IOC Warns Iran; Pistorius Falls Short in 400m; Wade Out of Olympics
IOC Confirms Iran Warning
The IOC confirms to Around the Ring
s it has sent a warning letter to Iranian officials over perceived interference with the country’s NOC.
A total of 55 Iranian athletes took part in the Beijing Olympics. (Getty Images)
“We can confirm that the IOC has indeed sent a second letter to the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran urging them to discuss with the relevant government authorities in order to ensure the observance of the Olympic Charter in Iran and, in particular, of the principle of autonomy of the sports organisations belonging to the Olympic Movement,” an IOC spokesman said in an email to ATR
Iranian media say the country’s sports minister was summoned to Majils, Iran’s parliament, over reports that national sport federation leaders were removed from their posts by the government.
The Olympic Charter requires autonomy for Olympic bodies from government interference throughout the world.
The Tehran Times
cites a letter to the IRINOC from the IOC saying: "Should these basic principles not be respected, the Olympic Movement in your country would regrettably be exposed to the measures and sanctions laid down in the Olympic Charter and in the rules of the respective International Sports Federations, which could seriously damage the representation of your country in the London 2012 Olympic Games and in any other upcoming international sports events."
Hockey, Tennis, Volleyball Olympians Join Team GB
Athletes representing hockey, tennis and volleyball were added to Team GB this week.
Britain’s first Olympic volleyball squads. (BOA)
The British Olympic Association confirmed the 16 male hockey players selected to Team GB on Friday.
“The consistent progress that the squad has achieved since the last Olympic Games is really impressive and they now have a fantastic opportunity to contend for a medal at the Riverbank Arena this summer,” chef de mission Andy Hunt said.
The full list of players can be read here
Britain is one of the most successful hockey teams at the Olympics, having won 10 medals total – but none since 1996.
Additionally, seven tennis players were confirmed to Team GB on Thursday.
Colin Fleming, Ross Hutchins and Jamie Murray are the men’s doubles additions, and the women’s doubles players are Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Laura Robson and Heather Watson.
“In this group of athletes we have a real mix of talent, from athletes who have been playing professional tennis for years, to those players really just at the beginning of their fledgling careers,” tennis team leader Paul Hutchins said. “But one thing's for sure, and that is the fact that we'll be ready to give it our absolute all.”
Team GB also confirmed the selection of both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams on Friday.
The BOA will compete in volleyball for the first time in London.
“It has been a very challenging period for the players, coaches, administrators and for the British Volleyball Federation as a whole but at last all that worry, energy and work is about to come to fruition,” British Volleyball Federation president Richard Callicott said.
The full list of athletes can be viewed here
Study: Istanbul, Madrid Among Top 20 Visited Cities
The MasterCard Global Index of Destination Cities finds 2020 candidates Istanbul and Madrid as the fifth and seventh most-visited cities in the world, respectively.
London is ranked number one.
According to the study, 11.6 million people will visit Istanbul in 2012, while 9.7 million will visit the Spanish capital.
“Our ranking as 5th for the number of foreign tourists displays that Istanbul is a city that people from all over the world want to experience,” Turkish bid leader Hasan Arat said in a statement.
“We want the 2020 Games to inspire young people from around the world; their desire to come and experience Istanbul reaffirms that it is the ideal city for this to happen.”
Tokyo, the third 2020 bid city, was not in the top 20 for number of visitors, but is ranked 14th in visitor spend, with a reported $9.9 billion to be spent this year.
Dwayne Wade Out of Olympics
Dwayne Wade won his second NBA title with the Heat recently. (Getty Images)
Miami Heat superstar Dwayne Wade won’t defend his gold medal in London.
The shooting guard tweeted his announcement Thursday, saying knee surgery would force him to miss the Games.
Wade’s announcement makes him the fourth high-profile U.S. basketball player to sit out the London Olympics. However, Team USA will not be for want of basketball talent and will likely
remain the favorites to win the gold medal.
No Impact on U.S. Olympic Team
The ongoing wildfires in Colorado Springs, Colo., are unlikely to impact the U.S. Olympic Team, says USOC CEO Scott Blackmun.
Blackmun made the comments on a conference call Thursday. The U.S. Olympic Training Center and USOC are both headquartered in Colorado Springs.
“The short answer is the athletes are in good shape,” he said.
“We don’t anticipate that the fire is going to have any impact whatsoever on their preparation. We’ve got 18 athletes who are in Colorado Springs now who are going to be on the Olympic team.”
The Waldo Canyon wildfires cover 15,000 acres. (Getty Images)
However, the greatest impact of the fires is on USOC staff, he said. USOC staff members who were evacuated from their homes are temporarily residing at the training center.
“We’ve got 40 people here approximately who have been evacuated from their homes,” Blackmun said. “Some of those people were going to be in London with us. We’re not sure if it’s appropriate for them to be in London in the context where they’ve just lost their homes. One of the things we’re looking at is our staffing plans for London.
“The wonderful thing about these fires so far, and I hope it's still true, is that there haven’t been any fatalities nor have there been any injuries. I think the fire so far is not going to have any impact whatsoever on our team
Paes to Play in London
Indian tennis player Leander Paes says he will compete in London.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi at the Athens 2004 Olympics. (Getty Images)
"I am looking forward to representing my country with the teams that the All India Tennis Association have selected," he said following a match at Wimbledon.
Paes had refused to compete in doubles at the Olympics with lower-ranked partner Vishnu Vardhan. He asked to compete with two others, but they declined.
"I am here to play sport and not politics," he said. Paes is India’s top-ranked doubles player.
Olympic Hopes Continue for Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius at the IAAF World Championships in 2011. (Getty Images)
Oscar Pistorius is not giving up on his Olympic dream despite failing to qualify for the 400m today at the African Championships in Porto-Novo, Benin.
“My race today felt good and I’m pleased to have won the silver medal at the African Championships,” he said in a statement.
“I am obviously disappointed that my time was just outside of the Olympic qualification time by two tenths of a second, I had felt very strong coming into this competition.”
He added: “I am hoping that there is still the opportunity for me to be selected to run for South Africa in the 4x400m relay. I am also extremely excited about the Paralympic Games in London and a big focus for me will be defending my three titles as well as being part of the South African team competing for a world record in the 4x100m relay at the Paralympics.”
Abu Dhabi to Host Tenpin Bowling Championships
Bill O'Neill won the singles title at the WTBA World Men's Championships in 2010. (Getty Images)
The World Tenpin Bowling Association selected Abu Dhabi to host both the 2014 World Men’s Championships and the 2015 World Women’s Championships.
"A lot of people have fond memories of when the UAE hosted the World Championships in 1999, and we look forward to two more great events,” WTBA President and CEO Kevin Dornberger said.
Both events will be held at the Khalifa International Bowling Center. Located in Zayed Sports City, the center features 40 lanes and 1,000 retractable seats.
This year’s WTBA World Men’s Championships will be held in Cyprus.
Written by Ed Hula III, Hannah Reid and Matthew Grayson.
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