The Sports Examiner

TSX REPORT: Panam Sports drops Barranquilla as 2027 host; Oudea-Castera, Estanguet say IOC owns Russia-Belarus issue; Snoop Dogg joins NBC

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1. Panam Sports removes ‘27 Pan Am Games from Barranquilla
2. Ukrainian appeal to CAS asks to bar Russia and Belarus
3. Estanguet, Oudea-Castera say IOC owns the Russia-Belarus issue
4. Gomis to be removed from CNOSF Athletes Commission
5. Snoop Dogg joins NBC Olympic Primetime shows

● Panam Sports revoked the hosting of the 2027 Pan American Games from Barranquilla in Colombia for “countless breaches of current contracts.” No new host, or a process to find one, was announced.

● A Ukrainian lawyer filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to prevent the International Olympic Committee from allowing Russian or Belarusian competitors at the 2024 Paris Games. He also asks to have Russian and Belarusian athletes and fans banned for life!

● In separate interviews, the French Sports Minister and the head of Paris 2024 said that the IOC is in charge of who is invited to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games.

● French Olympic basketball silver medalist Emilie Gomis will reportedly be dismissed from the Athletes Commission of the French National Olympic Committee for an anti-Israeli social-media post a couple of days after the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October. An inquiry will also be made by Paris 2024, for whom she is an ambassador for the Terre de Jeux program and is on the Board of Directors.

● Rapper and cultural icon Snoop Dogg will join NBC’s Olympic telecasts as a roving commentator as the network tries to boost sagging primetime ratings for the Games.

World Championship: Ice Hockey (U.S. into semis, Canada out at men’s World Juniors) ●

Panorama: Paris 2024 (French court allows student housing use for first responders) = Winter Games (Catalonia bid efforts over for now) = Cross Country Skiing (Chanavat and Svahn win Tour de Ski sprints in Davos) = Equestrian (Saudis double Jumping World Cup prize money) = Football (U.S. Justice Dept. appeals Lopez and Full Play Group acquittals) = Ski Jumping (2: Hoerl wins third Four Hills stage; Prevc wins third women’s gold in last four) ●

Panam Sports removes ‘27 Pan Am Games from Barranquilla

There had been whispers of issues with the 2027 Pan American Games in Barranquilla, Colombia and on Wednesday, the whisperers were proved right:

“Panam Sports informs the public that its Executive Committee has unanimously decided to withdraw the venue of the XX Pan American Games to the city of Barranquilla, Colombia.

“The resolution has been taken after countless breaches of current contracts.

“It should be noted that on October 19, at a meeting in Santiago de Chile and after receiving an official letter from the Colombian authorities dated October 25, Barranquilla requested an extension of the deadlines to be able to fulfill the contract. The proposal was accepted by Panam Sports, with a new date of December 30, 2023 and January 30, 2024.

“However, given the lack of response once the new deadline has passed, the Executive Committee of Panam Sports, on January 3, 2024, has made the unwavering determination to withdraw the right to be the host city of the continental event in 2027.”

This follows a pattern of difficulties with continental games. The 2023 African Games in Accra (GHA) has to be postponed to 2024 over a lack of organization and funding. The 2026 Commonwealth Games was handed back by the Australian state of Victoria in 2023 over the projected costs. Now there is no host for the 2027 Pan American Games.

In fact, of the 41 members of Panam Sports, only 12 have organized the Pan Ams:

● 3: Canada, Mexico
● 2: Argentina, Brazil, United States
● 1: Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, Venezuela

The U.S. is in no position to help with the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and 2034 Winter Games likely in Salt Lake City. Canada has the 2026 FIFA World Cup coming and Mexico also has the 2026 FIFA World Cup and possibly the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in conjunction with the U.S.

South America has hosted two in a row – Lima (PER) in 2019 and Santiago (CHI) in 2023 – and would have had a third in Barranquilla. Among the 12 South American nations, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay have not hosted Pan American Games and Paraguay has been mentioned as a possible replacement.

It’s no small undertaking, as the 2023 edition had 6,909 athletes from the 41 Panam Sports members, competing in 425 events in 39 sports, plus the Parapan American Games that followed, with another 1,943 athletes (31 countries) competing in 17 sports.

The globalization of sports, with athletes competing all over the world in their own disciplines, has lessened the impact of regional sports championships and events like the Pan American Games have tried to use Olympic qualifying as a major attraction for athletes in some sports, with mixed results.

Ukrainian appeal to CAS asks to bar Russia and Belarus

The Ukrainian sports site posted a story describing an appeal by Ukrainian sports lawyer Yuriy Yurchenko to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the International Olympic Committee’s 8 December decision to allow individual “neutral” Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The appeal asks the Court to confirm that the right to peace and autonomy from foreign invasion has greater value than the anti-doping decisions which have kept Russian athletes sidelined in the past under CAS sanctions.

Apparently filed on 29 December 2023, the appeal asks for much more than simply keeping Russian and Belarusian athletes out of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, including:

● “[T]he International Olimpic [sic] Committee is prohibited from allowing athletes and coaches of the Russian Federation and athletes and coaches from the Republic of Belarus to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in any status.”

● “[A]thletes and coaches of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus are prohibited from taking part in any international competitions under the flag of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, for life.”

● “[C]itizens of the Russian Federation and citizens of the Republic of Belarus are prohibited from attending any international competitions, including the Olympic Games, for life.”

The request of the appeal is for a single arbitrator.

The appeal has no chance of success as written, as no athletes are going to be banned for life, much less all Russian and Belarusian citizens. But it is a novel way to keep the Ukrainian push against Russia and Belarus front and center in the sports world.

The appeal itself was not available, so it is not known if Yurchenko was filing an appeal for anyone beyond himself.

Yurchenko was able to raise the CHF 1,000 required to file the appeal within a couple of days via an online fundraising appeal. No word from the Court of Arbitration for Sport yet on the process to be followed.

The head of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee said that it refused IOC funding in the aftermath of allowing “neutral” Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games. NOC chief Vadym Gutzeit said on said that IOC funds were used when Russians and Belarusians were not allowed in competition, but:

“When they were admitted to international competitions, I suggested to the executive committee that if they were allowed, then we could not take funds to the IOC. And everyone supported me.

“Thanks to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Finance, athletes are fully provided for next year, for the purchase of equipment and training camps. So it doesn’t make sense, because it’s not necessary.”

Estanguet, Oudea-Castera say IOC owns the Russia-Belarus issue

French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera told RMC Radio on Wednesday that the IOC is the responsible party to decide whether Russian and Belarusian athletes compete this summer at the Games. Asked about the claims of “ethnic discrimination” coming from Russian President Vladimir Putin, she replied:

“We don’t care what he thinks.

“There are rules set by the IOC, it is the IOC which has the authority to decide who participates, who does not participate.

“We must establish this framework and ensure that it is respected to the end, and do everything so that the Russian power does not exploit sport for its own glory. These are provocative messages. We also heard him talk about ‘ethnic discrimination,’ all of which is nonsense.”

Similarly, Paris 2024 chief executive Tony Estanguet, a three-time Olympic champ in canoe slalom, said in an interview last week:

“Personally, I understand the decisions that were taken, I respect them, I rather support them.

“Sanctioning athletes who have no responsibility in international conflicts, I find it inappropriate. And I think it’s pretty good to allow athletes who have no contact with these authorities to be able to participate. …

“These will be very small delegations. We are talking about a few dozen athletes compared to several hundred usually. Somehow, I find it good to give the possibility to certain athletes who are in no way responsible for what is happening to be able to realize their dream by participating in the Games.”

Gomis to be removed from CNOSF Athletes Commission

Former French women’s basketball star Emilie Gomis, a member of the silver-medal-winning London 2012 Olympic team, will reportedly be removed from the Athletes Commission of the French National Olympic Committee for a anti-Semitic social media post.

On 9 October 2023, two days after the Hamas attack on Israel, Gomis posted a message showing a map of France dated 1947, then 1967 and 2023, with the country being covered by an Israeli flag, implying an Israeli takeover of Gaza and border territories, but without any mention of the wars waged against Israel that caused its military actions.

Gomis, now 40, apparently apologized, but an ethics case was brought against her by the CNOSF. Also a member of the Paris 2024 Board and a paid ambassador for the “Terre des Jeux” program, she may be removed from both of those posts after a hearing of the Paris 2024 ethics body later this month.

Snoop Dogg joins NBC Olympic Primetime shows

“I grew up watching the Olympics and am thrilled to see the incredible athletes bring their A-game to Paris. It’s a celebration of skill, dedication, and the pursuit of greatness.

“We’re going to have some amazing competitions and, of course, I will be bringing that Snoop style to the mix. It’s going to be the most epic Olympics ever, so stay tuned, and keep it locked. Let’s elevate, celebrate, and make these games unforgettable, smoke the competition, and may the best shine like gold. Peace and Olympic LOVE, ya dig?”

That’s Snoop Dogg, announced on New Year’s Eve as a new member of the NBC Olympic Primetime crew for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Molly Solomon, Executive Producer and President, NBC Olympics Production explained his role:

“Snoop is already an Olympic gold medal commentator, generating tens of millions of views for his highlights commentary on Peacock of the dressage competition during the Tokyo Olympics.

“That performance alone has earned Snoop a job as our Special Correspondent in Paris. We don’t know what the heck is going to happen every day, but we know he will add his unique perspective to our re-imagined Olympic primetime show.”

The key words are “re-imagined Olympic primetime show,” which fell to its lowest rating ever for the Tokyo Games in 2021, averaging 15.1 million viewers, compared to 27.5 million for Rio 2016 and 31.1 million for London in 2012.

An acclaimed rapper from his debut album, Doggystyle, in 1993, Snoop Dogg – born Calvin Broadus, Jr. in Long Beach, California in 1971 – has become a ubiquitous part of American culture through music, films, concerts and television commercials.

The year-end announcement was in the works for some time. Snoop shot a promotional video in Los Angeles in November for NBC with American stars Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes (beach volleyball), Suni Lee (gymnastics), Jagger Eaton (skateboard) and A’ja Wilson (basketball) that appeared on 31 December.


● Ice Hockey ● The U.S. advanced to the semifinals of the 2024 IIHF men’s World Junior Championship in Gothenburg (SWE), while two-time defending champion Canada was eliminated.

The American men, 4-0 in group play, slammed Latvia in its quarterfinal, winning by 7-2 off of three scores in both the first and second periods. Defender Drew Fortescue scored just 1:31 into the game, then forward Gabe Perreault got a goal at 11:42 for a 2-0 lead; after a Latvian goal by forward Dans Locmelis at 13:50, Danny Nelson scored 13 seconds later for the 3-1 edge at the break.

Rutger McGroarty scored on a second-period power play to increase the lead to 4-1 and then Will Smith and Perreault got goals for a 6-1 lead at the end of the period. Oliver Moore got the seventh U.S. goal and Lochmelis scored a second on a power play for the final goal of the game.

The U.S. will face Finland (3-2), which eliminated Slovakia, 4-3, in overtime, on Thursday.

Canada was eliminated by the Czech Republic (3-2) in a tight, 3-2 game, with forward Jakub Stancl scoring the winner at 19:49 of the final period, his second goal of the game! This will be the first time since the 2019 tournament that the Canadians will not reach the semifinals; they are 20-time winners of this championship.

The Czechs will play host Sweden in their semi, , who managed a 3-2 overtime against Switzerland, as defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka got the winner on a power play at the 15:22 mark of the extra period.

The medal matches will take place on Friday (5th).


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● A French administrative court determined that the Regional Centres of University and Academic Services (CROUS) can have students move from their usual accommodations during the Olympic period to other accommodations, with a small honorarium (€100) and some Olympic tickets.

The 3,000 rooms requested by the Sports Ministry will be used for security and medical staff. A student group had sued to allow the students to stay where they were during the Games.

● Olympic Winter Games: Future ● Minister of the Presidency of the Catalonia region in Spain, Laura Vilagra, said Tuesday that the Catalan government has dropped – for now – any effort to bid for the Olympic Winter Games.

A possible Spanish bid for the 2030 Winter Games had been discussed, but imploded over in-fighting over where events would be staged. Now, with 2030 targeted for the French Alps, 2034 for Salt Lake City and Switzerland preferred for 2038, Climate Department Secretary Anna Barnadas said in a radio interview that future hosting would be difficult to be “celebrated at latitudes like Catalonia’s.”

● Cross Country Skiing ● The 18th Tour de Ski moved along in Davos (SUI), with France’s Lucas Chanavat and Swede Linn Svahn grabbing victories in Wednesday’s Freestyle Sprint.

Chanavat had already won the first Sprint of the Tour, in Tolbach (ITA) and just edged Swede Edvin Anger, 2:15.07 to 2:15.32. Italy’s two-time Olympic Sprint silver winner Federico Pellegrino got the bronze in 2:15.51, with American Gus Schumacher an encouraging fourth (2:17.13). It’s Anger’s first career individual World Cup medal!

Svahn also won the Tolbach Sprint and got to the line this time in 2:32.35, with a narrow victory over Kristine Skistad (NOR: 2:33.65) and American Jessie Diggins (2:34.08). Diggins remains in the overall seasonal lead and in the Tour de Ski, with a 20 km Classical Pursuit on Thursday and two stages at Vai di Fiemme (ITA) over the weekend remaining.

● Equestrian ● Saudi Arabia continued its sports outreach efforts by adding to the prize purse for the 2024 FEI World Cup Finals in Dressage and Jumping.

Both will be held in Riyadh from 16-20 April, with the Dressage prize money rising from €300,000 to €400,000, and the Jumping prizes doubling from €1.3 million to €2.6 million! (€1 = $1.09 U.S.)

Noted the FEI:

“This significant increase in prize money – the highest amount ever seen at an FEI World Cup Final – is likely to be a one-time opportunity, making the 2024 World Cup Finals in Riyadh an exceptional and unprecedented event. It also highlights the Organisers’ dedication in welcoming the global equestrian community to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and for the first time as hosts of the FEI World Cup Finals.”

● Football ● The U.S. Department of Justice appealed a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Chen that acquitted former Fox International Channels head Hernan Lopez and Argentina-based Full Play Group SA after their March 2023 convictions for money laundering and wire fraud related to acquiring media rights for a Copa Libertadores tournament, and Full Play’s actions in trying to acquire rights to the Copa America and other matches.

The filing with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals asks to reinstate the convictions or order a new trial, noting that “The court’s analysis ignored trial proof of those counts, which would survive even under the court’s new, post-verdict erroneous legal rule.”

● Ski Jumping ● The third stage of the 72nd Four Hills Tournament was in Innsbruck (AUT), off the 128 m hill and saw the third different winner so far, as Austria’s Jan Hoerl – a Beijing 2022 Winter Games Team gold medalist – took his second career individual World Cup win.

Hoerl scored 267.5 points, ahead of Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi (258.7), who was second for the third straight time, and Michael Hayboeck (AUT: 254.0). Kobayashi now leads the Four Hills, 857.6 to 852.8 over Andreas Wellinger (GER) with one more event on Saturday off the 142 m hill in Bischofshofen (AUT). The Japanese star is gunning for his third Four Hills title, having won in 2019 and 2022.

There’s no stopping Slovenia’s Nika Prevc, who won again on Wednesday off the 98 m hill in Villach (AUT), beating Austria’s Eva Pinkelnig and Canada’s Abigail Strate by 262.7-236.7-233.6.

Prevc had the highest-scoring jumps in both rounds, and now has won three of the last four World Cups. Strate also has medals in three straight events, going bronze-silver-bronze after having won one career World Cup medal before this season!

Jumping continues at Villach on Thursday, before the women head to Sapporo (JPN) to resume on the 12th.

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