TSX REPORT: Panam Sports asks for new 2027 Pan Am Games hosts; 193 Ukrainian athletes sign petition to keep Russian war promoters out!

Colorful closing of the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Andres Pina/Santiago 2023 vía Photosport).

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1. Panam Sports asks for Pan Am Games hosts for 2027 by 31 January
2. 193 Ukrainian athletes ask for exclusion of Russian war supporters
3. Russian Olympic Committee appeal vs. IOC coming on 26 January
4. USATF clarifies marathon Olympic selection rules
5. France Alps 2030 and Salt Lake City 2034 already talking

● Panam Sports wasted no time asking for new hosts for the 2027 Pan American Games after removing the event from Colombia last week, asking the other National Olympic Committees in the hemisphere to signal their interest by 30 January. Paraguay appears to be a sure bidder, with possible interest from Brazil and Mexico.

● A letter signed by 193 Ukrainian athletes asks the governments of France and Paris, along with the Paris 2024 organizers, not to allow specific Russian athletes who have supported Russia’s war against Ukraine to participate in this summer’s Olympic Games. Photographs of three athletes at pro-war events were included.

● The Russian Olympic Committee appeal against its suspension by the International Olympic Committee will be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 26 January. The suspension was directly linked to activities connected with the Russian invasion of eastern and southern Ukraine.

● USA Track & Field issued a more detailed selection procedure for the men’s and women’s marathon, with the Trials coming up on 3 February in Orlando. In the new document, issued on 27 December, the federation is freed from having to pick the top three finishers or one or more are not “qualified” on time or ranking.

● The French Alps and Salt Lake City bids were selected for “Targeted Dialogue” with the IOC in late November, an important step in becoming Olympic Winter Games hosts. Just six weeks later, a delegation from one of the French regions involved is visiting the Utah Olympic Park to exchange ideas and possible cooperation.

Panorama: World Anti-Doping Agency (Gabon now complaint with World Anti-Doping Code) = Curling (World Curling now managing governance of Floor Curling) = Football (Brazilian judge restores elected CBF officials) = Swimming (USA Swimming memberships down in 2023, returning in 2024) = Triathlon (29 won $100,000+ in prize money in 2023) ●

Panam Sports asks for Pan Am Games hosts for 2027
by 31 January

Moving on from removing the 2027 Pan American Games from Barranquilla, Colombia last week, Panam Sports President Neven Ilic (CRC) sent a letter last Friday to the other 40 National Olympic Committees in the Americas, asking for expressions of interest to host the 2027 Pan Ams:

“Panam Sports would like to know if your country is interested in hosting the XX Pan American Games in 2027. If you country wishes to host them, you must notify us in writing before January 31, 2024.”

The required documentation to be formally considered includes:

● Letter of intent from the National Olympic Committee.
● Letter of intent from the applying city.
● Letter of intent from the regional government (state or province).

In each case, a promise to respect the Panam Sports rules and an eventual host contract is required. Then there is the most important guarantee:

“A Letter signed by the highest governmental authority of the country in which the Applicant City is located in which the Government guarantees the financing of all costs related to the project of the XX Pan American Games 2027, together with respecting the Panam Sports Constitution, the Regulations of the Pan American Games and any agreements entered into by Panam Sports with the Applicant City and/or the Organizing Committee including, without limitation, the Host City Contract.”

A guarantee of access for athletes, officials and media to the country for purposes of attending the Pan Ams is also required.

While the Colombian government wants to get the Games back, a bid is expected from Paraguay, likely for the national capital of Asuncion. Mexico is also a possible destination, possibly for Guadalajara, which hosted the Pan Ams in 2011. A bid for Brazil for Sao Paulo to be the 2031 host could be moved up to 2027.

193 Ukrainian athletes ask for exclusion of Russian war supporters

A letter was sent Tuesday by a group of 193 Ukrainian athletes to French President Emmanuel Macron, Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and to Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet, asking that specific Russian athletes not be allowed to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games because of war-supporting activities.

This is a new strategy, focusing on the International Olympic Committee’s regulations that Russian or Belarusian athletes who have supported Russian’s ongoing war against Ukraine not be allowed to compete in Paris. The letter specifically calls out three athletes with photographs at rallies:

● Vladislav Larin (taekwondo), Tokyo Olympic men’s +80 kg gold medalist
● Zaurbek Sidakov (wrestling), Tokyo Olympic men’s 74 kg Freestyle gold medalist
● Zair Uguev (wrestling), Tokyo Olympic men’s 57 kg Freestyle gold medalist

It also accuses nine others who “are close to obtaining Olympic licenses,” including Tokyo Taekwondo men’s 80 kg champ Maksim Khramtsov and Freestyle Wrestling men’s 97 kg winner Abdulrashid Sadulaev of complicity with the Russian war effort against Ukraine:

“We insist on not allowing these athletes and cancelling the licenses in these sports. An athlete who promotes war, an athlete who supports the actions of an aggressor country, should not have the right to compete for licenses at the Olympic Games.

“With this letter, we appeal to you to continue your support and advocate for the prohibition of participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in competitions for licenses at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. Such a ban can only strengthen and promote the worthy goals of peace and equality embodied by the Olympic movement and sport in general, and prevent the XXXIII Olympic Games from becoming a propaganda event of the Russian regime. …

“As long as Russian forces bombard Ukraine, targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, and as long as Russian soldiers remain on Ukrainian soil, Russian and Belarusian athletes should not participate in sporting competitions.”

The message is signed by 193 Ukrainian athletes, including Olympic medalists such as Oleg Verniaiev (gymnastics) and Zhan Beleniuk (wrestling), and 2023 World Athletics women’s high jump winner Yaroslava Mahuchikh.

Observed: This is a clever new direction, alleging war support among athletes either qualified for Paris 2024 and close to it, in judo, taekwondo and wrestling. The IOC has said that it will conduct its own review of athletes from Russian and Belarus who are qualified by their respective International Federation before allowing their participation in Paris.

Having lost the battle with the IOC to exclude all Russians, the Ukrainian signatories are asking the French to keep them out, although Macron and Estanguet have emphasized that the question of participation is up to the IOC.

Russian Olympic Committee appeal vs. IOC coming on 26 January

The appeal by the Russian Olympic Committee against its suspension by the International Olympic Committee will be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 26 January.

The suspension, on 12 October 2023, was in response to the Russian takeover of sports organizations that had been part of the Ukraine sports governance system prior to the Russian invasion that began in February 2022. Per the IOC’s announcement:

“The unilateral decision taken by the Russian Olympic Committee on 5 October 2023 to include, as its members, the regional sports organisations which are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine (namely Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia) constitutes a breach of the Olympic Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the NOC of Ukraine, as recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in accordance with the Olympic Charter.”

Being on suspension means that the Russian Olympic Committee receives no IOC funding and will be bypassed in any and all communications with Russian athletes who might be qualified to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The ROC filed the appeal n 6 November.

USATF clarifies marathon Olympic selection rules

A 27 December 2023 revision of the USA Track & Field selection procedures for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team has clarified who can make the team based on the outcome of the 3 February Olympic Marathon Trials.

The key to all of this is the qualifying approach of World Athletics. It has required qualification via difficult entry standards of 2:08:10 for men and 2:26:50 for women since November 2022, or via its “Road to Paris” quota place system, with the top 65 individuals (limited to three per country) considered qualified as of their standing on 30 January 2024. Further, an “unqualified” athlete may replace a “qualified” athlete if the replacement athlete has run 2:11:30 (men) or 2:29:30 (women) in the qualifying window.

Got all that?

With 20 days to go to 30 January, the U.S. has three women’s qualifying spots already reserved on time, with 13 women bettering the 2:26:50 standard. Moreover, 19 American women ran faster than 2:29:30 (so far), allowing them to allow be eligible to compete in Paris.

The men’s situation is tighter, as only two have met the 2:08:10 qualifying standard – Conner Mantz at 2:07.47 and Clayton Young at 2:08:00 – both at the Chicago Marathon. There are 14 more who have run 2:11:30 or better in 2023, and it is possible that a third quota spot would be granted to the U.S. based on the World Athletics World Rankings. Of course, a third spot could come from a U.S. man running 2:08:10 or faster at the Trials race or before.

The prior selection procedure document stated:

“The top three (3) place finishers for both the men and the women at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials – Men’s and Women’s Marathon, February 3, 2024 (the ‘Selection Event’) will select themselves via head-to-head competition for positions on the 2024 Olympic Games Team for the 2024 Olympic Games, provided they are each a Qualified Athlete at the conclusion of the Selection Event.”

Now, the procedure reads differently (strikeouts and emphasis added):

“The top three (3) place finishers for both the men and the women at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials – Men’s and Women’s Marathon, February 3, 2024 (the ‘Selection Event’) will select themselves via head-to-head competition for each of the available U.S. quota positions on the 2024 Olympic Games Team for the 2024 Olympic Games, provided they athletes are each a Qualified Athlete (as defined above) or have achieved at least 2:29:30 (women)/2:11:30 (men) performance during the qualification period, as of at the conclusion of the Selection Event.”

Essentially, this frees USATF from the problem of committing to the top three placers at the Marathon Trials if one or more are not qualified, meaning they have not run 2:11:30 (men) or 2:29:30 (women).

This is specifically noted in a following section, which previously stated:

“[I]f an athlete declines to participate on the Team or is not a Qualified Athlete at the conclusion of the Selection Event, USATF will offer that position to the next highest placing Qualified Athlete finishing in the Selection Event.”

With some technical changes, that process remains in place. A new section was added that restated what will happen in case the Trials can’t be held or is ended before its conclusion, now stating:

“USATF will select athletes who are either Qualified Athletes or have achieved at least 2:29:30 (women)/2:11:30 (men) performance during the Qualification Period.”

The new regulations further offer an opportunity for selection beyond the 30 January “Road to Paris” quota place system, now allowing “Any athlete ranked higher than the 81st athlete on the filtered Quota Place Road to Paris rank list on May 5, 2024 will be considered qualified.”

These changes are good in that they provide added clarity to the selection rules well in advance of the 3 February trials race in Orlando, Florida.

France Alps 2030 and Salt Lake City 2034 already talking

The French Alps bid for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games and the Salt Lake City-Utah bid for the 2034 Winter Games were selected for “targeted dialogue” by the International Olympic Committee in late November, with a view to confirming their selections as hosts this summer.

About six weeks later, Salt Lake City will welcome a delegation from one of the two regions in the French bid – Provence Alpes-Cote d’Azur (PACA) – for a tour of the Utah Olympic Park on Thursday.

A legacy of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the park hosted bobsled, luge and skeleton and the ski jumping competitions (including in the Nordic Combined). An announcement of the tour explained:

“The visit – part of a larger tour of Utah organized through the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity – is aimed to exchange ideas and dialogue on ongoing Olympic and Paralympic legacy efforts, future Games hosting visions, and overall partnership opportunities between Utah and the French region.”

The French bid also includes the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (AURA) region.

Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur Region President Renaud Muselier will lead the visitors and will meet with – among others – Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games Fraser Bullock, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation President Colin Hilton and Park City Mayor Nann Worel.

It’s a good start on how the two probable organizing committees can help each other; the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 organizing committees have also held mutual-aid discussions.


● World Anti-Doping Agency ● Gabon completed the integration of the World Anti-Doping Code into its national legal framework and has been reclassified as compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

This means that the only non-compliant signatories to the Code as North Korea, Russia, the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation. Nigeria and Venezuela are contesting WADA claims of non-compliance at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

● Curling ● Interesting and potentially impactful cooperation between World Curling and Rock Solid Productions, a Toronto, Canada company which has created surfaces and equipment to create curling competitions without ice.

“Floor Curling” and “Street Curling” are both captivating possibilities for a much more widespread interest in the sport and Rock Solid is now officially tied in with World Curling as a development partner.

World Curling has standardized rules for Floor Curling and will manage the governance of the discipline. World Curling Federation President Beau Welling (USA) explained:

“We’ve seen substantial membership growth over the last number of years but many of our younger members don’t have access to ice to practice. Floor curling has a track record of successfully introducing curling to the masses and this new partnership will allow us to take it one step further by introducing tournaments to the off-ice discipline.”

● Football ● A 4 January ruling by a Brazilian Supreme Court justice restored Ednaldo Rodrigues as the head of the Brazilian football confederation (CBF), ending (for now) a possible clash with FIFA over government interference.

A lower court had ruled in December that a CBF election in 2022 was improperly held and removed Rodrigues and other electees, triggering concerns over governmental interference into sport, which has now been averted. The Brazilian Supreme Court will consider the ruling in full soon.

● Swimming ● USA Swimming reported a 3.9% decline in membership in 2022-23, but appears to be rebounding already in 2023-24.

SwimSwam.com reported that after the pandemic caused membership to drop considerably in 2020-21, total memberships rocketed back up (the federation’s membership years runs from 1 September to 31 August):

2019-20: 363,075
2020-21: 328,312
2021-22: 392,813
2022-23: 377,585

USA Swimming said that memberships for 2023-24 have already reached 297,000, on pace to easily surpass last year’s total.

● Triathlon ● Trirating.com provided a detailed examination of prize money won in the sport in 2023, with most of it coming from Ironman and Pro Triathlon Organization (PTO) races, but also from the World Triathlon Championship Series. The top earners:

1. $335,788: Anne Haug (GER)
2. $325,775: Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)
3. $323,821: Ashleigh Gentile (AUS)
4. $281,700: Taylor Knibb (USA)
5. $246,760: Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR)

A total of 29 athletes earned $100,000 or more in 2023, vs. 33 in 2022. In total, 818 athletes won prize money in 2023, vs. 762 in 2022.

Total prize money rebounded in 2022 after Covid-impacted years in 2020 and 2021, to $15.011 million, but was significantly down to $12.493 million in 2023. About a third came from Ironman and 70.3-branded races and 30% from PTO events. World Triathlon Championship Series races accounted for 14.7%.

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