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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. Russia fires coach of active military fencers in U.S.
2. Richardson asks for athletes-only meeting in Eugene
3. European Games as proof of Poland’s abilities
4. Indonesian pols tweak ANOC after World Beach cancellation
5. Tokyo 2020 sponsorship scandal sentence; first bid-rigging plea
The Russian fencing federation fired its national Epee coach as two star fencers, both apparently listed as active-duty military or reserves, entered the USA Fencing Summer Nationals in Phoenix! They were able to do so thanks to a very liberal policy adopted in April by USA Fencing. Sprint star Sha’Carri Richardson – with 2.3 million Instagram followers – called for an athlete-only meeting at the USATF National Championships in Eugene to give them a “voice” in their own issues. This isn’t new. There are other issues, such as no social-media teams or videographers for individual athletes, and the meet only on cable – not NBC – for the first time in nearly 20 years. In Jamaica, the national government appropriated about $228,000 for the Jamaican nationals and to get the team ready for the Worlds in Budapest in August. The European Games was used by Poland as proof of its abilities, in the midst of dealing with 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine; its success was widely acknowledged. Politicians and officials in Indonesia offered statements apologizing for vaporizing the ANOC World Beach Games with a month to go, but a close look indicates it’s all for show. Keeping a handful of Israeli athletes out to help with February’s national elections is a lot more important. Another suspended sentence in the Tokyo 2020 sponsorship scandal and the first guilty plea in the massive bid-rigging scandal, from the “inside man” who coordinated it.
● Panorama: Paris 2024 (2: More tickets on sale; anti-doping rules released) = Pan American Games (Ticket sales to start 12 July) = Russia (3: review of neutrals in fencing, rowing, tennis, weightlifting; new Rodchenkov book on Sochi doping; Russia out as 2026 Euro Women’s host) = Athletics (3: Ekiru/10 years, McColl/10, Tima/3 all hit for doping) = Basketball (Spain wins FIBA men’s U-19s, U.S. fourth) = Cycling (3: Hindley takes yellow jersey at Le Tour; skiing-type padding coming for stage 17; van Vleuten dominating Giro Donne) = Football (3: CONCACAF Gold Cup to quarters; Spain gives more authority to officials to shut down matches; Mexican federation decries stabbing in match in Santa Clara!) = Handball (Germany wins IHF men’s U-21 World Cup) = Speed Skating (Russian six-time Worlds medalist Golubeva headed to Kazakhstan) ●
Russia fires coach of active military fencers in U.S.
“Due to the flight of his athletes to the United States without the consent of the federation, including the current officer of the National Guard Bida and the current serviceman Khrapina, the head coach of Russian epee fencers Glazunov will be relieved of his post. The relevant documents have already been sent to the Sports Training Center.”
This story is almost too strange to be true. The Russian news agency TASS reported on Saturday that national Epee coach Alexander Glazunov had been fired by the Russian Fencing Federation after USA Fencing admitted two fencers who apparently still registered with the Russian military, the husband-and-wife combo of Tokyo Olympic Team Epee silver medalist Sergey Bida, 30, and 2019 World Championships Team Epee silver winner Violetta Khrapina Bida, both now living in the U.S. in California.
A follow-up story on Monday characterized Bida and Khrapina as “current officer of the Russian Guard, Sergei Bida, and the current serviceman, Violetta Khrapina, in the US championship without the consent of the Russian side.” It noted that well-known coach Vasily Skornevsky had been named to replace Glazunov.
Bida was apparently a member of the Dynamo Society, closely linked with the Russian military, with Khrapina a pupil of Glazunov’s.
If Bida and Khrapina Bida are still “active” – by Russian standards – in the Russian military, they would not be eligible to compete internationally under the International Olympic Committee’s 28 March recommendations on re-entry as neutral, individual athletes who are not affiliated with their country’s military.
But USA Fencing’s Board adopted exceptionally liberal guidelines in April, stating that Russians and Belarusians can compete in the U.S. Summer Nationals, if they meet criteria no. 1 and either criteria no. 2 or no. 3:
“1. They display no physical manifestation of Russian or Belorussian affiliation within the venue, including but not limited to uniforms, warm-ups, equipment bags, or accessories.
“2. For the previous three years, they have not held an FIE license indicating Russian or Belorussian sport nationality, unless they have officially been approved for a change of sport nationality from the FIE.
“3. For the previous one year they have not competed in USA Fencing competitions or functions and have renounced their support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine by executing a declaration to that effect.”
Bida, Khrapina and a third former Russian fencer, Tokyo Olympian in men’s Sabre, Konstantin Lokhanov, all were permitted into the Summer Nationals. Lokhanov won the men’s Division I Sabre championship, while Bida finished 17th in the Division I men’s Epee tournament; there is no record of Khrapina Bida competing in the women’s Epee tournaments. In the women’s Epee final, Margherita Guzzi Vincenti got the win over Catherine Nixon, 10-9.
Lokhanov was reported to have moved to California in March 2022, soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Bida and Khrapina Bida were reported to have moved to California in June of this year; in order to be eligible under USA Fencing’s standards, they would have had to sign a declaration against the Russian invasion.
Richardson asks for athletes-only meeting in Eugene
U.S. track & field veterans are long familiar with calls for an athlete union, something which has never come together despite decades of trying, including The Athletics Association – “We Are The Sport” – formed in 2019, but not heard from since 2021.
The newest to ask is sprint sensation Sha’Carri Richardson, who has 2.3 million followers on Instagram. In a post on 2 July (Sunday), she asked for an athletes-only meeting at the USATF National Championships in Eugene:
“There is so much going on in our sport! A lot of changes are happening that affect us. We, as athletes, keep talking about not having a voice. We do! Let’s get together in Eugene in discuss.
“Interested in meeting during Nationals (of course not during competition) to discuss what’s going on in US Track and Field, let me know! Athletes Only!!!
“If yes, fill out the form for more details including potential dates and times.
“Link in bio, please let’s come together for us for a change!”
Her video included:
“I’m coming to you today, the athletes of track & field, specifically USA. I know we see each other at a lot at meets …
“If you as an athlete have an issue with the things that are going on within track & field in the United States, the changes that are going on, the decisions that are being made, everything that we as athletes don’t have any say-so in, not knowing who to turn to, not knowing who to complain to, not knowing who to let know if we’re not receiving the things from track meets, if we’re not receiving things from our sponsors, so I just wanted to drop down below a link for an idea for all of us to come together and actually sit down.
“I know most of us will actually be at Oregon for nationals, so actually sit down and come up with a strategy as athletes to create a voice for ourselves, and create an actual organization to where we know that is going to impact , and build us up as athletes, and build up the sport in the United States and not continue to just exploit us, like these organizations that are supposed to be on our side or doing, and they continue to show us that they are not.
“Please, please, please, please, I am asking sincerely …”
The response was good: more than 141,000 liked the post and the video, but no word so far on whether a meeting will be held.
There are other issues boiling up, including a USATF ban on athlete videographers:
“Due to our broadcast restrictions, we are not able to allow third party filming at the venue. This includes athletes’ personal filming crews, videographers, and social media teams. We will be unable to provide accreditation for any of these individuals with access to Hayward Field, any of our warm-up areas or practice venues. Anyone wanting to license competition footage is invited to complete this form. You are free to capture content outside of these venues and we appreciate your understanding in this matter.”
This makes some sense for the two hours from Friday through Sunday that the meet is being shown on CNBC. But the rest of the meet is being shown on USATF’s own streaming service, for which it has, of course, no outside restrictions.
(It’s worth remembering that the European Broadcasting Union, which had multi-national, exclusive rights to the just-completed European Games in Poland, created a new service – in conjunction with Atos – to provide athletes with clips of their performances for their own social-media purposes! Said Eurovision Sport Executive Director Glen Killane (IRL): “We want to grow this and make it make it into something to bring more audiences.”)
Then, of course, there is the relegation of live television coverage of the meet to the cable business channel CNBC, and the streaming service Peacock:
● Fri., 7 July: 7-9 p.m. Pacific/10 p.m.-12 a.m. Eastern
● Sat., 8 July: 6-8 p.m. Pacific/9-11 p.m. Eastern
● Sun., 9 July: 6-8 p.m. Pacific/9-11 p.m. Eastern
Jonathan Gault of LetsRun.com reported that the U.S. Nationals had been on NBC, at least in part, from 2007-22. He noted, “Instead, NBC will show US Women’s Open Golf & America’s Got Talent.”
The meet itself starts on Thursday, with the first day of the decathlon and heptathlon, preliminaries in the men’s and women’s 100 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1,500 m and Steeple, and finals in the men’s and women’s 10,000 m, men’s discus, women’s triple jump and javelin.
Meanwhile, the Jamaican national championships will also be held this week in Kingston. In response to continued requests for support, the Jamaican Ministry of Sports announced last week (29th) that it would provide J$35 million (about $227,588 U.S.) to support the event and the Jamaican team at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
The grant was for J$10 million (~$65,025 U.S.) for the championships and J$25 million (~$162,563 U.S.) for World Championships support.
European Games as proof of Poland’s abilities
One of the uses for governments of large-scale events is proof-of-ability in organization and execution. This was on display at last Sunday’s closing of the third European Games in Krakow and Malopolska in Poland.
European Olympic Committees President Spyros Capralos (GRE) offered the kind words that the hosts were looking for:
“These Games have been an outstanding success. They have exceeded all our expectations. The EOC’s expectations and those of our National Olympic Committees and the athletes. We heard so many positive comments from throughout the European Olympic Family about the warm hospitality and the quality of the venues and operational delivery.
“In spite of the challenges, Poland has demonstrated its capacity to deliver a world-class project. The result is that the athletes are happy and these conditions have allowed them to perform at their best. We have seen some incredible performances from the very best athletes in our continent.”
This was underlined by Marcin Nowak, the head of the organizing committee:
“We have created the biggest sports event in the history of Poland. This is the biggest event in 2023, and I deeply believe that since the London 2012 Olympics it has been the biggest sports event organised in Europe. …
“This event has shown to Poles, Europeans and the whole world that Poland can organise the highest-quality sport events. The arenas that you have seen are at least as good, or maybe even better, than what you might see at the Olympics!”
Staged while Poland has absorbed more than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees, the European Games had 6,857 athletes from 48 countries, competing in 254 events in 29 sports. Ten sports offered qualification for Paris 2024, with 118 places earned for next year.
Pretty impressive in the middle of a humanitarian crisis..
Indonesian pols tweak ANOC after World Beach cancellation
If you had any doubts about the insincerity of Indonesian officials after the Indonesian Olympic Committee said its government failed to provide financial support of the ANOC World Beach Games on Tuesday, consider these comments on Wednesday (5th):
From Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Dito Ariotedjo:
“Indonesia is always ready to be a host of international events, both sports or other events in line with the development of infrastructure and human resources planned by President Jokowi for almost the past decade.
“But, a mature plan for the implementation is indeed necessary, so we can serve guests well. …
“Other than the planning, there are indeed other issues following the cancellation of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. But for financial ability, it can be seen that the government is always ready to send multi-sports contingents and is never late to give bonuses to athletes who earn medals.”
The Indonesian Olympic Committee, on its site, explained:
“‘We regret this news. With a heavy heart, we are forced to announce that the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023 cannot be held. We extend our deepest apologies to ANOC and the International Federations, athletes and all NOCs who have struggled since the qualification process,’ said NOC Indonesia chairman Raja Sapta Oktohari.
“’We also express our gratitude to all those who have worked hard during the preparation period.’
“Okto, as Raja Sapta is known, explained that the Indonesian government had actually agreed to finance the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023. It’s just that the budgetary bureaucratic mechanism system is difficult to implement considering the limited time we have. The situation is felt to be getting more difficult because several sponsors of the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023 have also announced their withdrawal. …
“‘We are only executors, but right today, we only have 30 days and the budget process is still long. We had to swallow this bitter pill because with limited time, we saw that it was difficult to prepare for a world-class multievent. We see the lack of time when the mechanism for using the budget becomes very risky in making world-class multievents.’”
“Consequence is beyond doubt. We are still communicating. However, NOC Indonesia will strive to continue working to bring exposure toward Indonesian sports.”
Observed: Let’s translate this from bureaucracy-speak: ”Indonesia has plenty of money for events like this, as long as Israel doesn’t participate, and we don’t have a national election coming up in February.”
ANOC officials were played for fools in this charade, and the losers were the athletes who qualified and the dozens of organizers of qualifying events held worldwide. You will note that no offer of compensation was made. And none will be.
The immediate beneficiary will be FIFA, as unlimited funds will be spent for the men’s U-17 World Cup – for which Israel did not qualify – coming in November, replacing the men’s U-20 World Cup in May for which Israel not only qualified, but won the bronze medal, and which Indonesia gave back so it did not have to host the Israelis.
Tokyo 2020 sponsorship scandal sentence; first bid-rigging plea
One of the key players in the Tokyo 2020 sponsorship influence scandal was sentenced on Tuesday (4th) and, as have all of the other defendants so far, received a suspended sentence.
Joji Matsui, whose Amuse consulting firm acted as a through-way for bribes destined for former Tokyo 2020 Executive Board member Haruyuki Takahashi, pled guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison, with the sentence suspended for four years.
Tokyo District Court Presiding Judge Kenji Yasunaga said that about ¥27 million ($186,678 U.S. today) flowed through Matsui’s company on the way to Takahashi, who assisted firms with obtaining sponsorships and licenses from the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. The remorse expressed by Matsui was a factor in suspending his sentence.
A total of 15 defendants are known to have been charged in the Takahashi-led Tokyo 2020 sponsorship scandal that surfaced in August of 2022. Previously, defendants from Aoki Holdings (3 on 21 April 2023), ADK Holdings (2 on 11 May), Sun Arrow Inc. (2 on 6 June) and Kadokawa Publishing (1 on 4 July) have all received suspended sentences.
The Associated Press reported that a third ADK Holdings defendant is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
These cases are separate from the bid-rigging scheme allegedly masterminded by Dentsu Inc. – in collusion with some Tokyo 2020 officials – concerning 26 bids for test event management and then venue management contracts for the Games period, which was publicly exposed in February 2023.
On Wednesday (5th), the first plea in the bid-rigging scandal was entered by the man who apparently coordinated the scheme from inside the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. Asahi.com reported:
“Yasuo Mori, 56, who served as deputy executive director of the organizing committee’s operations bureau, admitted to violating the Anti-Monopoly Law during the first hearing of his trial at the Tokyo District Court. …
“Twenty-six tenders for planning the test events were held by July, and nine companies, including the seven engaged in the scheme, and one joint venture won the contracts worth about 570 million yen ($3.94 million) in total.”
All of these contractors then received much larger agreements for venue management services at the Games – without a bidding process – worth a total of ¥43.15 billion (~$298.30 million U.S. today).
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● The Paris organizing committee has begun another round of ticket sales, but this time only for events taking place outside of Paris:
● Lille: basketball and handball
● Lyon: football
● Marseille: football and sailing
● Nantes: football
● St. Etienne: football
The organizers explained on Tuesday that less than three million tickets remain unsold, with 150,000 of those at the “magic” €24 price. There are apparently about 4,000 tickets remaining for the Opening Ceremony along the Seine, but all in Category A, at €2,700 each (~$2,392 U.S.).
Just in case you thought being an elite athlete was mostly fun, the World Anti-Doping Agency just released the 49-page Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024. You read that right: 49 pages, and not a single picture. Happy reading.
● Pan American Games 2023: Santiago ● PanAm Sports reported that ticket sales for the 2023 Pan American Games will start on 12 July, 100 days prior to the opening on 20 October:
“The value of the tickets for the Pan American Games range from $4,600 to $9,200 Chilean pesos ($5.75 – 11.50 USD). These prices already include the 15% service fee.
“All tickets are general admission and seating is decided on a first-come, first-served basis.”
● Russia ● The process of qualifying “neutral” athletes for competitions grinds on:
● Fencing: The Russian news agency TASS reported that seven Russian and one Belarusian fencer will be participating as neutrals in the FIE World Championships in Milan that begin on 22 July.
The approved athletes include two men in Epee, two women in Epee, two women in Sabre and one woman in Foil. The one Belarus entrant is a female Epee fencer.
● Rowing: The Russian federation submitted a list of five athletes for the World Rowing Championships, to be held in Serbia in September, now under review by World Rowing.
● Tennis: A total of nine Russian players were cleared to play as neutrals at Wimbledon in 2023: three men and six women. They were approved after a review that they were not “actively supporting” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, would compete strictly as neutrals and did not receive funding from the state, or state-run companies.
● Weightlifting: TASS noted that the Russian weightlifting federation, which has been noisily campaigning for return to competitions, has had more than five doping violations over the past 12 months – along with bodybuilding and powerlifting – possibly subjecting it to action against it by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.
As far as competing as a neutral, Alexei Nemov, the four-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist in 1996 and 2000, told TASS:
“Sooner or later everything will end. You have to be ready to compete at international competitions now. Is it worth it to go to international competitions under a neutral flag? This should be decided by the athletes themselves.”
Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a mastermind of the state-sponsored doping program in Russia from 2011-15 and, in 2016, a key whistleblower, told Britain’s Daily Mail that he has written a second book concerning the Russian doping system, recommending that Russia be barred from international competitions for 10 years or more. Now 64, he said:
“I hope my book will finally cause the IOC to impose a meaningful and sustained ban against Russian athletes until Russia fundamentally reforms its system of sports preparation, which would take at least a decade. …
“‘The underlying system for doping control remains weak. Many innocent and clean athletes continue to be victimised by dirty ones, including those in state-sponsored doping regimes.”
Russia was removed as a host of the 2026 Women’s European Handball Championship, originally awarded in 2021. A new host is being sought.
● Athletics ● The sixth-fastest marathoner in history, Kenyan Titus Ekiru, is subject to four doping charges and a potential 10-year ban, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit:
“The 31-year-old’s charges stem from AIU investigations into Ekiru’s positive in-competition doping tests after marathon victories in the Generali Milano Marathon on 16 May 2021 and the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon on 26 November 2021.
“Ekiru tested positive for Triamcinolone Acetonide after winning in Milan but was not immediately charged after the initial investigation appeared to validate his explanation that the result was due to legitimate medical treatment. The athlete tested positive for Pethidine after winning in Abu Dhabi, and again claimed the outcome resulted from legitimate medical treatment.”
He is now subject to sanctions for both positives, but also for tampering, by offering “falsified medical explanations” and documentation for both.
Ekiru ran 2:02:57 to win the Milano Marathon in 2021, moving into the no. 6 spot on the all-time list. His last race was a 2:06:13 win in the Abu Dhabi Marathon on 26 November of that year.
“Olympic pole vault coach Jeremy McColl has been banned from athletics for 10 years after an independent investigation found he committed serious misconduct, including findings of harassment and inappropriate sexual remarks to athletes who were minors.”
His sanctions were imposed by Athletics NZ after an independent inquiry confirmed allegations of misconduct. McColl is also being investigated on other issues of as far back as 15 years.
McColl’s coaching of Rio 2016 women’s vault bronze medalist Eliza McCartney brought attention and funding to women’s vaulting in New Zealand, where McColl has continued to train athletes. He has resigned from his coaching position with the national federation.
The AIU announced a three-year sanction on Dominican triple jumper Ana Jose Tima, 33, for use of Enonosarm, a hormone and metabolic modulator, from an out-of-competition test in November 2022.
A two-time Olympian in the triple jump, Tima was 10th at the 2022 Worlds in Eugene, but that performance will be nullified. She admitted the usage and had her sanctions reduced from four to three years, until 12 December 2025.
● Basketball ● Spain won a 73-69 overtime thriller over France to take the 2023 FIBA men’s U-19 World Cup held in Debrecen (HUN) last Sunday.
The Spanish cruised through the group stage at 3-0, defeating the French, 88-69, in their group-stage game. And Spain was completely dominant in the playoffs, winning by 102-20 (yes, 102-20), 85-47 and 83-51 over Turkey in their semi.
France was 2-1 in group play, then slugged Madagascar, 119-56 in the round-of-16, and beat Serbia by 98-59 before facing the undefeated (5-0) U.S. in the semis. The French managed a 89-86 win on the strength of a 29-22 third quarter that have them a 70-66 lead. The U.S. could manage only 20 points in the fourth and fell short, with Villanova guard Mark Armstrong scoring 17 for the Americans.
The final was tightly contested, with France up, 29-28 at half. France edged ahead with a 14-13 edge in the third and the Spanish tied it with a 22-20 fourth, and won it with a 10-6 overtime. Jordi Rodriguez scored 18 for the champs; Melvin Ajinca led all scorers with 21 for France.
The U.S. was the two-time defending champion and had won four of the last five titles, but after falling short in the semi, lost the third-place game to Turkey, 84-70, being out-scored in three of the four quarters. It’s the first time the U.S. failed to medal since 2011.
● Cycling ● The 110th Tour de France continues, now on French soil after the opening stages in northern Spain, and a new leader after Wednesday’s challenge of the Col de Soudet.
Early stages of Le Tour have often been flat of hilly and made for the sprinters, but 2023 has seen some significant climbing in the first week. Wednesday’s 162.7 km route started in Pau at 167 m elevation, but the riders were at 1,518 m (!) at the mid-point at the summit of the Col de Soudet, before descending to 329 m and then crossing two more climbs before a flat finish into Laruns.
The final climb, the 1,031 m Col de Marie Banque, saw Austria’s Felix Gall and Australian Jai Hundley – the 2022 Giro d’Italia winner – lead on the descent and then Hindley took off with 20 km left to win his first career Tour de France stage in 3:57:07. Giulio Ciccone (ITA), Gall and Emanuel Buchmann (GER) all finished 32 seconds back, and Hindley took over the yellow jersey as the overall race leader.
Defending champ Jonas Vingegaard moved up to second overall (+0:47), with Ciccone third (+1:03) and two-time winner Tadej Pogacar now sixth (+1:40).
The sprinters were the focus of the third and fourth stages on Monday and Tuesday, both won in a mass dash for the line by Belgian Jasper Philipsen. He beat Phil Bauhaus (GER) and Caleb Ewan (AUS) in the 193.5 km third stage (4:43:15), and then – despite some last crashes – Ewan and Bauhaus on the 181.8 km fourth stage, ending in Nogaro.
Thursday’s stage 6 has another massive climb, to the 2,112 m Col de Tourmalet and then an uphill finish to Cauterets in the French Pyrenees.
The Tour de France organizers announced that ski-racing-style course padding is being added to the descent from the 2,300 summit of the Col de la Loze in Stage 17, made all the more important by the death of Swiss rider Gino Mader at the Tour de Suisse.
The padding was planned prior to Mader’s crash on a dangerous downhill, but now takes on added significance.
Dutch star Annemiek van Vleuten has been on control of the 2023 Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile – the Giro Donne – since the opening stage and she underlined her dominance with a win in stage 5 on Wednesday.
Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini beat American Victoria Ewers and van Vleuten to the line in the mostly flat, 134 km third stage in 3:33:08, and van Vleuten was just nine seconds back of the solo win by Antonia Niedermaier (GER: 3:14:02) on Tuesday’s hilly, 105.6 km route.
On Wednesday, van Vleuten attacked with 13 km remaining in the 102.7 km route into Canelli and ended in 2:39:04, 20 seconds up on teammate Lorena Wiebes and Liane Lippert (GER).
Her second stage win and fourth top-three placement gives her a massive 3:03 lead over Ewers, after Niedermaier had to abandon the race after a Wednesday crash. The race continues through Sunday.
● Football ● On Monday, the Spanish Interior Ministry announced expanded authority for security coordinators at football matches, including:
“Security coordinators may partially or fully evacuate the stands or stop a match if there are racist, xenophobic, homophobic or discriminatory chants against any athlete or specific group either inside or outside the sports grounds, or even on transport to venues.
“Sporting authorities can also be sanctioned if they do not cooperate fully with police to prevent and stop uncivil acts.”
Spain has been dealing with racist chants and other abuse during matches, especially victimizing Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior, who plays for Real Madrid.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals have been confirmed after play in groups C and D was completed on Tuesday. Now (records shown as W-L-T):
● 8 July in Arlington: Mexico (B1: 2-1) vs. Costa Rica (C2: 1-1-1)
● 9 July in Cincinnati: Guatemala (D1: 2-0-1) vs. Jamaica (A2: 2-0-1)
(winners to meet on 12 July in Las Vegas)
● 8 July in Arlington: Panama (C1: 2-0-1) vs. Qatar (B2: 1-1-1)
● 9 July in Cincinnati: United States (A1: 2-0-1) vs. Canada (D2: 1-0-2)
(winners to meet on 12 July in San Diego)
The final will be played on 16 July at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) issued a statement in the wake by a stabbing of one Mexican fan by another at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, after Mexico’s 1-0 loss to Qatar:
“We regret and strongly condemn the acts of violence that took place after last Sunday’s game in Santa Clara.
“We are fully willing to cooperate and join efforts with Concacaf, the stadiums and local authorities, to prevent these acts from being repeated in any stadium; We are sure that the corresponding instances will take the necessary measures to reach the final consequences against those who are responsible, and we wish the speedy recovery of those who were injured.
“Stadiums are family spaces and therefore must be a safe place for everyone.”
Santa Clara police posted images of two individuals wanted for questioning in the attack. The victim has been hospitalized and was reported as stable.
● Handball ● Co-host Germany won its third title at the IHF men’s World U-21 Championships on Sunday (2nd), in Berlin (GER), 30-23, over Hungary.
Iceland won the bronze, 27-23, over Serbia, as the matches were played in both Germany and Greece. The U.S. team was 0-3 in the group stage, then 1-1 in the consolation round and defeated Costa Rica, 25-23, to finish 27th out of 32 entries.
● Speed Skating ● Six-time World Championships bronze medalist Elizaveta Golubeva (RUS) has applied for a transfer of allegiance to Kazakhstan. Said Russian Skating Union President Nikolai Gulyaev:
“It’s better to ask the athlete about the motives for the transition. But, as they say, you won’t be forced to be nice. Let it be on her conscience, everyone decides for himself.”
Most recently, Golubeva, 26, won the 2021 Worlds bronze in the 1,500 m and the 2020 Worlds bronze in the women’s 1,500 m.
For our updated, 651-event International Sports Calendar (no. 2) for 2023 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!