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Archive for  November 2017

Tuesday 07, Nov 2017

Olympic Movement Critics Accused Of Ignorance And Aggression

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Thomas Bach has criticized those who went against “spirit of the Olympic movement”. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President also insisted that no organization can be immune from wrongdoing irrespective of the level of governance.

Bach, speaking in a keynote address that lasted almost an hour at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly, spoke on a number of issues, including ongoing corruption and anti-doping investigations. Bach admitted that the International Olympic Committee does face challenges but accused the IOC critics of ignorance.

The IOC President told the 1,300 delegates that we live in a world of mistrust against the establishment and we are considered to be part of this establishment. Bach also remarked that we live in a world where people are more and more thinking in silos of their own opinion and also said that people are not ready for a dialogue anymore. The IOC chief said they in a world of silos become aggressive of people who do not share their opinions and went on to say that people start to think that because they are living in silos, that they are in possession of the sole and only truth.

Bach commented that we at present are living in a world where selfish interests appear to prevail and create more discrepancies in our world. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President also said we are now living in a world where they Olympic values of tolerance, respect, understanding and peace are more important than ever before. Bach said the IOC has the determination and the courage and the will to promote and defend these values.

The speech of Bach followed the arrest of Carlos Nuzman, a former IOC member and Rio 2016 President, for alleged involvement in a vote-buying scandal. Frankie Fredericks, the IOC member from Namibia, was absent from the IOC Session in Lima as he seeks to clear this name after being linked with the scandal. Fredericks appeared in Paris before a court to provide answers to questions about alleged payments linked to Rio 2016 that were received by his company.

In a corruption case, ANOC President and IOC member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah was identified by a United States Department of Justice document. The case is associated with Guam’s Richard Lai but the name of Al-Sabah was cleared of any wrongdoing by the ANOC General Assembly.

The IOC President said all of these cases are exceptions rather than the rule. Bach added the cases do not reflect badly on governance processes of the International Olympic Committee. Bach appeared most passionate when he criticized those who have “prematurely” called for a blanket ban on Russia from the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. The President of IOC said the Olympic Movement considers it unacceptable that some sanctions are being demanded in the public domain.

The Schmid and Oswald Commissions of IOC are likely to complete their findings before decisions are made at an Executive Board meeting scheduled for December 5 to 7. Bach said we cannot expect others to defend us and accept us if we ourselves do not respect our Commissions and the way we are working.

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Thursday 02, Nov 2017

UCI Chief Wants To Totally Eliminate Mechanical Doping

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International Cycling Union (UCI) President David Lappartient has pledged to restore credibility of cycling in relation to the issue of mechanical doping.

Tests to prevent mechanical doping were introduced in 2016 but only one rider has been caught. Critics of UCI have raised questions on the robustness of the current testing protocol and determination of the world governing body of cycling to handle the matter.

Lappartient, who was elected president last September, had mentioned in his manifesto that he wants to totally eliminate mechanical doping from the sport. The UCI President has promised to outline his plans for the future by the end of the year before he would roll out a new program for detecting motors from the start of 2018.

The International Cycling Union chief also commented that we need to avoid any suspicion that we have it in our sport. Lappartient remarked it is really bad for our image and said he wants everyone to trust the credibility of the UCI. The Frenchman also remarked that he wants people to know that we are doing our best and checking in the most professional way. It was also commented by Lappartient that people should trust in the results of racing and this is what we have to deliver.

Lappartient said testing at races and events will become more robust in the coming year. The UCI President added heat guns would work alongside the criticized UCI tablets. Lappartient remarked the UCI concentrates on the top level, but we have to understand that we can have the same problem at all levels, even at mass participation events. The chief of International Cycling Union added it would be a disaster to see a guy at this low level using this kind of technology just to get his name in the newspaper.

Lappartient said Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has asked the cycling’s world governing body to work on tackling the menace of mechanical doping. The UCI chief said we will be ready for the next season and during the winter we will make some announcement on this, probably at the beginning of December.

Less than a month after the election of Lappartient, a French amateur rider was caught with a motor in his bike at a local race. The incident highlighted the fear of many that mechanical doping had already spread to all levels of racing.

Lappartient also advocated for a reduction in team sizes to six riders per team. The newly elected UCI president also made a vow to stop the use of race radios in the sport over concerns that it may result in race fixing. Lappartient said the connection officially goes from a team car to the rider and added there is however nothing technologically that prevents him or anyone from calling the wearer of the yellow jersey during a stage of the Tour. The Frenchman said there have been no claims regarding the adverse use of race radios, but he wants to address the issue before it arise like that of mechanical and biological doping.

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