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Discussion Starter #1

Female ski jumpers file complaint
Canadian Press
2/5/2007 6:14:04 PM

CALGARY (CP) - Canada's female ski jumpers are demanding the federal government help them get into 2010 Winter Olympics.

The mother of Katie Willis, a 15-year-old from Calgary ranked among the top six in the world in women's ski jumping, has filed a complaint with Canada's Human Rights Commission on behalf of her daughter and her teammates.

Jan Willis is challenging the Canadian government to put pressure on the International Olympic Committee to reverse its decision denying entry of women's ski jumping into the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

She says the Department of Canadian Heritage is obligated to take up the women's cause because its money is helping build the Whistler Nordic Venue in the Callahan Valley.

''The bottom line is it is discrimination,'' Jan Willis said Monday. ''They are contributing to these facilities and women are not allowed to compete on them. I think that goes against the grain of most people's values in Canada.''

Ski Jump Canada is backing the complaint, said chairman Brent Morrice.

''I have totally supported the girls and continue to support them in their quest for equality,'' he said. ''There are a lot of irons in the fire and the girls are taking a big step here by filing this complaint.

''There are a lot of people who want them to go away, but I don't believe they are going to go away.''

Ski jumping and nordic combined are the last male-only events at the Winter Games. Nordic combined incorporates ski jumping and cross-country skiing.

The IOC wants gender equality in the Games, but its executive committee denied entry of women's ski jumping into the Games, saying the sport did not have enough world-wide participation and depth of talent to be part of the Olympic program.

The IOC instead voted in November to allow skiercross into the Games. The Vancouver organizing committee (VANOC) has yet to approve its inclusion in the 2010 Games, which open three years from Monday.

The committee is not making contingency plans for the inclusion of women's ski jumping, according to its vice-president of sport.
''With respect, we're not going to speculate on a `what if' scenario for women's ski jumping,'' Tim Gayda said in a statement. ''The IOC has made their decision on women's ski jumping and we are planning our sport program accordingly.''

Nina Reid, a Calgary lawyer who has a 13-year-old daughter in the sport, is serving as counsel to Willis.

''I think there still is time to approach the IOC and try to have the decision revisited,'' Reid said. ''The main purpose of filing it is to get the federal government's attention.

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Discussion Starter #2
Report: London 2012 budget could double


Associated Press
2/4/2007 11:49:13 AM


LONDON (AP) - The cost of the 2012 London Olympics has doubled and could reach as high as 9 billion pounds (C$21 billion), according to a newspaper report Sunday.

The Sunday Times, citing figures obtained ahead of the official budget announcement by the British government, said the cost of building the Olympic Park had risen to 5.1 billion pounds (C$11.9 billion).

The figure given in the bid book was 2.38 billion pounds (C$5.55 billion).

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell wouldn't be drawn on the amount reported by the paper.

''That is not the case at this point, because we are still, within government, negotiating both the likely cost of the Olympics and the funding requirement,'' she told BBC television's ''Sunday AM'' program. ''But I think you will see over the next two-to-three years, extremely wild claims about what the Olympics are going to cost.''

The Olympic Delivery Authority - the body responsible for building the venues and infrastructure for the Games - determined the budget in consultation with Jowell and London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Jowell said she was eager for the budget to be finalized, but appealed for patience.

''I'm quite sure people are getting impatient about the length of time it's taking to settle this,'' she said. ''I would only say that this is five years before the Games - Sydney did not settle their budget until two years before they hosted the most successful Games ever.''

The 1.7 billion pound (C$4 billion) funding gap was likely to be filled by profits from lotteries, the paper said. The Olympics had already been promised 1.5 billion pounds (C$3.5 billion) in lottery funding.

Jowell said the shortfall would come from ''a number of sources'' of both public and private cash but did not give further details.

Contingency funds were not included in the revised budget figure. The Sunday Times said that figure would be between 1-3 billion pounds (C$2.33-C$6.99 billion).

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Discussion Starter #3
IOC to hold hearings on doping in Turin

Associated Press
2/9/2007 6:41:45 PM


LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - The IOC will hold hearings in mid-April into alleged doping by Austrian athletes during the 2006 Turin Games.

The International Olympic Committee's disciplinary committee, which met Friday to discuss possible rule violations during the Games, declined to say which athletes, coaches or team officials would be called.

IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau confirmed that the meeting examined documents turned over by Italian investigators into alleged doping by the Austrian biathlon and cross-country skiing teams.

Turin prosecutors reportedly are investigating at least four members of the Austrian team on suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Italian police raided the lodgings of Austria's cross-country and biathlon teams during the Turin Games, seizing alleged doping substances and equipment. The raid was triggered by the presence of former Austrian coach Walter Mayer, who was implicated in a blood-doping case at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and banned by the IOC from the Turin Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Games.

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Discussion Starter #4
Greek sprinters to stand trial

Associated Press
1/25/2007 3:15:05 PM


ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will stand trial Monday on perjury charges relating to their alleged motorcycle accident and missed doping test before the 2004 Olympics.

Judicial officials said Thursday the duo would be tried along with Kenteris' coach, Christos Tzekos, who is charged with importing illegal substances.

"We feel innocent. We are innocent, and this is the chance to prove it," Tzekos told The Associated Press. "For us, there is no case in this."

The athletes, both Olympic medallists at the 2000 Sydney Games, are accused of making false statements and prompting doctors to issue false testimony regarding their wounds. A subsequent examination by a forensic surgeon had found no evidence of injuries.

It marks the first court appearance by the two athletes since the murky events of Aug. 12, 2004, the eve of the Athens Games' opening ceremony, when they claimed to have been in an accident while riding Tzekos' motorcycle on the way back to the Olympic Village, causing them to miss a doping test. They were taken to the hospital, where they remained for four days before being released.

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Discussion Starter #5
COC set to visit Vancouver 2010 venues


Canadian Press
2/11/2007 3:55:08 PM


VANCOUVER (CP) - The 2010 Winter Olympics are still three years away but the Canadian Olympic Committee is already laying the groundwork for Canada's athletes to climb on the podium at the Vancouver Games.

A team from the COC will be in Vancouver and Whistler this week, inspecting Olympic venues and gathering information it hopes will give Canadian athletes the edge when competition starts.

"We will visit all the venues and take a look at the level of preparedness three years out," said Chris Rudge, the COC's chief executive officer, who will be part of the tour.

"We will see where we are and have discussions with the technical people at each of the venues so we can have more intelligence with respect to the nature of the venue and what sort of idiosyncrasies or opportunities there might be."

On Monday, the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Games will be officially three years away.

To mark the occasion, the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee (VANOC) will unveil a giant countdown clock at the downtown Vancouver Art Gallery.

Construction continues on most of the Games venues, but that won't stop COC officials from gleaning as much information as possible.

Having the inside knowledge of how the ice is made at the Olympic speed skating oval, or the design of the bobsled track, can shave valuable one-100ths of a second off a final time.

"It allows all of us who are working with the athletes . . . to build up an intelligence base that can be shared with the athletes and their training and preparation and also their mental development and their strategic approach to competing in each of the venues," said Rudge.

This will be the COC's third visit to Vancouver. Building a database on the venues ties in with programs like Own the Podium, which is already spending money on athlete training and technical developments.

Work on the $580 million in venues needed for the Games is proceeding ahead of schedule and some test events are expected to be held as early as this winter.

By the end of this summer, work is expected to be completed in Whistler on the $99.9-million sliding centre, $115-million Nordic competition venue and the $26.2 million in upgrades to the men's and women's downhill ski courses.

A World Cup Alpine ski event is scheduled to be held in Whistler next February.

Getting the venues done early, to give Canadian athletes more time to train on them, has always been priority for VANOC.

"The venue program is the piece of the project that is watched most all over the world," said John Furlong, VANOC's chief executive officer. "We are in good shape.

"By the end of 2007, it is hard to believe, most of the venues will be fully finished and in place and we will be training people on them."

Rudge said COC officials make advance visit to all Olympic and Pan-Am Games host cities.

The tours help with issues like security, transportation and finding accommodation for staff not living in the athletes village.

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Discussion Starter #6
Countdown clock unveiled in Vancouver


TSN.ca Staff
2/12/2007 8:40:09 PM


The three-year countdown is on to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as the official Olympic timekeeper was unveiled with a public clock Monday at the city's Art Gallery.

It will count down the remaining days, hours, minutes and seconds left before the Games begin on Feb. 12, 2010.

The structure weighs 1,170 kg and measures six metres high by three metres wide. It is the latest creation from Omega, Official Timekeeper of the 2010 Games, which worked closely with VANOC in theplanning and construction.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Games says it will become a signature landmark for the city.

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Discussion Starter #7
Anti-Doping agencies to use more discretion

Associated Press
2/13/2007 4:07:28 PM


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Anti-doping agencies soon could be allowed more discretion when punishing athletes who test positive for banned substances but honestly didn't intend to cheat.

Delegates at a two-day conference to review the World Anti-Doping Code agreed on the changes Tuesday, meaning it is almost certain to be included when the code is updated in November.

"Those athletes that are taking, by mistake, a cold medicine should be able to get away with it. Until now that's been difficult," said Rune Anderson, the World Anti-Doping Agency's director of standards.

Under WADA's current code, testing positive for a banned substance the first time means an automatic two-year suspension. That can be doubled when an athlete shows a pattern of intentional abuse, but now it also will be possible to lessen the punishment - or in some cases, drop it entirely.

"It will still be difficult because the athlete will have to prove that what they took ... was not intended to enhance performance. So the burden of proof is on them," Anderson said.

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Discussion Starter #8
Koreas fail to reach Olympic agreement

Associated Press
2/13/2007 8:48:37 PM


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Sports officials from North and South Korea failed to reach any agreement Tuesday on forming a single team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, South Korea's Olympic committee said.

During the one-day meeting in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the two sides failed to agree on how to compose a unified team, the committee said in a statement.

South Korea has insisted athletes should be selected based on performance, while the North wants equal representation.

''We confirmed the difference in our opinions and have decided to meet again for further talks with better proposals,'' the committee said in the statement.

However, the committee did not say when they would meet again.

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Discussion Starter #9
Sylvie Frechette steps down from COC


Canadian Press
2/15/2007 1:30:11 PM


MONTREAL (CP) - Former Olympian Sylvie Frechette has stepped down from her position with the Canadian Olympic Committee to spend more time with her family, the COC said Thursday.

Frechette, a two-time Olympic medallist in synchronized swimming, joined the COC full-time in January 2006 and was recently named athlete programs manager.

She will continue to work part-time for the COC for at least six more weeks to assist with the transition to her successor. Frechette and her husband have two young daughters.

"I have enjoyed my position with the COC and I'm so grateful for the opportunities and the flexibility they have given me over the past year," Frechette said. "At this point in my life, I want to be there for my children and to be the best mother I can be while also working on some other projects that I am passionate about."

Frechette, 39, has expressed an interest in continuing to support the COC and its programs in some capacity.

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COC: Looking for the best athletes


Canadian Press
2/14/2007 2:07:04 PM


CALGARY (CP) - It's time to start separating athletes with a chance for Olympic medals in 2010 from those who don't, says the man who is helping dole out money to prepare Canada's athletes.

Roger Jackson oversees the $110 million that the Own The Podium program plans to allocate to Canada's winter sport athletes.
The goal of the five-year plan, supported by both Vancouver organizers and the Canadian Olympic Committee, is to have Canada finish first in the medal standings at the Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

"This is a very critical winter season for several sports," Jackson told The Canadian Press in a recent interview in his office at Canada Olympic Park. "The mindset up until now has been one of trying to help everybody get going and giving them a helping hand.

"What we've told the sports is, starting this spring, with three years to go, they're going to see us focusing more on where they have come from in the last two years."

That means what has been a more equitable distribution of the money is now going to be streamed towards athletes with the best chance of finishing on the podium in 2010.

The athletes themselves are trying to earn that designation now as they are in the thick of world championships and World Cups.

"The standard is absolutely clear, it's medals," Jackson said. "We will make sure the funding we do have available is giving everything possible to those who do have a chance."

Jackson, a former Olympic rowing champion and former president of the Canada Olympic Committee, will begin meeting next month with Canada's sport governing bodies in Winter Olympic and Paralympic sports to evaluate their athletes' improvements from the 2005-06 winter season.

Jackson doesn't single out sports or athletes, but Canada's hockey players, curlers and speedskaters are currently Canada's best bets for medals in 2010.

Cross-country, alpine and freestyle skiers, bobsled and skeleton sliders and figure skaters have and are showing medal potential. In sports such as luge and ski jumping, athletes have yet to finish in the top five consistently.

But an example of how OTP funding is working is biathlete Zina Kocher, who won a World Cup bronze medal this winter in a sport Canada hasn't done much in since Myriam Bedard won two Olympic gold in 1994.

Jackson says he will meet with Biathlon Canada this spring to discuss their financial needs.

"We would expect they would have a very individualized program for Zina," Jackson said. "The one thing we will not tolerate as we move forward will be any diminishment of attention to the medallist athletes or the potential medallist athletes.

"One thing we will watch very carefully as we go forward is an athlete like Zina Kocher getting that absolute first-rate, platinum-card support. This doesn't mean money in her pocket. It means the first-rate equipment and training and rehabilitation, strength training and nutrition advice."

So it is up to Canada's athletes now to prove they are deserving of the Cadillac treatment heading into 2010.

"Own the Podium and how we get money is interesting," said Jeff Christie of the Canadian luge team. "It's good because we're getting money and I like it because Canada is finally putting the onus on getting results and getting medals."

Jackson acknowledges deciding who gets what will be delicate, because there are athletes, such as Canadian cross-country skier Chandra Crawford, who was a complete surprise in winning an Olympic gold last year. How will he make sure no one gets left behind?

"The answer is we have to be very, very careful," he said.

The OTP money works out to $22 million per year for all sports and it doesn't go directly into the athlete's hands.

About $14 million a year goes to the sport governing bodies to pay such things as a full-time coaches and a high performance director, the recruitment of athletes as well covering the cost of athletes' travel to international competitions and training sites.

The cost of a performance enhancement team for each sport- physiotherapists, bio-mechanists, nutritionists, chiropractors and doctors - runs about $4 million per year.

The third-biggest piece of the pie is the $3-million so-called Top Secret, which is sport science and technology.

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Assembly question 2012 games


Associated Press
2/15/2007 2:32:20 PM


LONDON (AP) - The London Assembly questioned officials from the 2012 Olympics and representatives from the five host boroughs in a meeting at City Hall on Thursday.

The Assembly, a group of 25 elected members that also scrutinizes the mayor of London, asked the two panels what legacy the 2012 Games would leave on the city - specifically the less affluent East End. "It is about changing the image for good of the East End of London," said Jules Pipe, the mayor of the east London borough Hackney. "I think we've got to use this opportunity to transform what the East End is known for."

The five representatives from the boroughs discussed ways to help unemployment, how to get contracts to local businesses, and how to ensure that the changes will benefit their area in the long term.

They said they are working together to solve these problems and that they are confident things will work out.

"I think you should look at other games and ask yourself just how much farther forward we are than they were," said Robin Wales, the mayor Newham, where much of the games will take place.

The discussion with the Olympic officials dealt more with technical details, like the citywide impact and how the facilities will benefit the city after the games.

Manny Lewis, the chief executive of the London Developmental Agency, accepted a list of nearly 100 community leaders from the Assembly. Members of the Assembly criticized the agency for not being in contact with enough people in the boroughs.

Other plans were discussed at the meeting, including the building of facilities and the economics of the Games. But it was the environmental legacy that got the assembly, and the audience, the most worked up.

On Jan. 23, organizers promised that the London Olympics would be the "greenest Games" in history. Assembly member Jenny Jones was not convinced as she pressed the panel of Olympic officials to exceed the minimum requirements.

"Whether it is water usage or the energy or energy efficiency, this is a really unambitious document," Jones said.

"The London Plan requires everybody to have 20 per cent renewables, why can't you go farther? Why can't you actually be exemplary and actually be ambitious about this?"

David Higgins, the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said they are building a network so the Olympics and Stratford Village have new technology that can be constantly upgraded. He also said they set a 40 per cent water reduction for the Olympics, something that has not been achieved in the country.

"All of our feedback is that it is very ambitious," Higgins said.

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Discussion Starter #12
Sochi, Russia wants 2014 Winter Games


Associated Press
2/19/2007 2:44:39 PM


SOCHI, Russia (AP) - With its palm trees and Black Sea beaches, Sochi seems like a good spot to hold the Summer Olympics. Turn your back on the seaside sights, though, and it's clear why the city is bidding for the 2014 Winter Games.

Soaring snowcapped peaks rise at the city's outskirts, some topping 3,200 metres. The dramatic setting combining subtropical vegetation and alpine chill in a comparatively compact area is a key element in Sochi's campaign to bring the Winter Olympics to Russia for the first time.

An International Olympic Committee evaluation commission begins its tour of Sochi on Tuesday, compiling information and impressions ahead of the July 4 vote pitting the Russian city against Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On Monday, the IOC inspectors were studying documents from the bid committee.

The Olympic panel completed its tour of Pyeongchang on Saturday. The group will inspect Salzburg next month.

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Discussion Starter #13
Rulon Gardner survives plane crash

The Canadian Press
2/26/2007 6:57:27 PM


(AP) - Scrambling out of a downed, waterlogged airplane, swimming to shore through an icy cold lake, spending the night exposed in the freezing, desert chill, then walking away with little more than bumps and bruises and the urgent need of a nice, warm bed. Harrowing close calls are becoming a habit for Rulon Gardner, Olympic wrestling champion-turned-escape artist.

There was the time he lost a toe to frostbite after being stranded in the wilderness. He also was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and way back in third grade, he impaled himself with an arrow.

Now this. Gardner's weekend brush with death was the third since he unbelievably captured the gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It happened when a small airplane he was riding in crashed into the aptly named Good Hope Bay, near the Arizona-Utah border.

"I should be dead," Gardner told The Associated Press on Monday. "I shouldn't be on the earth today."

Gardner and the two other men in the plane, brothers Randy and Leslie Brooks, swam to shore through the 7 C water and spent Saturday night on the banks without shelter. On Sunday morning, they spotted a fisherman, chased him down and got a ride back to safety.

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IOC sees 'challenges' for Russia's bid

Associated Press
2/23/2007 1:29:56 PM


SOCHI, Russia (AP) - The leader of the IOC evaluation team assessing Russia's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics said Friday the necessary massive construction poses a significant challenge.

Sochi, a resort city wedged between the Black Sea and the snowcapped Caucasus Mountains, would need to build almost all the needed facilities if it wins the right to host the games.

Sochi is competing against Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea - two cities with a more developed infrastructure. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city on July 4.

''There are so many venues and facilities to be built in the future,'' Chiharu Igaya said at a news conference. ''You've got only seven years to go. To co-ordinate all of these works may be a challenge.''

None of the proposed ice sports facilities and athlete accommodations are built. Neither are the improved highways and light-rail system proposed to connect the mountain snow sports venues with the ice sports and main Olympic village along the seacoast some 50 kilometres away.

In the mountains, a few ski slopes and lifts are in operation. Many more would have to be built along with accommodations.

Sochi bid's promoters have portrayed the dearth of existing facilities as a potential strong point, pointing out that holding the Games would leave the area with a wide array of new, modern venues.

When asked about the apparent strong points, Igaya cited only Russia's long tradition of excellence in winter sports and strong political support. President Vladimir Putin skied one of the potential Olympic slopes this week and held a news conference.

The IOC team visited Pyeongchang last week and will travel to Salzburg next month. The reports on each bid are to be made public June 4, a month ahead of the vote at an IOC session in Guatemala.

One of the strongest aspects of the bid may be the plan's compactness, with ice venues within about a 10-minute walk of the athletes' village. Igaya, asked about that issue, said only that compactness is an important consideration for the IOC.

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Discussion Starter #15
COC announce Hall of Fame inductees

TSN.ca Staff
3/6/2007 1:20:11 PM


TORONTO – The Canadian Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that five-time Olympic short track speed skating medallist Marc Gagnon and 1996 Olympic swimming silver medallist Marianne Limpert will head this year's inductees into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.

Gagnon is a three-time Olympian who won a total of three gold and two bronze medals while representing Canada in short track speed skating. The Montreal native is the holder of every major title in short track speed skating. His total of five Olympic medals is the most by a Canadian male athlete in the history of the Olympic Winter Games and is the second most in Canadian sport history.

Limpert represented Canada in swimming in three consecutive Olympic Games beginning in 1992. Throughout her Olympic career, Limpert competed in nine disciplines, recording a top-eight finish each time including a memorable silver medal performance in the 200-metre individual medley at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Fredericton, New Brunswick native achieved numerous podium results on the international stage including capturing four World Aquatic Championship, nine Commonwealth Games and 10 Pan American Games medals.

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Discussion Starter #16
Chicago chosen as 2016 games candidate


Associated Press
4/14/2007 4:54:08 PM


WASHINGTON (AP) - Now Chicago takes on the rest of the world.

The Windy City's bid to hold a Summer Games for the first time moved to the international stage Saturday when the U.S. Olympic Committee capped a year-long search for an American candidate for 2016 by picking Chicago over two-time host Los Angeles.

''It's just beginning,'' said Patrick Ryan, Chicago's bid committee chairman. ''It's a long road.''

Having won over the USOC despite lacking venues ready for an Olympics, Chicago's task is to persuade the International Olympic Committee that it deserves to be the host, joining a group of bidders expected to include Madrid, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Rome; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and, Tokyo.

The International Olympic Committee will award the 2016 Games in October 2009.

''This contest ultimately is not about the economics, it's not about the surplus, it's about the magic that can be created through the Olympic and Paralympic games, and how that by itself can transform a city, can transform a nation, can transform the world,'' USOC chief executive officer Jim Scherr said. ''And so we look forward to trying to earn that prize.''

The USOC had said beforehand it would not release Saturday's vote count and stuck to that policy.

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Discussion Starter #17
IOC bans six Austrian athletes for life

Associated Press
4/25/2007 1:37:55 PM


BEIJING (AP) - Six Austrian athletes received lifetime bans from the Olympics on Wednesday for their involvement in a doping scandal at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin.

The decision - the toughest levied by the International Olympic Committee - came after an investigation into alleged blood doping violations by the Austrian cross-country and biathlon teams.

The Austrian athletes also had their competition results from Turin annulled. None won a medal.

It's the first time the IOC has punished athletes without positive or missed doping tests, and the first time athletes have received lifetime Olympic bans. The Austrians were found guilty of possessing prohibited substances and taking part in a doping conspiracy, based on materials seized by Italian police during a raid on the athletes' living quarters.

"This shows the IOC's clear determination to fight doping with zero tolerance," said IOC vice-president Thomas Bach, a German lawyer who led the investigation.

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Report: Olympics benefit cities, athletes


Canadian Press
4/26/2007 7:51:47 PM


VANCOUVER (CP) - The last three North American cities to host a Winter Olympics have seen lasting economic and social benefits, especially when it comes to producing top-notch athletes, says a report to be issued by the organizing committee for the 2010 Winter Games.

But critics of the Games call the report "propaganda" and "fluff" and even the report's author says she didn't seek out negative opinions.

A news release about the report's findings was released Thursday by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Games and the report will be released in full starting next week.

The Games committee commissioned the study from an independent researcher out of concern that criticism of Vancouver's Games was most often based on Games held in European cities or on Summer Games.

"We believe that there is a unique market and unique environment in North America," said VANOC spokeswoman Renee Smith-Valade, adding Summer Games and Winter Games are entirely different undertakings.

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Discussion Starter #19
New Olympic torch unveiled in Beijing

Associated Press
4/26/2007 9:37:37 AM


BEIJING (AP) - China looked to its ancient past and dynamic present for the 2008 Olympic torch unveiled Thursday, choosing a design that resembles a traditional Chinese scroll and was conceived by its leading computer maker.

The 72-centimetre-tall red-and-silver tube-shaped torch was created by Lenovo Group Ltd. and picked by Beijing Olympic organizers from among more than 300 competing designs.

Lenovo, an Olympic sponsor well known in China but not elsewhere, said the torch project was begun independently by its designers, without prodding by company management. But being so closely linked to a key Olympic symbol could help Lenovo's efforts to use the Games to make itself a worldwide brand.

"Really, we see the Olympic Games as a way to introduce the company to the world and to be able to show people our computing equipment can support a large-scale, complex set of requirements," said Bob Page, a company spokesman.

Thirty-four Lenovo designers worked on the torch design for nearly a year, producing nearly 30 different concepts before picking the final design, said Yao Yingjia, executive director of Lenovo's Innovation Design Center in Beijing.

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Ueberroth wants new anti-doping strategy

Associated Press
4/26/2007 10:16:35 AM


BEIJING (AP) - The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee called for a new global anti-doping strategy Thursday, saying more needs to be spent on research and science to beat the drug cheats.

"We have to spend a lot of money and attack the problem," USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said at a sports industry convention in Beijing. "The tiny bits of research we're doing now is a joke."

Tough sanctions for doping violators are not solving the problem, he said, and the Olympic movement should find a "higher ideal" to combat the use of performance-enhancing substances and methods.

Ueberroth said the IOC, national Olympic committees and elite sports should sign up half a dozen major medical corporations around the world to carry out research and develop inexpensive doping tests.

"We have to get way ahead of the science," he said. "That will discourage the cheaters. They know they will get caught. We need to find a model that is very aggressive in science."

Ueberroth said the USOC has already started talking to companies about the idea.

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