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  • Olympic Newsdesk-- IOC Back FIFA over Hijab; Universal Sports


    IOC Concurs with FIFA on Head Scarf Ruling

    The IOC says FIFA has acted within its responsibility to reject a request from Iran to allow its girls football team to compete at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games wearing head scarves.

    On Monday FIFA blocked the Iranian team from Singapore this August, substituting Thailand for the competition that will include six teams.

    “In accordance with the Olympic Charter, the International Federations (IFs) are responsible for establishing the technical criteria of their sports and ensuring their application. The decision by FIFA (the IF) is in line with the rules of the game, which have been communicated by the IF to the Iranian NOC,” says a statement from the IOC.

    FIFA has barred head scarves from its competitions since 2007.

    Universal Sports Gets New CEO, COO

    Olympic channel Universal Sports has a new chief executive officer and chief operating officer.

    The company named David Sternberg as CEO and Perkins Miller as COO this week. Sternberg is the former executive vice president and chief operating officer of Emerging Networks for Fox Cable Networks. Perkins is the former senior vice president for Digital Media for NBC Sports and Olympics.

    “With such tremendous growth in the business during the last two years, we recognized the need to bring in an experienced executive team to build on this momentum,” Claude Ruibal, chairman and founder of Universal Sports said.

    During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the channel aired continuous coverage of the Games.

    New Equestrian Doping Rules Go Live

    International Equestrian Federation FEI hopes this week will mark the start of a new, clean era for the sport.

    "The legitimacy of equestrian sport is rooted in the concept of fair play." -- FEI Secretary General Alex McLin
    New anti-doping rules went into effect Monday, the result of a nearly two year review by FEI after doping scandals at the 2008 Beijing Games and 2004 Athens.

    “April 5 marks the beginning of a new era for equestrian sports,” FEI Secretary General Alex McLin wrote in an editorial for Around the Rings.“It is the day when the FEI’s new anti-doping rules and the equine prohibited substances list will “go live” and competitors, coaches, vets, and officials will all be responsible for abiding by the new regulations.”

    The FEI Clean Sport Campaign includes more information for vets, riders and coaches. The Web site features information on banned-substances.

    Indian NOC Refuses Government Funds

    The Indian Olympic Association is refusing government money in an effort for more autonomy.

    IOA secretary general Randhir Singh wrote a letter on March 31 to the Sports Ministry saying that NOC did not want any government funds.

    "The autonomy of National Olympic Committee of India - the Indian Olympic Association - is supreme. The IOA would like to desist from receiving any further financial support from the government from the financial year 2010-11," Singh wrote.

    By not accepting money, IOA is hoping to avoid orders from the Sports Ministry. Local media speculates that the decision could allow IOA to avoid the Right to Information Act, which the Sports Ministry is ordering all sports federation to follow.


    The Men’s World Curling Championships are underway in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy; site of the 1956 Winter Games. The championships started last Saturday and conclude this Sunday. Scotland is the defending champion. Teams from 12 countries are competing at the championships, sponsored by U.S. credit card merchant Capital One.

    The Olympic Newsdesk is proudly sponsored by the
    High 1 Ski Resort in Korea.

    With reporting from Mark Bisson and Sam Steinberg.

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