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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- Coke Sponsors Paralympics; Shortlist for Stadium Bidders


    Coke Sponsors 2012 Paralympics

    Coca-Cola extended its London 2012 sponsorship to the Paralympics.

    The announcement came Friday, with the beverage giant saying its ambition is “to inspire more people to get active and help promote sport for all in the lead up to London 2012.”

    Daryl Jelinek, general manager of the London 2012 Coca-Cola Project Team, said in a statement: “We are proud to be extending our sponsorship of London 2012 to the Paralympic Games.”

    He added: “We want to be a big part of generating that inspiration and excitement on the road to 2012, using our sponsorship to motivate people across the UK and beyond to get active and to drive awareness of the Paralympics.”

    Coke first sponsored the Paralympics in 1992. Its Olympic partnership began in 1928 and is the longest continuous sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

    Olympic Stadium Has Two Bidders, Not Three

    Bidding for after-Games use of London’s Olympic Stadium will be a two-horse race.

    A shortlist released Friday by the Olympic Park Legacy Company includes usual suspects West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspurs football clubs, but not a third bidder that emerged earlier this week.
    The shortlist of bidders for the 2012 Olympic Stadium was announced Friday. (Getty Images)

    UK-based Estates Gazette reported Tuesday that International Stadia Group would provide competition to the two front-runners, a fact the OPLC declined to confirm at the time.

    Friday’s announcement, however, makes clear ISG won’t be joining the fray.

    "We started this process to ensure the very best legacy for the Stadium, and we are now at a point where we have selected the two strongest bids,” OPLC chair Margaret Ford said in a statement.

    “We will go forward to start negotiations with the two consortia of Tottenham Hotspur and AEG, and West Ham United and Newham Council.”

    The statement also confirmed the OPLC’s plan to select a preferred partner by the end of March.

    Sport Agent Reprimanded for Betting on Firm’s Client

    Ted Forstmann, the head of IMG Worldwide, was reprimanded by the ATP for betting $40,000 that Roger Federer would lose the 2007 French Open final.

    "The ATP has sent the message very clearly to Mr. Forstmann that we consider his behavior inappropriate and that he will be in violation of the rules if he engages in such activity in the future,” the ATP said.
    Ted Forstmann was reprimanded for a 2007 bet against Roger Federer. (IMG)

    IMG is a management group that counts some of the world’s biggest athletes as clients, including Federer.

    Forstmann said he hasn’t bet on tennis since new rules barring that were enacted in at the start of 2009.

    A spokesman for the Tennis Integrity Unit, which is responsible for fighting corruption in tennis, said it had been in contact with Forstmann and "made it clear that since January 2009, he has been covered by the provisions of the game's anti-corruption code."

    The spokesman added that Forstmann "understands and accepts this."

    Forstmann is involved in a lawsuit for fraud, interference with contract and breach of contract. The case mentioned the wager.

    When news of the suit surfaced, Federer said he reached out to Forstmann.

    “I reached out and told him I want to know everything about it, how this came about,” Federer said. “And he’s been, you know, nice enough obviously to tell me from his side and has been very open in the press already. So that’s O.K. He’s not my agent. Tony is my guy, but still, it’s a firm that does a lot in sports, so it’s just something that for me is important to know what is going on from their side, too.”

    Federer lost the match in question 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 to five-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

    Fast Track for Ukraine 2022

    Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych wants the Winter Games, and he wants them now.

    According to his press office, he insisted Thursday during a visit to potential host city Ivano-Frankivsk that the country will make every effort to bring the 2022 Olympics to the Carpathians.

    "I suggest that we create a body,” Yanukovych said in an interview, “which would work on the question already now," he said.
    Ivano-Frankivsk (pictured) and Lviv are the two cities most likely to bid. (

    The president suggested the working group be chaired by vice prime minister Borys Kolesnikov and include a representative from each Carpathian region of Ukraine.

    He also emphasized that the country “must consistently work on building sports and tourist infrastructure to achieve this goal,” the statement from his press office reads.

    Yanukovych’s comments come less than six weeks after an announcement that Ukraine’s draft budget for 2011 will set aside nearly $500 million for Games-related infrastructure but just two weeks after the deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament called an Olympic bid “inappropriate”.

    Mykola Tomenko told Ukrainian media late last month that the idea of Ukraine 2022 is a “mystery” to him and that he thinks the bid is part of Yanukovych’s desire to keep up with Russia, host of the 2014 Olympics.

    The Ukrainian NOC has yet to decide if a bid will move forward.

    Ukraine hosted some football matches during the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and will also stage the UEFA tournament in 2012 with Poland.

    The IOC will vote on the host at its 2015 Session.

    Fencing Champ Backs Annecy

    Annecy 2018 has yet another champion backing its Olympic bid.

    Hot on the heels of her first world title Monday, French epee fencer Maureen Nisima announced Friday she will support her country’s efforts to host the Winter Games.
    Maureen Nisima (left) was part of France’s bronze medal epee team in Athens. (Getty Images)

    “Winning this gold medal at the Grand Palais in Paris, with the entire public behind me... was truly exceptional,” Nisima said in a statement.

    “Having gone through such an experience, I can only wish the same for every French athlete, winning an international competition in front of their home crowd and in such a magical setting.”

    Nisima also won world team titles in 2005 and 2008 and was a double bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympics.

    She is the latest in a long list of French sports darlings to come out supporting the bid.

    Annecy 2018 is looking for 500 summer and winter champions to sign a "Commitment Charter" in the run-up to the IOC’s July 6 vote for a host city in Durban, South Africa.

    Munich, Germany and PyeongChang, Korea are the other cities bidding for the 2018 Games.

    Erin Pac said on Thursday she would like to open a restaurant with her fiance or pursue public speaking. (USA Bobsled)
    Slider’s Career Runs Its Course

    U.S. bronze medalist Erin Pac is done with competitive bobsledding.

    Her retirement comes less than a year after she paired with Elana Meyers to finish third in the Vancouver Olympics, and less than two weeks before the sliding World Cup opens in Whistler.

    “My heart was in a different place entering the season,” Pac said Thursday in a statement on USA Bobsled’s website. “I have a future outside of the sport, and I know I’m going to be fine.”

    She joined USA Bobsled in 2002 as a pusher but switched to the driver’s seat after missing a spot on the 2006 Olympic team.

    Written by Ed Hula III and Matthew Grayson.

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