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  • Olympic Newsdesk -- Encouragement for Aussie Athletics Bid; Baku 2020


    Diack Urges Australian Bid

    International athletics chief Lamine Diack wants Australia to bid for a world championships.
    Athletics Australia President Rob Fildes and IAAF President Lamine Diack tour the Victorian Athletics Centre. (Getty Images)

    Diack, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations was inspecting Melbourne's Albert Park on Wednesday when he made the comments. Melbourne is bidding to become a regular fixture on the IAAF's Diamond League circuit.

    ''2019 is open and I was saying to Rob [Athletics Australia president Rob Fildes], why not say we want the world championships in 2019 and work on that, starting now'' Diack was quoted by Australian daily The Age.

    ''You deserve to have a world championships in this country.''

    According to the report, Fildes says a bid is likely from Perth, which is reportedly considering a 2024 or 2028 Olympic bid. Brisbane launched an unsuccessful bid for the 2011 event. Daegu, Korea, won that competition.

    The next world championship hosts are Moscow in 2013, Beijing in 2015, with London likely staging the 2017 tournament.

    Fildes also said he will travel to next month’s meeting of the Asian Athletics Association to pitch Australia’s eligibility to compete in Asian athletics competitions. Australia is currently in the Oceania Athletics Association and would remain a member of the OAA. He also said Australia has an “ambitious” goal of six medals in London.

    Diack spent the previous three weeks touring Oceania.

    Azerbaijan Builds Toward 2020

    Baku will construct an Olympic Stadium to bolster Azerbaijan’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
    The Olympic Stadium will sit on a reclaimed oil field in Baku. (Office of Contemporary Architecture)

    The eastern European country’s media reported Tuesday, that a Turkish company will design and build the 64,000-seat venue to Olympic, FIFA and UEFA standards.

    State oil company SOCAR will fund the $1 billion project.

    The 80-are site at Boyuk Shor is a former oil field that has been drained and reclaimed for what Azerbaijani media is calling “the centerpiece” of an Olympic bid.

    The venue is slated for completion in 2015 and will house the country’s national football team.

    Baku also bid for the 2016 Games but did not advance past the applicant stage, in part due to its lack of a showcase stadium. At the time, its construction was merely a proposal and the oil field had yet to be reclaimed.

    Twist in Greek Olympians Court Drama

    Disgraced athletes Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were ordered to court on Feb. 21 -- as was a journalist with Greek daily Eleftherotypia.
    In this Aug. 2004 photo, Katerina Thanou consults with her lawyers before appearing at an IOC Disciplinary Commission hearing at the Athens Olympics. (ATR)

    The journalist, Philip Syrigos, and the paper’s editor at the time Athanasios Botsaris were allegedly ordered to court by the prosecutor. He claims that an article by Syrigos suggested that he may have had advance knowledge of a motorcycle crash that caused the pair to miss drug test prior to the 2004 Olympics.

    They are on trial for allegedly faking the crash. They are also accused of encouraging medical professionals to issue phony documents to back up their claim.

    Defense attorney Michalis Dimitrakopoulos asked for the prosecutor to be removed from the case when the order was made. The court did not accept Dimitrakopoulos’ request.

    Both athletes deny any wrongdoing.

    Thanou was a silver medalist in the 100m in Sydney, and her then training partner Kenteris, was the men’s 200m champion.

    Cesare Rubini, Italian Medalist, Coach, 87
    Cesare Rubini coached the Italians to a silver medal in basketball at the 1980 Olympics. (Getty Images)

    Cesare Rubini, an Italian who won two medals in water polo and one as a basketball coach died.

    He won a gold at the 1948 Olympics, and a bronze in Helsinki.

    At the 1980 Olympics, he coached the Italian basketball team to a silver medal.

    Rubini was enshrined into both sports halls of fame.

    Reports say he died after a battle with Alzheimer’s.
    BBC Snags Paralympic Radio Rights

    BBC Radio 5 Live and sister station 5 Live Sports Extra will have radio rights for the London Paralympics. The British broadcaster will air 25 hours of coverage across 20 sports during the Aug. 29 – Sept. 9 Games.

    Double-Duty for WADA Chief

    World Anti Doping Agency president John Fahey will pull double-duty on the heels of catastrophic flooding in his native Australia. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the former federal finance minister and New South Wales state premier accepted PM Julia Gillard's offer to lead a team charged with ensuring victims don't get taken advantage of by repair services hoping to capitalize on their vulnerability.

    Media Watch

    CTV, part of the consortium that broadcast the Olympics in Canada will air two programs reliving the 2010 Olympics this weekend. “Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Anniversary Special”, a two hour documentary showing highlights of the Games and interviews with Olympians will be aired Sunday. “17 Days” a documentary about the Olympic Broadcast Consortium is scheduled for Saturday. From Feb. 11 to March 1, “etalk” will showcase interviews with Olympians on the one year anniversary of their medal performance. On TSN, “SportsCentre” will highlight the key events on each day of competition.

    Writing for Toronto’s The Globe and Mail, Stephen Brut says Nodar Kumaritashvili “deserved better” than to be blamed for his own death.

    CTV’s British Columbia affiliate investigates whether Vancouverites are utilizing the city’s upgrade to public transit following the Games.

    One thing seems certain following the Olympics—Vancouver’s restaurant scene received a tremendous boost.

    A businessman in Reno, N.V. says the Reno-Lake Tahoe bid is worth, at the very least, closer inspection from skeptical citizens.

    Written by Ed Hula III and Matthew Grayson.

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