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≡ THE 5-RING CIRCUS ≡
1. WADA takes Valieva appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport
2. IOC brushes aside European Parliament resolution
3. USA Boxing “clarifies” comical IBA claim of Paris qualifying
4. Coalition pushes against Biden Admin transgenders-in-sports plan
5. Crouser’s 76-8 1/2 shot stunner may not be a world record
The World Anti-Doping announced its formal appeal of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee’s one-day sanction of figure skater Kamila Valieva in advance of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, asking for a four-year ban instead. The procedure before the Court of Arbitration for Sport will finally begin closure on a process that has taken more than a year. The International Olympic Committee dismissed the resolution of the European Parliament on its exploration of the possible re-entry of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competition as incompatible with its human-rights standards, but says no decision has been made on entry for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Poland will also boycott the 2023 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in India in March, and USA Boxing posted a notice re-affirming that the IBA’s “qualification procedure” for 2024 has nothing actually to do with the Paris Games. A coalition of more than two dozen organizations sent an open letter to the U.S. Education Secretary, urging against adoption of regulations to allow “biological boys and men to compete in girls’ and women’s sports and use women’s locker rooms and other intimate facilities.” Ryan Crouser’s sensational 76-8 1/2 world shot put record set last Saturday in Idaho may not be ratified as an “absolute” world record since it was made with a rubber-coated shot instead of an all-metal ball specified in World Athletics rules. But Crouser’s training has shown him that even greater distances may be coming.
● World Championships: Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard ●
● Panorama: Olympic Games 2028 (ITA and USADA working together) = Baseball (Japan win in WBC could be worth $444M) = Fencing (new discipline committee formed to settle complaints) = Football (CONCACAF men’s U-17s in quarters) = Shooting (ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup) ●
WADA takes Valieva appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport
“[T]he World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has carefully reviewed the full reasoned decision and file related to the case of Russian Olympic Committee figure skater, Kamila Valieva.
“Accordingly, WADA considers the finding by the disciplinary tribunal of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency that the athlete bore ‘no fault or negligence’ to be wrong under the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code in this case and has exercised its right to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“Within the appeal, WADA is seeking a four-year period of ineligibility and disqualification of all the athlete’s results from the date of the sample collection on 25 December 2021. As it has sought to do throughout this process, WADA will continue to push for this matter to proceed without further undue delay.”
What will hopefully be the last chapter in the seemingly-endless saga of the Team Event of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games figure skating competition has begun in earnest, with WADA filing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday.
They could – remarkably – be joined by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, as well as the International Skating Union, and the International Olympic Committee. Once Valieva’s positive test for the prohibited substance trimetazidine was reported on 8 February 2022, she was provisionally suspended by RUSADA, but that ban was overturned the next day on appeal to the separate RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee, allowing her to compete in Beijing.
The 13 January 2023 decision to impose only a one-day sanction on Valieva also came from the Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee, and not RUSADA itself; given Russia’s doping history, RUSADA has suggested it might also contest the Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee’s finding.
It has not been more than a year since the Team Event was concluded, but the results have never been finalized and no awards ceremony has been held. The U.S. was the runner-up on the ice, followed by Japan and Canada, and all are awaiting the conclusion of the drawn-out inquiry, decision and appeal.
WADA had previously filed to remove the case from RUSADA last November given the long delays, but is in a better position now with its appeal with a formal decision in place that acknowledges that Valieva did, in fact, commit a doping violation.
IOC brushes aside European Parliament resolution
The International Olympic Committee whisked aside the condemnation by the European Parliament of its discussions on the possible re-entry of Russian and Belarusian athletes into international competition.
In a statement quoted by the Russian news agency TASS, the IOC noted:
“First it should be clarified that there is no IOC decision ‘to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in qualifications for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.’ There is an exploration of a primary concept for conditions of participation. No decision has been taken.
“Regrettably, the European Parliament neither takes into account nor addresses the serious concerns expressed by two Special Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council. …
“The request of the European Parliament for ‘multifaceted isolation’ of all Russians and Belarusians clearly contradicts this statement.
“The European Parliament declaration is also in clear conflict with the autonomy of sports organizations, which is an essential part of the European Sports Model and a fundamental principle that has been recognized by EU institutions on many occasions.
“Furthermore, the [European Parliament’s] declaration is in clear contradiction with the unifying peace-building mission of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Charter, endorsed multiple times by the European Union and its member states.”
The 27-nation European Parliament resolution was passed by 444 votes in favor, 26 against and 37 abstentions.
This isn’t over.
USA Boxing “clarifies” comical IBA claim of Paris qualifying
After the issuance of a hard-to-believe document by the International Boxing Association, claiming to outline a qualification procedure for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games over which it has no relationship, USA Boxing Executive Director Mike McAtee posted a notice on Monday evening which included:
“USA Boxing wishes to clarify the ‘qualification process’ announced today by the International Boxing Association (IBA) to our members.
“IBA does not have the right to state a qualification process per their suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2019.
“The IOC reaffirmed this qualification criteria today, reiterating that ‘the only valid boxing qualification system for Paris 2024 is the one approved by the IOC EB in September 2022, published and distributed to NOCs and boxing National Federations on 6 December 2022. Following an investigation and report by an IOC Inquiry Committee in 2019, recognition of the International Boxing Association was suspended by the IOC. This suspension is still in force today.’
“The upcoming Elite World Championships are not a qualification pathway to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.” (Emphasis in original)
In addition, it was also reported last week that Poland will not be participating in the IBA’s World Championships for women in India in March; RingSide24.com noted that “Germany and the Scandinavian countries” would not compete, joining Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and the U.S.
Coalition pushes against Biden Admin transgenders-in-sports plan
A group of 28 organizations, including the Independent Women’s Law Center, the Independent Women’s Voice and American Civil Rights Project, have warned:
“Last year, the Biden administration proposed new regulations that rewrite Title IX to extend the meaning of ‘discrimination on the basis of sex’ to include ‘gender identity.’ As part of that proposed rulemaking, the Department also announced that it intends to propose yet another round of regulations addressing Title IX and athletics.”
A 13-page public letter issued Tuesday urged Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “to abandon the U.S. Department of Education’s plans to force America’s public schools, colleges, and universities to allow biological boys and men to compete in girls’ and women’s sports and use women’s locker rooms and other intimate facilities.”
The letter explains that “the Department has clearly already decided that a student’s chosen gender identity shall replace his or her biological sex in determining the programs – including athletic competitions – in which the student may participate,” and outlines multiple grounds on which the decision is not only wrong, but will be open to legal challenge if issued.
“Beyond the many legal constraints presented by the Department’s anticipated rulemaking, there are undeniable biological differences between males and females that give biologically male student athletes competitive advantages in particular contests against biologically female student athletes. Those advantages do not disappear because the male athlete wishes to participate in an athletic event as a female.”
The proposed new regulations could be issued this spring. Lawyers are in waiting.
Crouser’s 76-8 1/2 shot stunner may not be a world record
Track & Field News obtained the details of Ryan Crouser’s sensational 23.38 m (76-8 1/2) performance at the Simplot Games last Saturday in Pocatello, Idaho, reporting that the mark – made indoors – may not be ratified by World Athletics as a world record.
Although indoor marks are allowed as “absolute” world records where the competition conditions are similar – Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis set a world men’s vault mark indoors last year – the regulations for the shot put require a metal ball for outdoor competitions, but allow a plastic or rubber casing for indoor events.
On that basis, World Athletics may not ratify the 23.38 m throw as an “absolute” world record.
However, Crouser does not appear to be worried. He threw the 23.38 m on his first try, without a wind-up, then switched to his new “Crouser Glide” technique in which he adds a step to his spin technique to try and develop extra power behind the ball.
The rest of his series was 22.48 m (73-9), foul, 22.04 m (72-3 3/4), 22.60 m (74-1 3/4) and 22.26 m (73-0 1/2). The 22.60 m throw in round five was the equal-7th performance of all time.
Crouser told T&FN Managing Editor Sieg Lindstrom about the new technique:
”In training I just called it ‘step across,’ but the Crouser Slide, that’s what the guys that I train with at Arkansas jokingly call it and that name seems to have kind of stuck. And I did that in the later rounds. The most surprising thing is the 23.38 came off of a static.
“But I’m excited cuz the slide in training is about 77cm [c30 inches or 2½ feet!] over my static. But then of course in a meet there’s a little bit more to go wrong. The slide was much better this week than it was at Millrose.
“I mean, it’s trying to make up a lot of ground. Look at how many times I’ve thrown with a standard technique. So it’s a matter of closing the gap and hopefully we can get that spread in the future off of what I’ve seen in training.”
≡ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
● Freestyle Skiing & Snowboard ● Austria and Switzerland dominated the FIS Snowboard Parallel Slalom World Championships in Bakuriani (GEO) on Tuesday, with the two countries winning five of the six medals.
Austrian star Andreas Prommegger, now 42, won the 2019 Worlds in both the Parallel Slalom and Parallel Giant Slalom, and added the Slalom in Bakuriani by defeating countryman Arvid Auner (26) in the final by 0.44 seconds. Canadian Arnaud Gaudet (22) won the third-place race over Fabian Obmann (AUT).
Swiss Julie Zogg (30) was also the 2019 World Champion in the Parallel Slalom and added a second gold on Tuesday, beating countrywoman Ladina Jenny (29) in the final by 0.24, with Austrian Sabine Schoeffmann (30) taking the bronze over Ramona Theresia Hofmeister (GER).
Guess these events aren’t for kids any more.
≡ PANORAMA ≡
● Olympic Games 2028: Los Angeles ● The Paris 2024 Games are coming next year, but the planning for 2028 is already going strong.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the International Testing Agency concluded two days of meetings last week, specifically focused on the run-up to Los Angeles 2028. According to a Tuesday statement, the discussions involved:
“[L]eaders from each organization discussed operational best practices, including increased coordination of testing and investigative efforts related to athletes in both the ITA and USADA testing pools. Participants also discussed opportunities for increased efficiency, scientific collaboration, athlete education, and much more. Through ongoing strategic collaboration, the ITA and USADA will be able to design and deliver the most extensive anti-doping program to date at the Games in 2028.”
● Baseball ● While national-team baseball has not really caught on in most parts of the world, it’s a big deal in Japan, especially heading into the fifth World Baseball Classic, which will start on 8 March.
The national team, known as “Samurai Japan” won the first two Classics, in 2006 and 2009, and finished third in 2013 and 2017. Kyodo News reported that Kansai University professor emeritus Katsuhiro Miyamoto estimated that another Japanese win could generate “about 59.6 billion yen ($444 million) in economic effects.” Said Miyamoto:
“Many Japanese people are hoping to see a WBC victory for Samurai Japan at a time when there is so much depressing news such as the coronavirus, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continued inflation.”
● Fencing ● Recent turmoil at USA Fencing, in which elected President Peter Burchard was removed after a year in office in a Board of Directors vote that was not part of the agenda in an October 2021 meeting, and a clumsy Tokyo Olympic team environment in which men’s Epee alternate Alen Hazdic was kept away from the Olympic Village after a sexual misconduct claim was made against him, has led to changes at the federation’s 16 February Board meeting.
A new “Grievance and Disciplinary Committee” was set up, with full power for decision-making, but with appeals to the Board possible. This impacts all USA Fencing members, and would have been a forum for Burchard, Hazdic and others if it had been in operation two years ago. The group is to be made up of six members, with four appointed by the Board (but none of which are Board members) and two members nominated by the Athlete Council.
Further, a replacement of what is now known as the “Chair” position (the elected President position has been eliminated) requires the opportunity for the incumbent Chair to be able to address the Board, something which was denied to Burchard when he was ousted in 2021.
A new section was proposed that would require that agenda items for Board meetings be noticed beforehand (which would have prevented the Burchard removal) unless a vote of the Board is made to add an item (which would have allowed the insurrection to take place anyway).
Burchard is still at At-Large Member of the Board and at least got to see that his unceremonious removal has led to some structural changes. These by-law changes will require a public comment period before being formally enacted.
● Football ● The CONCACAF men’s U-17 Championship in ongoing in Guatemala and into the quarterfinals on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the final coming on Sunday.
The group winners included top-seeded Mexico (2-0-1), the U.S. (3-0), Costa Rica (2-0-1) and Honduras (3-0). In the first playoff round, Mexico defeated Nicaragua, 6-0; the U.S. shut out the Dominican Republic, 7-0, and Honduras blanked Bermuda, 6-0. Costa Rica was upset by Puerto Rico, which won on penalty kicks (4-2) after a 1-1 tie.
In Tuesday’s quarterfinals, Mexico got two second-half goals from Jose Urias to secure a 3-0 victory over El Salvador, and the U.S., which had outscored its four opponents, 16-1, coming into the game, got on top in the seventh minute of its game vs. host Guatemala with a score by Brian Romero, added a second from Keyrol Figueroa in the 28th, but led only 2-1 at half as Olger Escobar scored for the home team in the 45th.
The second half got crazy quickly, as Aiden Harangi scored for the U.S. in the 51st, Guatemala’s Gabino Vasquez got it right back in the 52nd and then Figueroa got his second in the 53rd for a 4-2 lead. Guatemala’s Carlos Aguilar closed it to 4-3 in the 74th, but Tata Habroune scored for the U.S. in the 83rd for the 5-3 final and a trip to the semis.
Wednesday’s quarters have Honduras facing Panama and Puerto Rico vs. Canada. The semis will be on Friday, in Guatemala City.
● Shooting ● The ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup in Cairo (EGY) is halfway through, with India scoring three wins in 10 m events so far.
Slovakia’s Juraj Tuzinsky – the Rio 2016 fourth-placer – won the men’s 10 m Air Pistol final, 17-15, over Paolo Monna of Italy. Hungary’s Veronika Major sailed past 2010 World Champion Zorana Arunovic (SRB) in the women’s 10 m Air Pistol title match, 16-6, for her second career World Cup gold, but first since 2019. Greece’s Anna Korakaki, the 2018 World Champion, was third.
Arunovic won another silver in the 10 m Air Pistol Mixed Team final, with Damir Mikec, losing to India’s Rhythm Sangwan and Varun Tomar, 16-10.
India took top honors again in the 10 m Air Rifle Mixed Team final, with Narmada Raju and Rudrankksh Patil defeating Hungary, 16-6. Patil then followed up with the men’s 10 m Air Rifle individual gold, 16-8, over Maximilian Ulbrich of Germany.
Britain’s Seonaid McIntosh won the women’s 10 m Air Rifle gold, also 16-8, over Nana Christen (SUI). Competition continues through Thursday.
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