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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- London Velodrome Takes Shape; Russian Fraud Probes


    Pictures, Webcam Showcase Track’s Progress

    Olympic enthusiasts can follow construction progress on the London 2012 velodrome via a new webcam.
    Siberian pine trees grow straight and tall, necessities for shaping the track. (ODA)

    The Olympic Delivery Authority unveiled Thursday new images of the venue’s timber cycling track, set to be the world’s fastest.

    A team of 26 carpenters installed 356 support trusses and will next lay 56km of Siberian pine to form the track’s surface.

    “Seeing the track beginning to take shape gives us a first look at where we hope world records will be broken in 2012 and where a new generation of cyclists will be able to take to their bikes for many years to come,” ODA chief David Higgins said in a statement.

    Should construction of the 6,000-capacity velodrome remain on schedule, the venue will be the Olympic Park’s first to reach completion early next year.

    Legacy plans call for the addition of a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course to form a single cycling hub known as the VeloPark. The public complex will feature a café and changing rooms as well as bike rental, storage and repair facilities.

    Russia Probes Vancouver Funds

    The Russian government is investigating the use of money allocated for Vancouver Games preparations.

    The country’s prosecutor general has opened a pair of fraud cases with damages totaling $7.4 million, Russian media reported Wednesday.

    "A legal evaluation is due regarding the presence of the hallmarks of crime in actions by a number of officials of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism and executives of commercial organizations, within the facts of various violations noted by the Audit Chamber in its report," the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

    Russia finished sixth at the 2010 Winter Olympics with 15 total medals but only three gold.

    Korean Olympic Chief Smoothes Over Boxing Scandal

    The head of South Korea's Olympic committee is stepping into the ring to end his country’s feud with the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
    KOC president Yong-Sung Park. (Singapore 2010)

    AFP reported Wednesday that KOC president Yong-Sung Park will run the Korean Amateur Boxing Federation in an attempt to win back eligibility for his nation’s boxers ahead of November’s Asian Games and, for that matter, London 2012.

    Park’s announcement comes in the wake of KABF’s provisional suspension earlier this week from AIBA.

    The international federation said Monday in a statement that former KABF president Jae Joon Yoo “has caused serious damage to the image and reputation of AIBA and its members”.

    Yoo resigned from the post last week, after more than a year of scandal.

    Park will double as KABF president until Sept. 30, when he forms a new board. That board will subsequently elect a new chief.

    AIBA’s executive committee will convene Nov. 2 during the body’s general congress in Kazakhstan to either overturn or finalize KABF’s suspension.

    The Asian Games kick off in Guangzhou just 10 days later.

    Munich Pulls Double Duty

    Munich hosted two mega-events and 150,000 visitors Wednesday night, a good sign for the city’s 2018 Olympic bid.
    FC Bayern Munich (red) beat AS Roma 2-0 in its Champions League opener. (Getty Images)

    FC Bayern Munich won its opening match of the UEFA Champions League in front of 75,000 fans at Allianz Arena.

    Less than 10 km away, another 75,000 packed the Olympic Stadium for a concert from Irish rockers U2.

    The overlapping events were both sold-out.

    “Munich has once again demonstrated that not only is it one of the most attractive, culturally rich cities in the world, but hosting big global events effectively is just business as usual,” bid CEO Bernhard Schwank said in a statement.

    The city expects another six million visitors this weekend for the 200th anniversary of its iconic beer festival Oktoberfest.

    Media Watch

    NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin weighs in Wednesday on the league’s participation, or potential lack thereof, at Sochi 2014.   

    Written by Matthew Grayson.

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