time ISU World Allround Champion Patrick Roest, 28, on the performance of American teen sensation Jordan Stolz, who took his first World Allround title in Inzell (GER) over the weekend.

This is a true test for a speed skater, combining four races over two days over four distances: 500 m, 1,500 m, 5,000 m and 10,000 m. This is the “big combination” and Stolz, 19, set a world scoring mark of 144.740, adding 0.821 points to Roest’s total from the 2019 World Allround at the high altitude of Calgary (CAN).

Added Roest, “He is just incredibly strong, he can handle all distances and he even defeats long distance specialists in their own event. What he does is quite special.”

Stolz became the youngest winner of the Allround since 1977, when 18-year-old American Eric Heiden won, presaging his incredible 1980 Olympic feat of five individual golds in a single Winter Games. Stolz said afterwards: “It’s a really big honor.”

Asked about his strong performances at the longer distances, he explained:

“We’ve trained it in the beginning of the season. Then we did all the World Cups and kind of neglected that aspect, but then when I came here for about two weeks, all I did was laps. I just have a good feel for the lap times.”

However, he does not plan on entering the 5 or 10 by themselves:

“Not while maintaining [my speed] in the 500 m. If I were to just focus on the 5,000 m and the 10,000 m, I could do that, but I don’t think I can do both.”

Not yet, anyway.

● Weightlifting ● USA Weightlifting announced its stipend policy for the post-Paris period of 1 August to 31 December 2024. Athletes in three classes will be supported:

Olympian (November-December): $2,500 per month + up to $800 in services.
Tier 2 (August-December): $2,000 per month + up to $500 in services.
Tier 3 (August-December): $1,000 per month + up to $200 in services.

The Olympian class is limited to three men and three women and includes only Paris 2024 Olympians. A new set of stipends will be determined by July for 2025 and beyond.

Two more former Russian lifters were sanctioned for doping violations based on evidence from the Moscow Laboratory, recovered in January 2019. Soslan Kataev, 33, was the 2016 Russian Championships men’s runner-up in the +105 kg class. Yulia Kachaeva, 33, won the 2009 women’s European Juniors at +75 kg.

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