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  • Ghana Law Amended; Olympic Champion Dies; Historic Agreements in Durban


    Of the nine Ghanaians who competed in Beijing, six were boxers. (Getty Images)
    Ghana Law Amended

    The Ghanaian parliament set a path to re-join the Olympic Movement.

    According to Xinhua news agency, on Tuesday, the parliament amended its sports law protecting the Ghana Olympic Committee from political interference, which is required by the Olympic Charter.

    In January the GOC was suspended by the IOC Executive Board due to alleged interference, and the IOC EB said at its most recent meeting earlier this week, it would consider lifting the GOC suspension if its sports law was amended properly.

    Cross-Country Ski Champion, 41

    Olympic champion cross-country skier and admitted doper Mike Myllyla is dead at 41.
    Olympic champion Mika Myllyla admitted to using the banned substance EPO. (Getty Images)

    Media in his native Finland report no crime was involved, but police have yet to provide any details.

    Also a three-time world champion, Myllyla won six Olympic medals in the 90s, including gold in the 30k cross-country race at Nagano.

    His career came to a halt following a doping scandal surrounding the Finnish team at the 2001 world championships, after which he and five fellow Finns admitted to using the blood booster EPO.

    As recently as last year, the head of Finland’s anti-doping agency discussed the IOC and International Ski Federation possibly revoking his Olympic and world championship titles.

    Agreements Inked in Durban

    Three major agreements with National Olympic Committees were signed at the IOC Session in Durban this week.
    Larry Probst and Lasanna Palenfo sign their cooperation agreement in Durban, South Africa. (ATR)

    The U.S. Olympic Committee and ANOCA, the NOC association for Africa, signed a deal allowing African countries to use the USOC’s training facilities in the lead up to future Olympic Games.

    The agreement is part of the USOC’s efforts to bolster its international image.

    On Wednesday, the USOC and Australian Olympic Committee signed a Cooperation Agreement through the 2016 Olympics.

    According to the deal, the two committees will help organize training for athletes and coaches, exchange best practice information, and other work to assist in training for the next three Games.

    “This is an affirmation of an already strong relationship,” AOC President John Coates said.

    Also on Wednesday, the Russian Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia signed an “historic Memorandum Of Understanding”.
    Alexander Zhukov and Sheikh Ahmad. (OCA)

    With the MOU, the two organizations will continue to work together to promote Olympism.

    “Russia has been an effective and highly valued partner for us for many years” said OCA chief Sheik Ahmad al Sabah. “I firmly believe that this MOU will ensure that spirit of cooperation grows and flourishes to new heights in the future. I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership that will help illuminate the Asian continent with the power of Olympism.”

    Alexander Zhukov, ROC president said “Russia is often considered Europe’s gateway to Asia: through the power of sport we can ensure that gateway, that bridge between continents, is open for the free exchange of fresh ideas, expertise and best practices.”

    Bolt’s High School Coach, 71

    A two-time Olympian is being remembered for his mentorship of world’s fastest man Usain Bolt.

    Pablo McNeil, 71, died Monday in his native Kingston following a serious stroke back in 2007.

    He ran in the 1964 and 1968 Summer Games but is perhaps most famous for convincing Bolt to give up cricket and focus on track while a student at William Knibb High School.

    "Coach McNeil was a part of my early track and field life,” the Jamaican sprint sensation said in a statement.

    “I appreciate all he sought to pass on to me. I would like to offer my condolences and sympathies to his family and close friends.”

    Written by Ed Hula III and Matthew Grayson.

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