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DOPING

German officials blast IOC over Russia verdict

Prominent German sports figures blasted the "cowardly" IOC on Friday over its decision to allow 271 Russian athletes to participate in the Rio Games despite a rampant state-run doping programme.

German officials blast IOC over Russia verdict
Lars Mortsiefe of Germany's National Anti-Doping Agency said the IOC's decision "sends a poor signal for clean and fair sports". Photo: DPA

Top-ranking officials decried the decision as a “poor signal”, while others demanded the resignation of the International Olympic Committee's chief Thomas Bach, a German.

“We want to tell Bach: game over, you may leave,” said Ines Geipel, a former sprinter who now heads an association to help the thousands of ex-athletes involved in the former East German state's doping programme.

“The consistently cowardly manner in which the IOC deals with Russia is no more than pure cynicism,” she charged, adding that “lies and cover-ups are becoming the norm while the Olympic charter and good sense is being turned into laughing stocks.”

A board member of Germany's National Anti-Doping Agency, Lars Mortsiefer, also had strong words for the IOC, saying its decision “sends a poor signal for clean and fair sports”.

German athletics federation chief Clemens Prokop said the IOC had done “serious damage to its credibility”.

Given that the Russian drug abuse was state-orchestrated, “there should have been a decision against the system, and not against individuals,” said Prokop.

Anti-doping specialist Fritz Soergel meanwhile called it “a victory for Bach but not for honest sports”.

There were similar howls of derision in Britain, where many had called for a blanket ban on Russia in Rio.

Bach and the IOC had resisted that in the troubled build-up to the Games.

The Guardian quoted Professor Richard McLaren, whose explosive report blew the Russian doping programme wide open last month, as accusing the IOC and Bach of badly misrepresenting his findings.

McLaren, who was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to investigate the claims of a Russian whistleblower, said his findings were never intended to prove individual doping cases.

And he said that the broader anti-doping drive had become “political and hysterical”.

Many British newspapers also took aim at the IOC, Bach, Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.

The Sun tabloid said it would publish “The real medal table” daily — which would not include any Russian medals or any previous drugs cheats.

“Sunsport believes the Olympics should stand for integrity and sporting ideals,” it thundered.

“The IOC backed away from banning Russia over the scandalous drugs cover-up that shamed sport and the country.

“But we are not scared of Vladimir Putin, or anyone else.”

OLYMPICS

MAP: Here is where events will be held for 2024 Paris Olympics

Organisers of the Paris Olympics have released a new list of venues for events in the 2024 games - including one 15,000km away from Paris.

MAP: Here is where events will be held for 2024 Paris Olympics
Photo: AFP

The revised map of venues still needs to be approved by the board of directors on December 17th, but is expected to remain unchanged.

Faced with the financial crisis caused by the pandemic and lockdowns, the Paris committee has come up with a revised venue list which its says will save €150 million by scrapping two building projects and amalgamating other events into the same venue.

The big loser is the département of Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris, which was to get two new temporary sites for aquatic events and volleyball.

However the area keeps the Olympic Village for athletes, while the opening ceremony and athletics events will be at Stade de France in the area.

 

Here is a high-res version of the above map, and here is an overview of the revised map of events;

Lille – The handball events, previously planned for Paris, will be held at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille in northern France.

Marseille – the southern city of Marseille will hold sailing events

Tahiti – will host surfing. The island of Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, one of France's overseas territories, which makes it technically part of France, despite being 15,000km away from Paris.

Versailles – The site of one of the world's most famous royal palaces is only about 20km outside Paris and will host equestrian events and the modern pentathlon.

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – the Vélodrome nationale in the town of Saint-Quentin, about 25km outside Paris, will host the track cycling events, while golf will be held in the same town.

Elancourt – the town of Elancourt, about 30km from Paris, will hold the mountain bike events, while nearby Trappes will host the BMX bike events.

Vaires-sur-Marne – the commune about 25km east of Paris will host canoeing and kayaking at the Stade nautique.

Paris

But unsurprisingly for a Paris Olympics, most events are in or around the city. Here's an overview of the bigger events.

Stade de France – France's 81,000-seater national stadium in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris will host the opening ceremony, followed by athletics and rugby.

Seine-Saint-Denis is one of France's poorest départements, and the Olympics had been envisaged as a major regeneration project for the area. In spite of the loss of two venues in the cost-cutting programme, there is still plenty happened in the northern area.

Diving, synchronised swimming and water polo will all be held in the Aquatics Centre.

Olympic Village – the athletes will stay in purpose-build accommodation in Saint-Denis which afterwards will be available as housing for local people.

Shooting, climbing and the media centre will be hosted in Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis.

Hockey – will be held in Colombes, in the Hauts-de-Seine département to the west of the city.

Moving within the city boundaries there are 12 locations that will be used for Olympic events.

Swimming – will be at the La Défense Arena in western Paris. A multi-function arena, it is the home of Stade Français rugby club, while also hosting multiple sports events and being used as a music venue in the evening.

Tennis and boxing – Roland Garros – home of the French Open – will naturally host tennis events, as well as boxing.

Table-tennis, weight-lifting, volleyball and basketball – the Parc des Expositions will host these events and the preliminary matches of the basketball events.

Gymnastics and basketball – the Accor Arena hosts the finals of the basketball, as well as gymnastics events.

Football – Parc des Princes, home of Paris-Saint-Germain, will host the football.

Badminton, rhythmic gymnastics – the La Chapelle arena hosts rhythmic gymnastics events, plus badminton.

But the Paris committee is also keen to use non-sporting venues to host events, including plenty of outdoor venues, to really integrate the games into the daily life of the city.

Taekwondo and fencing – the beautiful and historic Grand Palais, which usually operates as a museum, will host fencing and taekwondo.

Cycling – some cycle events will finish along the Champs-Elysée, as the Tour de France does.

Urban sports – this year's new events, including breakdancing, and other urban sports will be held in the Place de la Concorde

Archery – will be held at Invalides, a historic landmark begun in 1690 on the orders of Louis XIV for injured soldiers.

Wrestling, judo and beach-volleyball – will be held on the Champs-de-Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower.

Cycling, walking racing, marathon, triathlon and open-water swimming – these will all be held partially on (or underneath in the case of the swimming) the Pont d'Iéna over the River Seine in central Paris. 

The games run from July 26th to August 11th, 2024, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 28th to  September 8th, 2024.

 

 

 

 

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