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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. Olympic Truce adopted 118-0-2 by United Nations
2. Stockholm endorses Swedish 2030 Winter Olympic bid
3. Salt Lake City pushes case for 2034 Winter Games selection
4. WADA files against Russia, South Africa at Court of Arbitration
5. U.S. men lose to Trinidad & Tobago, but advance in Nations Cup
● The Olympic Truce was approved by the United Nations on Tuesday by 118-0, with two abstentions from Russia and Syria. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called the 2024 Games “our modest contribution to peace.”
● The City of Stockholm endorsed the Swedish bid for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games, but made no formal guarantees on funding, as all three candidates for 2030 – France, Sweden and Switzerland – made presentations to the IOC Future Host Commission.
● Salt Lake City also presented its case, preferably for 2034, led by Utah Governor Spencer Cox, who told the Future Host Commission they can be confident that an excellent Games will be delivered.
● The World Anti-Doping Agency filed actions with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against Russia and South Africa, both of which are considered non-compliant due to inconsistencies between national legislation and the World Anti-Doping Code. A new campaign has been started in Europe against the use of steroids for cosmetic reasons.
● The U.S. men’s National Team lost to Trinidad & Tobago on the road on Monday, 2-1, having to play the last 51-plus minutes with 10 men due to a red card against defender Sergino Dest. However, the combined score of their two matches was 4-2 for the U.S. and sent the Americans on to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations Cup next March.
● World Championships: Football (Germany beats U.S., 3-2, heads to quarters at FIFA men’s U-17 World Cup) ●
● Panorama: Deaflympics (U.S. to skip Winter Deaflympics in Turkey over security concerns) = Russia (2: FEI to allow Russian and Belarus “neutrals”; Bach and Pozdnyakov feud over Friendship Games) = On Screen: (steady audience for ISU Grand Prix figure skating in Finland) = Athletics (2: Mboma set to return after lowering testosterone; Title IX suit against Huntington University dismissed, but open for refiling) = Cricket (ICC bans transgender women) = Ice Hockey (NHLPA head does not see Russian players in 2025 nations tournament) ●
● Schedule: This is Thanksgiving Week in the U.S., so The Sports Examiner will appear again on Friday. Happy holidays! ●
Olympic Truce adopted 118-0-2 by United Nations
The Olympic Truce resolution for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, introduced by France, was approved on Tuesday at the United Nations by a 118-0 vote, with two abstentions.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach (GER) reiterated his belief in the Olympic Games as a symbol for peace, including:
“In this fragile world, this Olympic Truce Resolution is more relevant than ever. In these difficult times, this resolution is our opportunity to send an unequivocal signal to the world – yes, we can come together, even in times of wars and crises. Yes, we can join hands and work together for a better future. …
“The Olympic Games can contribute to this noble goal. Because the Olympic Games are the only event that brings the entire world together in peaceful competition. The Olympic athletes send the powerful message that: yes, it is possible to compete fiercely against each other and at the same time live peacefully together under one roof.
“This is our modest contribution to peace.”
The resolution itself included the call to action:
“Urges Member States to observe the Olympic Truce individually and collectively, within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations, throughout the period from the seventh day before the start of the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad until the seventh day following the end of the XVII Paralympic Games, to be held in Paris in 2024, in particular, to ensure the safe passage, access and participation of athletes, officials and all other accredited persons taking part in the Games of the Olympiad and the Paralympic Games, and to contribute through other appropriate measures to the safe organization of the Games.”
That creates the Olympic Truce period for 2024 from 19 July – seven days prior to the Olympic opening – to 15 September 2024, seven days after the close of the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.
The modern “Olympic Truce” is designed to parallel the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, where a truce was called during the Games to ensure safe passage and participation for athletes and officials to and from Olympia. The IOC called for a revival of the Truce in 1992 and it was implemented for the first time for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer (NOR).
Bach’s address was preceded by Russian representative Maria Zabolotskaya, who told the delegates the IOC’s conditions on Russian participation were “completely unacceptable” and “the height of hypocrisy and cynicism the likes of which we have not seen in recent history has been the illegal barring of Russian athletes from international sporting competitions.”
Russia and Syria abstained on the resolution vote. The Ukrainian delegation asked that Russian and Belarusian athletes be banned from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and pointed to prior Russian violations of the Olympic Truce in 2008 (against Georgia) and 2014 (against Ukraine by occupying the Crimea).
Stockholm endorses Swedish 2030 Winter Olympic bid
“Events such as the Winter Olympic and Paralympic games are beneficial for Stockholm and its people. They contribute to tourism, promote business, create jobs and community, and inspire young people to discover the diversity of sport. Now that we are submitting our municipal guarantee, our message is that the event will be carried out in a climate-wise, economically and socially sustainable manner.”
That’s Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanngard on Tuesday, in a statement following the agreement of the Stockholm City Council to support the Swedish nation-wide bid for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games.
The statement, however, was not unlimited, and included:
“The municipal guarantee is to be regarded as an expression of will on the part of the City to participate in and support the continued candidacy and to cooperate with the relevant authorities and actors. The decision does not include any financial commitments and is conditional that the [national] government provides financial and other necessary guarantees.”
The IOC’s Future Host Commission was in discussions with all three 2030 Olympic Winter bidders – France, Sweden and Switzerland – on Tuesday, ahead of the IOC Executive Board meetings next week in Paris. A briefing on the 2030 Winter bids is scheduled for 29 November (Wednesday), with a news conference to follow.
The IOC has approved the awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games at the same time, and an announcement of which of the 2030 bids will move forward could come on Wednesday. Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, is the prohibitive favorite to be selected for “targeted dialogue” towards a formal award next year for the 2034 Winter Games.
Salt Lake City pushes case for 2034 Winter Games selection
Utah Governor Spencer Cox headlined the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games delegation that met with the IOC Future Host Commission by videoconference on Tuesday, promoting their already well-received bid, preferably for the 2034 Olympic Winter Games.
Cox told the Deseret News afterwards:
“Utah is a place where they can have confidence that not only can we pull off a Games, but we can focus on the things that matter. …
“The first time you do an Olympics, it’s all about just surviving, just making sure it all works and the events happen. We don’t have to worry about that. We know we can already do it, which means we get to focus on bigger and better things.”
He told KSL Newsradio:
“I made a promise to them [the IOC] that in 2034, no matter how crazy and chaotic the world is, that Utah will be a place where people can seek refuge where people can come together, where you can unify.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, up for election on Tuesday for a second term, stressed the bid’s focus on “driving sustainable change” for the future, and felt that the group’s message was well received by the Commission.
Fraser Bullock, the Chief Operating Officer for the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC), and head of the current bid, was enthusiastic about the meeting:
“What a fantastic day. This is the culmination of years and years of work. … Our strategy has always been to stay ahead of the process, to be incredibly prepared, so they see they can count on us.”
The Salt Lake City bid group has gone well beyond what the IOC would ordinarily expect at this stage, not simply providing a plan and show community support, but formalizing the necessary government guarantees and signing up the competition and support sites, paving the way to an easy award of the Games by the IOC in 2024.
The IOC’s process, however, progresses in stages, with Salt Lake City stating its preference for 2034, but would accept 2030 if the IOC feels that none of the late-entry candidates for 2030 are worthy. That appears unlikely and there are high hopes that the IOC Executive Board will announce that Salt Lake City will enter a “targeted dialogue” phase to finalize its award of the 2034 Winter Games.
WADA files against Russia, South Africa at Court of Arbitration
The World Anti-Doping Agency agreed in September to hold Russia and South Africa as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code in view of the non-alignment of its national anti-doping legislation with the Code.
Unsurprisingly, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has disputed the WADA holding of non-compliance, triggering a filing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to enforce the Code. However, the filing also tolls the compliance requirements and any penalties until the case is completed.
South Africa’s national anti-doping organization is in the same situation and has objected to WADA’s declaration of non-compliance and a filing was made by WADA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a determination.
The consequences of the non-compliance holding include, among other things, no hosting of major events and no use of the national flag at the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games or continental or regional Games, or world championships.
On Monday, WADA announced a campaign co-funded by the European Union against the use of steroids for cosmetic purposes.
The “#Natural Is Enough” project has engaged a group of social-media influencers – three in Great Britain and one each in Germany, Italy and Spain – to push back against the use of steroids in everyday life:
“While the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) stated in its ‘2020 Status Report on Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs’ that males between the ages of 20 and 24 were found to be the main users of steroids, the problem affects most age groups and demographics.
“The Report added that 34% of the gym-goers surveyed in one study said they were aware of image and performance enhancing drug use in their gym or club, demonstrating that the problem is moving beyond the sporting environment.
“Over half of those who admitted to steroid use said they did so for cosmetic reasons, largely to mimic the beach-body images and other unrealistic ideals disseminated in popular culture via social media, TV, and other outlets. Others admitted using steroids to enhance their sport performance or to increase strength for the purposes of non-competitive bodybuilding.”
U.S. men lose to Trinidad & Tobago, but advance in Nations Cup
The U.S. men’s National Team went into Monday’s game with Trinidad & Tobago in Port-of-Spain with a three-goal edge from last week first leg of their home-and-home CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal.
As it turned out, they needed the cushion, although it didn’t start that way. As with the first match, the U.S. offense got started right away and after a couple of excellent saves by T&T keeper Denzil Smith, got a score in the 25th minute.
Defender Sergino Dest, open on the right side of the pitch, sent a perfect cross into the middle of the box, where defender Antonee Robinson had moved for a sharp header that rocketed into the net for the 1-0 lead.
But disaster struck the U.S. in the 39th, as Dest kicked the ball away after the referee signaled a Trinidad & Tobago throw-in for a yellow card and then got a second yellow for arguing about the booking. That disqualified him for the rest of the game, for the Nations League semifinal and left the Americans with 10 men for the remainder of the match: more than 51 minutes.
It did not take long for the home team to take advantage, as midfielder Reon Moore took a long pass from defender Alvin Jones on the right side, then Moore dribbled closer and scored past U.S. keeper Matt Turner on a right-side shot that cleared the near post.
The halftime tie was broken with the winning Trinidad & Tobago goal in the 57th, as Jones slammed a free kick from beyond the box that swerved into the top left corner of the U.S. goal, just off of Turner’s fingertips, for a 2-1 lead.
Trinidad & Tobago got off four more shots, but could not score again; four yellow cards were handed out from the 77th minute on as the game became increasingly physical. The match ended with 50% possession for both teams and 10 shots apiece.
The combined score of the two legs was 4-2 for the U.S. and moves them into the CONCACAF Nations League semis next March, and qualifies the team for the 2024 Copa America.
They will be joined by Panama, which beat Costa Rica, 3-1, in Panama City to win both legs with a 6-1 goals total, and Jamaica, which beat Canada in Toronto, 3-2 on a 78th-minute penalty by Bobby Decordiva-Reid and ended up in a goals-scored tie at 4-4, but won on away goals (3).
Honduras stunned Mexico, 2-0, in the first leg in Tegucigalpa, and had held the Mexico to a 1-0 lead into stoppage time at a rainy Estadio Azteca on Tuesday, then Edson Alvarez scored on a wild exchange in front of the Honduran net at 90+11 to tie the match and the standings between the teams.
The game had 28 fouls and seven yellow cards in regulation, with Mexico taking 32 shots to just four for Honduras. The Hondurans suffered a red card at the end of regulations and another at 115 minutes, but managed to hold Mexico scoreless in extra time (despite 36-5 on shots), so the decision went to penalties. Honduran keeper Edrick Menjivar stopped two Cesar Huerta shots in the fourth round, but was called both times for moving early, then Huerta scored for a 4-2 lead and after Andy Najar’s shot for Honduras went wide, Mexico survived and advances.
≡ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
● Football ● Undefeated Germany led the qualifiers for the FIFA men’s U-17 World Cup quarterfinals in Indonesia with a 3-2 win over the U.S., thanks to an 87th-minute game-winner from Bilal Yalcinkaya.
The Germans (4-0) will now face Spain, a 2-1 winner over Japan on a 74th-minute goal by Marc Guiu. The winner will play either Brazil – a 3-1 winner over Ecuador – or Argentina, which defeated Venezuela, 5-0.
In the upper bracket, Mali crushed Mexico, 5-0, and Morocco edged Iran, 4-1, on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie thanks to a goal by Nassim Azaouzi at 90+4! They will play on the 25th.
The last two round-of-16 games will be played Wednesday, with undefeated France (3-0) facing Senegal and England taking on Uzbekistan, with the winners also to meet on Saturday.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Deaflympics ● The forthcoming XX Winter Deaflympics in Erzurum (TUR) is too close to the Hamas-Israeli conflict in Gaza and the Hezbollah-Israeli situation in Lebanon for the United States to send a team for the event, slated for 2-12 February. Tuesday’s announcement included:
“Over the past seven months, USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) has been in frequent communication with the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) to coordinate our planning efforts for the United States delegation to the 20th Winter Deaflympics. During this span, USADSF has repeatedly stressed the urgency of timely and thorough information. However, despite our best efforts, we were unable to receive satisfactory responses to our questions and concerns in a timely manner, nor were we able to receive timely confirmation of venues and schedules. The decision to move the location of the event earlier this month further exacerbated and reinforced these concerns.
“Although the ICSD released additional details earlier this month on the new location in Erzurum, this information came far too late and without sufficient assurance for USADSF and to ensure our participation. The persistent lack of timely and reliable information in accordance with the Deaflympics Regulations have created significant financial, logistical, and security challenges that could no longer be tolerated. These factors have led USADSF and our National Sport Organizations to make difficult decisions about how much risk we are willing to carry and how much security – financial and otherwise – we are willing to compromise. Thus, based on the information available to us, the USADSF has determined that the United States will not participate in the 20th Winter Deaflympics.”
Canada withdrew from the event on 15 November, citing “The current geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East has left us with limited choices.”
● Russia ● The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) Board, meeting in Mexico City last Saturday, agreed to lift its prohibition on Russian and Belarusian competitors:
“Whilst the sanctions prohibiting international competitions to be held in Russia and Belarus are to remain in place, the FEI Board decided to lift protective measures to allow future participation of Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials as neutrals. The conditions and timeline for implementation will be put forward for approval by the FEI Board during a teleconference in December 2023.
“The FEI Headquarters was tasked by the Board with establishing the conditions and timeline allowing individual Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials to resume participation in FEI Events as neutrals. In the meantime, Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials remain ineligible to participate in FEI Events.”
Most of the International Federations are allowing some participation by Russians and Belarusian as neutrals, following the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee, which has urged this status. Some federations, such as the International Surfing Association and World Athletics, have said no and maintain a full ban.
IOC President Bach was asked about the planned Friendship Games in Russia next September after his appearance for the Olympic Truce resolution and explained there are no plans to do anything about at this time:
“We are not there yet. We heard about the plans for organizing these Friendship Games by the president of the Russian Federation and by the Russian government. And the IOC, as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency made their position very clear.
“Our sports events have to be organized by sports organizations and they have to respect the rules of sports organizations. And this is the contribution we are making right now in the discussion about such potential games, but again, we are not there yet. Therefore, it would be premature to discuss any consequences. So, there are all the options.”
Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov told the Russian news agency TASS:
“The Friendship Games are organized as a multi-sport event, the purpose and objective of which is the opportunity for athletes who were unfairly excluded from participation in competitions to perform in a well-organized, well-paid event.
“In the current situation, this is not only an obligation of the country’s sports leadership to give our athletes the opportunity to practice on conditions similar to the Olympic ones. The conditions put forward by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are unfair and illegal.”
● On Screen ● Figure skating fans continued to watch the ISU Grand Prix, with an average of 690,000 viewers on NBC on Sunday for a highlights package at 4 p.m. Eastern, directly again the NFL late window.
This was actually the second-best audience of the season, behind only the 699,000 who tuned in for Skate America highlights on 22 October. The ISU Grand Prix “regular season” ends this weekend in Japan for the NHK Trophy.
Last Thursday’s first match between the U.S. men and Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF Nations League quarters drew 348,000 on TNT at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, but 869,000 in Spanish on Telemundo!
The first-leg Honduras vs. Mexico match on Friday on Spanish-language TUDN had 598,000 viewers on average.
● Athletics ● Namibian Christine Mboma, the Tokyo 2021 Olympic 200 m silver medalist, is now planning to return to competition. According to The Namibian:
“Head coach Henk Botha on Tuesday confirmed that the world athletic governing body has decided to allow Mboma to compete in the 100m and 200m events, but not in the 400m, 800m and 1 500m.
“‘She will only be able to compete in the other events in a year and a half from now,’ he said.
“Botha said the sprinter’s testosterone level has been lowered to an acceptable level to World Athletics.”
Mboma, who has a high testosterone level, is subject to the World Athletics rules on women with “differences in sex development,” requiring the lowering of levels to 2.5 nmol/L for a minimum of 24 months. She last competed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, winning the bronze in the women’s 200 m.
The Title IX sexual abuse suit filed by former Huntington University runners Emma Wilson, Hannah Stoffel and Erin Manchess, which also alleged a doping program run by former coach Nicholas Johnson, was dismissed by Judge Holly Brady of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
However, the suit was not dismissed with prejudice and Brady allowed the plaintiffs until 6 December to re-file an amended complaint which includes other, necessary elements of a Title IX suit. She also dismissed 22 counts which alleged Indiana state law claims, which can also be re-filed in state court.
The case was originally filed in September 2022, with an amended complaint filed in December.
● Cricket ● Ahead of its debut at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the International Cricket Council announced Tuesday new regulations which bar men-to-women transgenders from playing in international matches who have gone through male puberty.
The ICC statement noted:
“It is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion. The regulations will be reviewed within two years.”
The move sidelines Canadian batter Danielle McGahey, reported to be the first transgender play in the sport, who competed in a T20 qualifying series against Brazil in September.
The ICC move parallels similar regulations in aquatics, athletics, cycling, rugby and other sports.
● Ice Hockey ● Asked on a podcast if Russian players will be allowed to participate in the National Hockey League’s planned 2025 national-team tournament, NHL Players Association Executive Director Marty Walsh said, “Probably not.”
The tournament is still in the formative stages, but hockey powerhouses Finland and Sweden are dead-set against Russian participation with the Russian invasion against Ukraine continuing. Added Walsh:
“There’s a bigger issue at play here. You have other federations that won’t allow other players to play in the tournament. You have to take all of that into account. …
“I’m going to support my guys. It’s a really complicated situation. It’s complicated but yet very unfortunate. It’s an awful situation, you think about trying to separate sport from what’s happening in the world and it’s really complicated right now.”
Walsh noted that the tournament concept at present is for only NHL players to participate, as there is no agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to bring in other players.
For our updated, 850-event International Sports Calendar (no. 4) for 2023 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!