Belarus Complaint; India Elections; NBC, ICF Celebrate Golden Rings
Belarus Complains to UN
The Belarus delegation to the United Nations took time to complain to the world’s governing body about how the country was treated at the London Olympics.
The UN General Assembly meeting this week. (Getty Images)
Speaking to Around the Rings
, an official with the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the UN says that Alexander Lukashenko, the country’s president and head of the National Olympic Committee, was barred from attending the Games – and that such a move violated an agreement signed by UN member states before the Games.
“We underscored the practice of the last Olympics that shows not every state does their job with regard to the responsibility of the General Assembly,” the official said.
He added the country’s aim was to ensure Olympic authorities “do not do this again during the next Olympics.”
The complaint came at a speech on Wednesday during debate on an agenda item regarding sport as a tool for development.
A statement from the Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the delegation “expressed concern” about the use of international sporting events being used to “pressure” sovereign states.
“By adopting the document the UN member states confirmed their allegiance to Olympic ideals, among which non-discrimination holds an important position,” the statement said.
“The Belarusian delegation was also concerned about the alarming tendency of turning the sport of records into a race between sponsors and pharmaceutical giants. Due to unbalanced judging, doping scandals and double standards in the work of international Olympic officials, the sport of records may stop fostering the harmonious development of people.”
Troubled Executive Elected IOA Secretary General
Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in prison as part of a corruption scandal with the 2010 Commonwealth Games, was elected secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association.
India enters the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. (Getty Images)
Abhay Singh Chautala was elected as IOA president. Both were unopposed in Friday’s races.
Bhanot’s election is unlikely to help the cause of the embattled IOA.
The IOC has said it would not recognize any elections taking place under rules and regulations from the sports ministry.
Last week, the IOC also said the Executive Board would debate suspending the IOA due to perceived government interference in its autonomy during next week’s meeting.
"The government is just providing a helping hand to the IOA to resolve the matter," Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said after a meeting with IOA officials. "The whole mess is between the IOA and the IOC and Sports Ministry or the government is not a part of it.
"The Sports Code is exactly the same as the IOC Charter. It is in the same terms as our code regarding age, term or the clean practices. So there is no problem there.
"It is an internal matter between the IOA and IOC. We are willing to help IOA and we are ready to sit with IOC to discuss any matter. If the IOC comes here, we will sit down and resolve the issue."
Australia Overhauls Sports Infrastructure
Following the first Games in more than a decade where Australians finished out of the top five of the Olympics medal tally, the Australian Sports Commission announced a 10-year plan to regain Aussie sporting stature.
Training at the AIS. (Getty Images)
What it doesn’t include is an increase in the $180 million funding the organization already receives.
Instead, the ASC will focus on better ways of identifying and developing talent while more efficiently distributing funding to various sports bodies, and a dramatic restructure and overhaul of the Australian Institute for Sport, the country’s leading training camp. Organizations receiving funding from the commission must also streamline their budgets and operations as well.
"There is an opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce duplication, reduce complexity and improve collaboration in the Australian sporting system," ASC chairman John Wylie said on Friday, unveiling the Australia’s Winning Edge program. "These can and must be addressed."
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said he welcomes the scheme.
"We and our sports simply cannot get back to being one of the top 5 nations again without the concerted support of the ASC, AIS and the State Institutes and Academies," Coates said.
"Our Olympic sports received a wakeup call in London when we dropped out of the top 5 in overall medals for the first time since the Sydney 2000 Games."
IAAF Investigates Russian Discus Champ
Discus world champion Darya Pishchalnikova could be banned for life if an IAAF investigation proves she took anabolic steroids.
Darya Pishchalnikova with her Olympic silver medal in London. (Getty Images)
"In October 2012, the World Anti-Doping Agency ordered that Pishchalnikova's sample, taken on May 20 2012, be re-tested at a laboratory in Lausanne. The result was adverse," the Russian Anti-Doping Agency said Friday in a statement.
"Currently, the IAAF is investigating a possible breach of anti-doping regulations."
Pishchalnikova, who won gold at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu and silver at the 2012 Olympics in London, insists she’s innocent and has requested her B sample be analyzed.
She already served a suspension of almost three years after manipulating tests before the Beijing Olympics along with six other top Russians.
"In practice, an athlete who commits a second offence involving (anabolic steroids) could face from eight years to a life ban," RUSADA executive director Nikita Kamayev said last month when first announcing Pishchalnikova’s positive test.
"As for the Olympic silver medal, it depends when her suspension would start if she was found guilty this time.”
Pishchalnikova also won silver at the 2009 World Athletics Championships, a medal stripped from her when the IAAF voided all her results from May 2007.
NBC, ICF Celebrate Golden Rings
The International Canoe Federation celebrates a silver and bronze showing at the IOC’s biennial Olympic Golden Rings broadcasting awards late Thursday in Lausanne.
Golden Rings (ICF)
Coverage of slalom events at Lee Valley White Water Center won silver in “The Best Olympic Sports Production by Olympic Broadcasting Services” category, and coverage of sprint events at Eton Dorney took bronze.
“The TV coverage of canoeing at London 2012 played a major role in the success of our competitions at the Olympic Games,” said IOC member and ICF president Jose Perurena.
“Winning these two awards rounds up what has been a standout year for our sport and federation.”
Meanwhile, NBC Sports President Gary Zenkel accepted his network's three awards on behalf of the NBC Olympic team and was effusive in his thanks.
“To be recognized for our work among the best Olympic broadcasters in the world is particularly rewarding, and further validation of the tireless efforts and constant innovation of our entire Olympic team,” Zenkel said in a statement. “These awards are a credit to the creativity, passion and commitment of our staff and to the support provided to us throughout Comcast and NBCUniversal. They are also a credit to the compelling stories and extraordinary feats of the Olympic athletes, whom we consider it a privilege to cover.”
Written by Ed Hula III.
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