TSX REPORT: Saving NCAA “non-rev” sports can be done; WADA invites inquiry on China swimming; confidence in French Alps 2030 plan

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1. LANE ONE: Can NCAA “non-revenue” sports survive? YES, it’s possible
2. WADA engages independent prosecutor on China
3. IOC shows high confidence at French Alps 2030 visit
4. ANOC, Bach continue pressure on World Athletics’s Paris pay plan
5. Paris details limited Seine access during the Games

● As college football threatens to implode all of college sports, a look at dollars and sense shows that an NFL-style under-23-type league could be formed and throw off enough money to fund the existing NCAA sports program for the 68 big schools that are part of the four major conference as of this fall.

● The World Anti-Doping Agency has engaged a former Swiss prosecutor to examine its handling of 23 Chinese swimming positives in 2021. Its critics are not impressed.

● The International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission finished its visit to the French Alps, examining its 2030 Winter Games bid and showing “high confidence” that it will be confirmed this summer.

● The Association of National Olympic Committees and IOC President Thomas Bach both came out against the World Athletics plan to pay its Olympic winners $50,000 each for Paris. This will have no impact on World Athletics at all, but could discourage others.

● The City of Paris released significant new details on its closures related to the 26 July Olympic opening to the public and they will be significant. Parts of the planning relates to measures taken after a major terrorist incident in 2015.

World Championship: Curling (Swedish brother-sister combo take Mixed Doubles Worlds gold) ●

Panorama: Winter Games 2034 (Park City sets aside money for Olympic hosting activities in 2024-25) = Archery (Spain’s Temino and Korea’s Kim take World Cup singles titles in Shanghai) = Athletics (5: Wanyonyi gets world road mile record; four U.S. wins at wild Suzhou Diamond League; Kovacs, then Otterdahl get world outdoor shot leads; Brooks equals best in Multistars win; Ohanian says no field events in 776 Invite this year) = Cycling (2: unheralded Rodriguez wins Tour de Romandie; Kimmann and Sakakibara sweep Tulsa BMX races) = Football (3: worries already over U.S. visas for 2026 World Cup; FIFA and UEFA worried over Spanish government takeover of RFEF; FIFA inks sponsorship deal with Saudi’s Aramco) = Gymnastics (2: Carey wins, Lee impresses, Douglas returns at American Classic; Varfolomeev and Okromova face off at Tashkent Rhythmic World Cup) = Judo (Brazil dominates Pan Am Champs in Rio) = Modern Pentathlon (Elgendy and Gnedtchik win World Cup III) = Sailing (10 nations win the 10 events at Last Chance Regatta) = Shooting (Svensson and Crovetto take qualifying Skeet wins in Doha) ●

Can NCAA “non-revenue” sports survive? YES, it’s possible.

We are seeing the death of American collegiate athletics as it was conceived, with college football the no. 2 sport in the U.S. and players pushing to be paid as employees of the universities they represent, instead of students getting an education and receiving free tuition, accommodations and board in return.

If some sort of payment for football players is coming, that sport may end up morphing into something like a professional under-23 league in a structure like the National Football League, with geographically-based divisions, collective bargaining and all the rest (and why have them go to class?). Casey Wasserman, the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee chair, said in a March interview that the NFL could take the lead on this:

“I actually think the NFL can say, look, we can help solve the problem, not take control of college football, but sort of create the pathway, and use that as a means to save all these Olympic sports that are good for this country and by the way, think about the Paris Olympics this summer: there’ll be 100 athletes competing in Paris for countries not for the United States, who went to college for free and got their athletic training at American universities.

“We train our competitors. Talk about power and soft power … that’s a powerful thing. All those things are going to go away if we don’t fix this problem.

“To push the institutions to do what’s right to maintain the sanctity of non-football sports, I think the NFL has a real opportunity to be a leader in that movement.”

The question is how will a chunk of money – and how much – from a fully-professionalized “college football” league be transferred back to universities which license their name, logo, practice facilities and stadiums to a new “college football” league?

One of the first questions is what do these non-football programs cost now? In fact, the real question is how much do all sports cost – outside of football and men’s and women’s basketball – at the 68 universities which will be part of the four major conferences as of this fall, which will be the core of any NFL-style future football league.

(This includes the Atlantic Coast Conference (18 schools); Big 10 Conference (18), Big XII Conference (16) and Southeastern Conference (16).)

There are some answers, if you know where to look. TSX asked George Perry of Texas-based NALathletics to take a look at the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics database, a public presentation of revenues and expenses at U.S. university athletic programs. It’s not the best data available on college sports spending, but it is the best that is publicly available.

The numbers are fascinating. For the 2023-23 academic year, the 68 schools in the four major conferences to be:

● $8,566,114,905 ($8.57 billion) in total athletics spending.

● $4,764,306,894 ($4.76 billion) in spending outside of football and basketball (men and women).

● $392,858,132 ($393 million) in spending for individual sports outside of football and basketball.

There’s a big difference between the $393 million for individual-sport spending and $4.76 billion for all-other athletic department expenses. What makes up that $4.371 billion?

Perry noted that while the accounting divisions between schools in their reports is not completely consistent, elements which are important include general administration, shared services (finance, rent, technology support, sports medicine to provided to all teams, academic support) plus coaching salaries, recruiting expenses, and so on.

So the ask from the 68 ACC-B1G-XII-SEC would not be $393 million to cover the other, non-revenue sports, but somewhere between $393 million and $4.76 billion.

If we assume that 60% of the $4.371 billion went to support football and basketball, that leaves $1.748 billion in other costs and added to the sport-operations total, would create a non-revenue-sports cost of $2.141.4 billion.

A lot of money, right? You bet it is. But (and there is always a but): do those “non-revenue” sports bring in any money? Perry was asked and with his magical spreadsheet touch, came up with more amazing numbers:

● $3,389,879,617 ($3.390 billion) in non-revenue-sport “revenue.”

● $2,285,868,096 ($2.286 billion) “Not Allocated by Gender/Sport Revenue.”

● $1,104,011521 ($1.104 billion) in non-revenue sports, by-sport revenue.

Now what does this mean? The “Not Allocated” total – 67.4% – is likely athletic department donations which are not broken out on a per-sport basis. And which are also likely to be primarily focused on football and basketball, although not exclusively.

But what the numbers show is that “non-revenue” sports brought in more than $1.1 billion at these 68 schools in 2022-23! The leaders:

● $45.91 million: Stanford
● $41.69 million: West Virginia
● $38.92 million: Notre Dame
● $35.15 million: Arizona State
● $34.38 million: Virginia

Some additional calculus will be needed to figure out how to integrate basketball into these calculations, assuming it stays within the NCAA framework and is not spun off as an NBA/WNBA U-23 league. But it says that:

● $1.104 billion a year is realized in “non-revenue” sport revenue
● $2.141 billion a year estimated in “non-revenue” sport costs
● $1.037 billion a year “gap” between “non-rev” revenue and costs

Translation: an NFL-style, 68-team, U-23 professional football league should pay the 68 universities which would host their teams at least $1.037 billion a year to make them whole for the revenue lost from football (there is a better number to be had, but not from the Equity in Athletics database).

Is this possible. Well, Kristi Dosh’s BusinessofCollegeSports.com site reviewed the available college football television contracts in March. For the 2024 college football season:

● ACC: $240 million per year expiring 2026-27
● Big 10: $1.05 billion per year expiring 2029-30
● Big XII: $220 per year deal expiring 2024-25; $380 million per year starting 2025-26
● SEC: $740 million per year starting 2024-25
● Playoffs: $470 million per year expiring 2025-26; $1.3 billion per year starting 2026-27

● All: $2.72 billion per year through 2024 football season
● All: $2.88 billion per year for the 2025 football season
● All: $3.71 billion per year for the 2026 football season

Is a $1.04 billion transfer to the 68 schools possible (about $153 million each) for stadium and practice field rent, team facility spaces, on-campus medical support and the rest? Sure looks like it.

Moreover, some of the money which is now going to donations for football at these schools (not mention name-image-likeness money) will come back to school athletic departments as the football programs become professionalized and separate entities.

Bottom line: It is possible to allow collegiate sport to continue across a broad base of sports and avoid a catastrophic contraction because football players want to be paid in money instead of education. But it’s a business deal and Wasserman’s contention that the NFL is well poised to lead this transition is absolutely right.

Commissioner Goodell, the NFL Draft is over. Ready to start a new “NFL-U” league?

Rich Perelman

(Special thanks again to George Perry for his wizardry with the Equity in Athletics database.)

WADA engages independent prosecutor on China

“In light of the damaging and baseless allegations that are being leveled at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the China Anti-Doping Agency’s (CHINADA’s) no-fault contamination case involving 23 swimmers from China in 2021, WADA has responded to calls and invited an independent prosecutor, Mr. Eric Cottier, to conduct a thorough review of WADA’s handling of the matter.”

Friday’s statement will calm, for now, the continuing criticism of WADA’s 2021 handling of the report of 23 Chinese swimmers who posted positive tests for trimetazidine, but still allowed them to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The announcement identified Cottier:

“Eric Cottier is a prosecutor of 39 years’ experience, who was the Attorney General of the Canton de Vaud, Switzerland, from September 2005 until his retirement in December 2022. Prior to that, he had been a public prosecutor from 1984 to 1991, President of the 2nd District Court in Vevey and Lavaux from 1991 to 1998, and a cantonal court judge from 1999 until 2005.”

As for his inquiry, the statement specified: “[H]e will be asked to present his opinion related to the two main questions at hand:

● “Is there any indication of bias towards China, undue interference or other impropriety in WADA’s assessment of the decision by CHINADA not to bring forward anti-doping rule violations against the 23 Chinese swimmers?”

● “Based on a review of the case file related to the decision by CHINADA not to bring forward anti-doping rule violations against the 23 Chinese swimmers, as well as any other elements that WADA had at its disposal, was the decision by WADA not to challenge on appeal the contamination scenario put forward by CHINADA a reasonable one?”

He is expected to make his findings available within two months, essentially by the end of June.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has been harshly critical of WADA’s handling of these positives in 2021, issued a sour statement on Friday in reply:

“By calling this an ‘independent’ investigation, WADA leadership is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Instead of WADA’s hand-picked lawyer with a limited and self-serving scope of review, the world’s athletes deserve a truly independent review commission with a wide scope of review that is constituted with an independent athlete representative and impartial respected jurists with anti-doping experience appointed by government consensus.

“A truly independent investigation also requires investigation of facts on the ground in China related to this case to include interviews of hotel staff, athletes, coaches, etc. (not just a compliance audit of CHINADA, which should have been done in 2021), immunity for whistleblowers to include WADA and CHINADA employees, full access to all internal emails from WADA and CHINADA, and raw data from the laboratory in China. All findings, and the documents upon which those findings are based, must also be published.”

Observed: WADA’s action is on the right track, but the USADA reply makes an important point that a detailed review of the details of the case in China is at the heart of the issue. The CHINADA report which was discussed in the ARD documentary “The China Files” specifically noted that the doping positives were investigated and reported “under the supervision of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security” instead of the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency.

The positives were reported through the worldwide Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) in normal course by CHINADA, so why didn’t it follow up, instead of a national security organization in China?

Cottier needs to answer these questions, but if he focuses only on what WADA did, his inquiry will be incomplete.

IOC shows high confidence at French Alps 2030 visit

“There will be a rule: there will be no white elephants. Absolutely none, and I am saying that, when you look at our roadmap, it will be quite unique. We are not going to be constructing all kinds of crazy things. We are not going to be building any old place. We are not going to make huge infrastructures that do not correspond to the needs of our regions.”

That statement, from Laurent Wauquiez, President of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (AURA) region in France typified the vibe from a Friday news conference in Nice (FRA) wrapping up a week of inspections by the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission, of the French Alps 2030 bid.

Wauquiez was almost in a rhapsody, talking about the 2030 Winter Games and how it will fit into the future plans of his region (English from the simultaneous interpreter on the video link):

● “The second thing that I want to bring forward was the vision that we want to convey. … it’s not the mountains adapting to the Games, the Games are adapting to the mountains, and this is an amazing vision that we’re being given.”

● “We want to give a special vision, we want to give a vision of the French Alps 2030, which will invent the Olympic Games of the future, which will be frugal, which will respect the environment, and we want to build the mountains of the future, dedicated to sport, to being dynamic, where people want to love and where nature is respected.”

● “There are no major constructions, let’s not get things out of proportion. We ask others who are talking about the throwaway society; we want to be proud that the things we build will be used in the next three decades. This is a very strong message and it corresponds to all of the different requirements.”

David Lappartient, the head of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF; he’s also the head of the Union Cycliste Internationale), noted that opinion polling for the French Alps candidature was good, with 62% in favor in a national survey, but 81% in the AURA region and 73% in the PACA region.

The budget for the organizing committee was confirmed at €1.975 billion (€1 = $1.07 U.S.), which does not include any infrastructure improvements which would be funded by national or local governments. No figure for the infrastructure spending was given, although an estimate of €1-2 billion was offered, with more details to come by the “end of the summer.”

Renaud Muselier, President of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (PACA) region, was almost as excited as Wauquiez, but had a different approach:

“I grew up with something prickly in my pocket, like sea urchins in my pocket, so I don’t like to dig deep to pay for things. So, we needed help with the payment, so we need to have the cheapest-ever Winter Olympic Games and you’ve already pronounced the figures. I think we’re on the right track there. …

“What we are manufacturing for 2030 is to develop our Alps, our regions, the quality of life, respect of our inhabitants and that’s committing us for the coming 30 years. So the Games are accelerating improvements to our living environment: it’s absolutely outstanding.”


“We are ready. We are committed. We are organized. We started the [bid] work before you gave us the get-go, the green light. We know we can do it, we know we will do it, if you can confirm this to us.”

IOC Future Host Commission Chair Karl Stoss (AUT) was calmer, but also enthusiastic about the process and the French Alps bid:

“For the IOC, it is now a totally different way, to go into a dialogue, with the candidates, with the targeted dialogue. And it was, and it is, successful. And it saved a lot of money for all of us, and a lot of time.

“You showed us a really strong legacy of the previous Games, in many of the venues, we saw in our tour. We have a high confidence about your ability to deliver the Games, because the venues are excellently maintained. You use [them] daily, for the society, for the youth, for the children, for the elite athletes as well.”

Stoss also noted the strong community support that the inspection team felt during the visit: “Passion, enthusiasm, commitment, professionalism: we could see and feel it all the time.”

He said the Commission report will be drafted and presented to the winter-sport International Federations at a meeting in late May, then to the IOC Executive Board for review at its 12-14 June meeting. If approved, then the French Alps 2030 bid will be presented to the IOC membership in an online meeting at the end of June before the actual election on 24 July in Paris.

With the Paris 2024 opening on the Seine coming this summer, questions were raised about the ceremonies plans for 2030. A concept for the closing in Nice could be on the Promenade des Anglais; for the opening, Wauquiez said, “We want to get dreaming with the mountains,” in multiple locations.

On the question of the speed skating venue, either a temporary site will be created – the first preference, as is being done for Milan Cortina in 2026 – or to place the sport in another country. The bid team has already identified possibilities in Italy or the Netherlands and an announcement is expected within about six weeks.

There’s work to be done, but the tone was all good and no hiccups are expected on the road to election of the French Alps 2030 bid in July.

ANOC, Bach continue pressure on World Athletics’s Paris pay plan

The Association of National Olympic Committees unsurprisingly sided with the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations in condemning the World Athletics plan to pay each of its 48 gold-medal winners – individuals or teams – $50,000 prizes for the Paris 2024 Games.

Moreover, the statement following Saturday’s ANOC Executive Board meeting demands that no international federation should pay Olympic medal winners; in pertinent part:

“While the Executive Council fully supports athletes being recognised for their performances, it was agreed that the decision by World Athletics to award prize money for the highest achieving athletes at the Games threatens to undermine the principles of Olympic solidarity that sit at the heart of the Olympic Movement.

“ANOC recognises that the IOC redistributes over 90% of its revenue to the Olympic Movement, including to the NOCs and IFs, appreciates that this contributes to reducing the sporting gap between richer and poorer countries, and also significantly contributes to the costs relating to the organisation of the Olympic Games and the participation of athletes from the 206 NOCs.

“The Olympic Games cannot be compared to any other event and the unique values of Olympism, embodied by athletes from all nations, must be protected and preserved.

“The Executive Council emphasised that the decision whether to award prize money to athletes should remain at a national level and is best coordinated by NOCs and governments for the purposes of celebrating national achievements across all sports.”

Also on Saturday, IOC President Thomas Bach (GER) distanced himself from the World Athletics action, telling Agence France Presse:

“The international federations have to treat all their member federations and their athletes on an equal basis and to try to balance this gap between the privileged and the less or under-privileged.

“Each pillar of the Olympic movement has its role to play. It’s very clear what the responsibility of an international federation is and what the responsibility of a national Olympic committee is.”

Observed: These statements will certainly do nothing to rein in World Athletics, which has charted an independent path under President Sebastian Coe (GBR), continuing to keep Russia out of its competitions – including Paris 2024 – now over the Ukraine invasion, and now paying 2024 winners and promising to pay all medalists in Los Angeles in 2028.

What it does do is challenge all of the other International Federation not to pay athletes. Most can’t because they can’t afford to. ANOC is trying to ensure that others which could – FIFA, World Aquatics and the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique – don’t.

This isn’t really over. In fact, it’s just starting.

Paris details limited Seine access during the Games

A City of Paris newsletter sent Friday details the access and closures close to the Seine River for the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 26 July, with an already-in-place anti-terrorism program as the base layer of the control plan. According to the Paris Info Jeux post (computer translation from the original French):

● “mid-June (June 17): start of assembly on the lower platforms;

● “end of June (June 26): start of assembly on the high platforms (partially impacted area open to traffic with occasional cyclist or pedestrian bypasses);

● “July 8: start of assembly on the bridges with the Debilly pedestrian bridge (assembly of the first bridge usually open to motorized traffic begins on July 8);

● “after July 14: closure of the high quays and low quays to the general public with maintenance of local access and maintenance of access to ERPs (establishments open to the public);

● “July 27-August 2: release of part of the spaces in order to leave the banks of the Seine without work during the Olympic Games and so that everyone can reclaim the quays and their activities;

“July 29: partial reopening to traffic of the high platforms (partially impacted area open to traffic with occasional cyclist or pedestrian bypasses);

● “August 4: end of dismantling on the high platforms.”

The area will be fully-reopened between 12-25 August, in advance of the Paralympic Games, which open on 28 August.

Of the 18 bridges across the river, access will narrow to only six on the day of the ceremony, and will be blocked for many by the 22nd.

The security plan close to the river was also discussed quite frankly, referencing the series of Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015:

“Since the attacks of 2015, perimeters called ‘SILT’ [‘Strengthening Internal Security and the Fight Against Terrorism’] are regularly implemented during major events. They result in the neutralization of numerous accesses.

“This SILT perimeter is activated continuously (unlike the SILT perimeters established around competition sites which are activated discontinuously depending on the sports sessions).

“Anti-terrorist in nature, its main objective is to secure the immediate surroundings of the Seine, which becomes an Olympic site for the opening ceremony. Access to the riverside is therefore limited to what is strictly necessary and is closely controlled, in order to ensure the safety of the place.

“To access this area, you will need a pass which may take several days to be issued. To obtain it, all residents and professionals in the area will have to register on the Police Prefecture platform which will be open on May 10. Access to the perimeter will also be subject to control and pat-down measures and searches of bags and luggage, as well as the opening of trunks for vehicles.”

While pedestrian and bicycle access to the security perimeter will be allowed, vehicles will – for the most part – not be allowed.

French tourism sites are now carrying this information, three months ahead of the Games.


● Curling ● Sweden won its second World Mixed Doubles Championship before home fans in Oestersund, as siblings Isabella and Rasmus Wrana, ranked 47th coming in, sailed through the group stage and then won their two playoff games by 14-7.

The Wranas were 8-1 in group play, losing only to Scotland and qualified directly to the semifinals. There, they went from down 2-1 after four ends to a 6-3 win with three scoring ends in the final four. They faced no. 2-ranked Estonia in the final, with Marie Kaldvee and Harri Lill, who finished third in Group A (6-3) and edged Canada (6-5) and Norway (8-6) in their playoff wins.

In the final, the Swedes scored twice in the second end, once in the third and twice in the fifth for a 5-2 lead and after Estonia cut it to 5-4, closed out with two points in the seventh and one in the eighth for an 8-4 victory and Sweden’s second title (also in 2019). It’s Estonia’s first-ever medal in this championship.

Norway, with Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, won the bronze, 6-5, over the Swiss. The U.S. team of Becca and Matt Hamilton finished fifth in their group and 10th overall.


● Olympic Winter Games 2034 ● Park City, Utah has begun the process of setting aside some money for 2034 Winter Games – just in case – by allocating $75,000 for its fiscal 2025 budget, from mid-2024 to mid-2025.

City Manager Matt Dias said, “If the mayor and council require to host a delegation or to make travel to be part of these Olympic delegations – trying to identify a funding source for that, that doesn’t currently exist. That’s something we weren’t doing last year, the last two, the last five years.”

● Archery ● At the World Cup opener in Shanghai (CHN), Spain’s Andres Temino surprised Korea’s two-time Olympic team winner, Je-deok Kim, 6-2, in the final, with fellow Korean (and three-time World Champion) Woo-jin Kim in third.

Si-heon Kim, Korea’s triple gold winner at the Asian Games last year, won the women’s Recurve final by 6-0 over India’s Deepika Kumari, with China’s Jiaman Li taking the bronze.

India won a surprise gold in the men’s team final, defeating Korea, 5-1, and China defeated the Korean women, 6-2, in their final. In the Mixed Team final, Lim and Kim teamed to beat Spain (Temino and Elia Canales) by 5-4 after a 19-18 shoot-off.

● Athletics ● Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi, the 2023 Worlds 800 m runner-up, won Saturday’s adizero Road to Records event in Herzogenaurach (GER) in 3:54.56 for a new World Road Mile record.

He bettered the 3:56.13 mark by American Hobbs Kessler in winning the World Athletics Road Mile Championship last October. Kessler came up to challenge Wanyonyi at the 1,200 m mark, but the Kenyan pulled away; Kessler was second in 3:56.18, with Ryan Mphahlele (RSA) third in 3:56.45.

The program included road events at 800 m, mile, 5 km and 10 km. Canada’s World 800 m champ Marco Arop won the men’s 800 m race in 1:44.30, Ethiopian star Yomif Kejelcha took the 5 km win in 13:00 and Nicolas Kipkorir (KEN) won a tight 10 km in 27:05, ahead of countryman Sabastian Sawe (27:06).

Kenyan Nelly Chepchirchir took the women’s mile in 4:30.93, ahead of American Addy Wiley (4:31.97). Ethiopia went 1-2-3 in the women’s 5 km, with Medina Eisa winning in 14:38 and Melknat Wudu second in 14:40, and Kenya went 1-2-3 in the women’s 10 km, with Agnes Ngetich scaring the women’s-only world mark with her winning time of 30:03 – two seconds off – and Margaret Kipkemboi second in 30:39.

The second Diamond League meet of the season was in Suzhou (CHN), with lots of action and plenty of surprises, with world-leading marks in both 5,000s:

Men/5,000 m: 12:55.68, Selemon Barega (ETH)
Women/5,000 m: 14:36.70, Mekedes Alemeshete (ETH)

Barega fought off a challenge from 17-year-old countryman Biniam Mehary on the final turn and into the straight and won by 12:55.68 to Mehary’s lifetime best of 12:56.37, with Kenyan Benson Kiplangat third (12:58.78 lifetime best). In the non-Diamond League women’s 5,000, Alemeshete – 18 – led a 1-2-3-4 Ethiopian finish in a lifetime best of 14:36.70, with Ayal Dagnachew also with a personal best of 14:36.86 in second and 2022 10,000 m World Champion Letsenbet Gidey getting third in her season opener at 14:37.13.

There was furious sprinting and lot of surprises, starting with a win for Tokyo Olympic fourth-placer Akani Simbine (RSA) over 2019 World Champion Christian Coleman of the U.S. in the men’s 100 m in 10.01, to 10.04 (wind: -0.1 m/s), with 2022 World Champion Fred Kerley of the U.S. third in 10.04.

The 200 m for women was also wild, with Britain’s Daryll Neita, the 2022 European 100 m bronze medalist, getting an excellent start and giving back nothing on the way to a 22.62 win (+0.2), ahead of Americans Anavia Battle (22.99), World 100 m champ Sha’Carri Richardson (23.11) and Tamara Clark (23.13).

Nigeria’s world-record holder in the 100 m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was caught for a false start in her race, but protested and was allowed to run under protest. Indoor record-setter Devynne Charlton (BAH) got the best start, but Olympic champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PUR) and Amusan closed hard after the final hurdle. Amusan got to the line first, but her disqualification held and Camacho-Quinn was awarded the victory in 12.63, with Charlton second in 12.64.

A similarly-tight finish in the men’s 110 m hurdles saw 2023 Worlds bronze medalist Daniel Roberts of the U.S. out-lean Japan’s improving Shunsuke Izumiya, 13.12 to 13.23 (+0.8). Olympic champ Hansle Parchment (JAM) was third (13.26) over Cordell Tinch of the U.S. (also 13.26).

Roberts’ win was one of four for the U.S. Marquis Dendy, the 2016 World Indoor champ, got out in front in the second round at 8.05 m (26-5) and China’s Jianan Wang, the 2022 World Champion, could not catch him, finishing second at 8.04 m (26-4 1/2), also in the second round.

Two-time World Champion Chase Jackson of the U.S. got out to 20.03 m (65-8 3/4) in the second round and that held up for the women’s shot win against World Indoors winner Sarah Mitton (CAN: 19.86 m/65-2). And Tokyo Olympic winner Valarie Allman of the U.S. had the five best throws in the women’s disc and won with her fifth-round strike of 69.86 m (229-2). Lagi Tausaga of the U.S., the 2023 World Champion, had three fouls.

In the men’s 800 m, Algeria’s 2022 African champ Slimane Moula held off Kenyan Wycliffe Kinyamal, 1:44.55 to 1:44.88, with American Clayton Murphy in third (1:45.18). The 2024 World Indoor Champion, Hamish Kerr (NZL) scored a nice win over co-Olympic champ Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT), 2.31 m (7-7) to 2.29 m (7-6). American Vernon Turner was third at 2.27 m (7-5 1/4).

In the vault, world-record setter Mondo Duplantis (SWE) won at 6.00 m (19-8 1/4), ahead of Ben Broeders (BEL) and Sam Kendricks of the U.S., both at 5.82 m (19-1). Duplantis did try another world record, at 6.25 m (20-6), but missed three times.

Dominican Marileidy Paulino, the 2023 World 400 m winner, won her specialty easily at 50.89, with American Talitha Diggs second in 51.77. World-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN) won the women’s Steeple in 9:07.36, way ahead of Olympic champ Peruth Chemutai (UGA: 9:15.46).

Marthe Koala (BUR) won the long jump at 6.68 m (21-11), ahead of American Quanisha Burks (6.59 m/21-7 1/2).

Good shot put action, with outdoor world-leading marks from two-time World Champion Joe Kovacs at the Ashland Alumni Open in Ohio on Friday, reaching 22.01 m (72-2 1/2), but that was surpassed by Tokyo Olympian Payton Otterdahl at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, who won at 22.14 m (72-7 3/4). He beat fellow American Roger Steen at 21.69 m (71-2) and Jamaica’s Rajindra Campbell at 21.56 m (70-9).

At the annual Multistars in Brescia (ITA), American Taliyah Brooks defended her 2023 victory with an identical score of 6,330. She won the 100 m hurdles and the 200 m and then the long jump on the second day and set a lifetime best in the 800 m at 2:13.81. Kate O’Connor of Ireland was second overall at 6,104.

Belgium’s Jente Hauttekeete won the decathlon at 8,020, setting a lifetime best in the javelin, finishing ahead of Risto Lillemets (EST: 7,971) and Teo Bastien (FRA: 7,963).

The new 776 Invitational coming in September, sponsored by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, will have no field events. None.

In response to his announcement of the meet, 2024 World Athletics Indoor long jump champ Tara Davis-Woodhall asked on X (ex-Twitter):

“can i be apart of the field events meet :)” (sic)


“don’t be mad… we’re not doing field events for this…. it’ll just be track, but I have ideas and definitely wanna get you involved”


● Cycling ● At the six-day Tour de Romandie in Switzerland, Spain’s Carlos Rodriguez moved into contention with a seventh-place finish in the Individual Time Trial in the third stage, then took the lead off a third-place finish in stage four and won the race in 15:44:46.

Russian Aleksandr Vlasov (the 2022 winner), competing as a “neutral,” finished seven seconds back and German Florian Lipowitz was third (+0:09).

The third and final stop on the UCI BMX World Cup tour – for races 5 and 6 – was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with Tokyo Olympic champ Niek Kimmann (NED) taking Saturday’s race in 34.614 seconds, ahead of Izaac Kennedy (AUS: 34.936) and Cedric Butti (SUI: 35.260); all three won their second medals of the season.

The women’s Saturday race was won Australian star Saya Sakakibara in 37.874, for her third win of the season and fifth medal in five races. She was a clear winner over Manan Veenstra (NED: 38.111, her third medal of the season) and American Alise Willoughby, a two-time World Champion) in 38.293.

Sakakibara completed a sweep on Sunday, winning again in in 38.945, with Willoughby second (39.553) and Sienna Pal (AUS: 40.432) getting third. In the six races, Sakakibara won four and was second twice and was the seasonal winner with 2,860 points, to 1,996 for Veenstra and 1,880 for Willoughby.

Kimmann then completed his sweep in the men’s Sunday final, in 35.686, ahead of Kennedy (35.762) and American Kamren Larsen (36.676). However, Kennedy won the seasonal title with 1,787 points to 1,764 for Butti, with Kimmann (1,456) third after missing two of the six races.

● Football ● A story at The Athletic, by Adam Crafton warned:

“FIFA & US tourism sector have raised concerns to US govt, inc meetings at White House, due to fears extreme visa wait times may deter fans from attending ‘26 WC. US visa interview for Mexicans 800 days & Colombians currently 685 – WC is 777 days away!”

“The Spanish government has taken this decision in order to correct the serious situation that the RFEF is going through and to allow the organisation to begin a period of regeneration.

“This Commission for Supervision, Normalisation and Representation will be headed by independent persons of recognised prestige.”

That’s from Spain’s National Sports Council (CSD) on Thursday, taking control of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in the aftermath of the exit of former President Luis Rubiales after the victory-ceremony fiasco following Spain’s win at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia. Questions have further been raised about RFEF actions under interim chief Pedro Rocha as well; he has resigned in order to run for the REF presidency himself.

Government takeovers of national federations are met with considerable alarm at the International Federation level, and FIFA and the European confederation UEFA offered a joint statement that included:

“FIFA and UEFA will seek additional information to assess the extent to which the CSD’s appointment of the so-called ‘Supervision, Normalisation and Representation Commission’ may affect the RFEF’s obligation to manage its affairs independently and without undue government interference.”

FIFA announced a four-year sponsorship agreement with the Saudi energy giant Aramco, which will run through the end of 2027. The deal specifically includes visibility at the FIFA World Cup 2026 – in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027, for which the U.S. and Mexico are also in a combined bid (along with others). The statement included:

“Through the partnership Aramco and FIFA intend to leverage the power of football to create impactful social initiatives around the world.”

● Gymnastics ● Tokyo Olympic Floor Exercise gold medalist Jade Carey won the senior All-Around at the USA Gymnastics American Classic meet in Katy, Texas, scoring 55.000 and winning on Vault (14.200) and Floor (13.750). She was also second on Beam (13.650).

Defending A-A champ Myli Lew was second (53.900) and won in the Uneven Bars (13.950). Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic All-Around gold medalist, returned to competition and finished 10th at 50.650, scoring a second place in the Vault (14.000).

Suni Lee, the Tokyo 2020 A-A winner, contested only two events, but won on Beam (14.300) and was 11th on Vault (13.250).

The A-A minimum to advance to the U.S. nationals was 51.00, so Douglas was a little short, but could try again at the U.S. Classic in May.

The fourth FIG Rhythmic World Cup was in Tashkent (UZB), but Germany’s five-time 2023 World Champion Darja Varfolomeev was on top again, taking the All-Around on Saturday over home favorite Takhmina Ikromova, the 2023 Asian Games All-Around winner, and four-time Worlds medalist Boryana Kaleyn (BUL) in third.

The individual events were a showdown between Varfolomeev and Ikromova. The Uzbek star won the Hoop, 35.50 to 35.30 and on Ball, 34.90 to 34.70. But Varfolomeev took the Clubs win: 35.75 to 34.55 and Ribbon, 33.45 to 32.95.

● Judo ● Host Brazil dominated at the Pan American Championships in Rio de Janeiro, taking six wins and three silvers in the individual events, including Michel Augusto in the men’s 60 kg class, 2019 World Junior Champion Willian Lima (66 kg), 2023 Pan Am Games winners Guilherme Schmidt (81 kg) and Larissa Pimenta (women’s 52 kg), 2016 Olympic champ Rafaela Silva (women’s 57 kg) and 2022 Worlds runner-up Beatriz Souza (women’s +78 kg).

The U.S. won silvers from David Terao in the men’s 60 kg class, John Jayne (90 kg) and Angelica Delgado in the women’s 52 kg division.

● Modern Pentathlon ● At the UIPM World Cup III in Budapest (HUN), the youngsters led the medal parade, as 21-year-old Mohamed Elgendy of Egypt and 20-year-old Mariya Gnedtchik of Belarus won the men’s and women’s finals.

Elgendy, who had finished 35th and 16th in the first two World Cups, was only eighth in fencing, 11th in riding and eighth in swimming and entered the Laser Run in eighth place, 43 seconds behind the leader. Hungary’s Bence Demeter, a five-time Worlds Team medal winner, from moved second to first fairly quickly, but missed a couple of shots and Elgendy and fellow Hungarian Balazs Szep were moving quickly. On the final lap, Szep moved into position to win, but was passed by Elgendy, who crossed first with the second-fastest time on the Laser Run, finishing with 1,511 points to 1,509 for Szep, who had the fastest Laser Run in the field. Egypt’s Mohanad Shaban finished third (1,503) as Demeter faded to fifth (1,500).

Korea’s Seung-min Seong had won medals in both of the prior World Cups this season and got off to a hot start, winning the fencing, placing 10th in riding but then third in swimming. She had a seven-second lead on the field for the Laser Run, but it was Gnedtchik (a “neutral”) who roared him from eighth on the Laser Run start list. She had the fastest time in the field by more than nine seconds and won with 1,435 points, with Seong only eighth-fastest and settling for second (1,427). Two-time World Champion Elena Micheli (ITA) got the bronze with 1,417 points.

Manuel Padilla and Mayan Oliver won the Mixed Relay for Mexico, winning the fencing and riding and finishing second in the Laser Run, and scoring 1,408 points to 1,374 for Brice Loubet and Louison Cazaly (FRA).

● Sailing ● The “Last Chance Regatta” to make it to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris was the Semaine Olympique Francaise off Hyeres (FRA), which concluded on Sunday,

In the Formula Kite boardsurfing class, Britain’s Connor Bainbridge – the Paris 2024 test event runner-up – was the clear winner with 18 net points and nine wins, over Poland’s Maksymilian Zakowski (34) and Jan Marciniak (38). The women’s title went to Swiss Elena Lengwiler, with just 12 net points and 11 wins, ahead of Poles Julia Damasiewicz (21) and Izabela Satrjan (35).

The windsurfer (IQ Foil) winners – decided by the medal race – were Makoto Tomizawa (JPN) over American Noah Lyons in the men’s race, with both qualified for Paris, and Czechs Katerina Svikova and Barbora Svikova, both also qualified now.

In the women’s dinghy (Laser Radial), Romania’s Ebru Bolat won a tight men’s competition with Marilena Makri (CYP), 36 net points to 37, despite Makri winning the medal race and Bolat finishing fourth. In the men’s (Laser) racing, Jee-min Ha of South Korea won with 49 net points to 55 for Karl-Martin Rammo (EST), thanks to Ha’s third-place finish in the medal race vs. sixth for Rammo.

The men’s skiff (49er) class was won by Germans Jakob Meggendorfer and Andreas Spranger, again in a medal-race finale against Yannick Lefevre and Jan Heuninck of Belgium, 88 to 91, with Meggendorfer and Spranger winning the medal race to clinch their victory. The women’s (49erFX) racing ended with a Polish 1-2 for Aleksandra Melzacka and Sandra Jankowiak (59) over Gabriela Czapska and Hanna Rajchert (75).

In the mixed-crew dinghy (470), Italy had the 1-2 finish, with Giacomo Ferrari and Alessandra Dubbini (23) and Elena Berta and Bruno Festo (43). The multi-hull (Nacra 17) class went to Denmark’s Natacha Saouma-Pedersen and Mathias Bruun Borreskov in a rout, scoring 37 points and winning by 26 over Turkey’s Alican Kaynar and Beste Kaynakci.

● Shooting ● The last ISSF Olympic Qualifier concluded in Doha (QAT) with the Skeet finals, with Rio silver medalist Marcus Svensson (SWE) winning the men’s final over Peeter Juerisson (EST), 55-53. The women’s final went to Chile’s Francisca Crovetto over Maheshwari Chauhan (IND), in a shoot-off (4-3) after a 54-54 tie after 60 shots.

Juerisson and Chauhan both earned places in Paris.

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