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  • Stadium Bidding Enters "End Game"; Glasgow Co-Comm; IOC on Lance Armstrong


    IOC Addresses Armstrong Allegations

    Lance Armstrong will keep his Olympic medal from Sydney 2000 – for the time being.
    Lance Armstrong on the podium at Sydney 2000. (Getty Images)

    The fate of his time trial bronze is one many question marks emerging after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency published more than 200 pages of evidence Wednesday that detail allegations of use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by the seven-time Tour de France winner.

    "The IOC has taken note of USADA's report and is currently reviewing it together with all related documentation," an IOC spokesperson was quoted Thursday by Reuters. "It would be premature at this stage to say whether the IOC is contemplating any action.

    "Should we come across any evidence that would justify opening a disciplinary procedure we would of course act accordingly,” the IOC added.

    USADA contends that Armstrong’s fraudulent conduct over the years since renders the IOC’s eight-year statute of limitations suspended in this case.

    Whether the IOC will agree remains to be seen.

    Meanwhile, the International Cycling Union gets 21 days to decide whether to appeal USADA’s reasoned decision. At that time, the World Anti-Doping Agency then gets an additional 21 days to weigh its right of independent appeal.

    Stadium Bidding Enters “End Game”

    West Ham United stresses its commitment to Olympic Stadium as a decision on the venue’s fate faces yet another possible delay.
    London 2012's opening night of athletics at Olympic Stadium. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    “It is now 20 months since West Ham United were initially named as the preferred bidder to occupy the Olympic Stadium post-Games. We are obviously disappointed, that three bids later, a decision has yet to be reached,” the club said Thursday in a statement.

    “We do however remain fully committed to becoming the catalyst to galvanize the Olympic Park by bringing people, jobs and a robust and sustainable commercial offer that guarantees a return to the taxpayer of the money already invested.”

    October’s end is the latest deadline by which the London Legacy Development Corporation expects to choose a long-term tenant.

    The Guardian, however, quotes LLDC CEO Dennis Hone as saying Wednesday that negotiations are entering the “end game” but questions remain about whether football is the best fit.

    Changes to the stadium proposed by the Hammers and Barclay’s Premier League include retractable seating at up to $250 million, a cost it’s not clear who would bear.

    “If we can't come to a conclusion, in the scheme of things if it slips another month or two I'd rather get the right solution," Hone said.

    "Yes, the stadium is tricky. But it's tricky because we want to get it right. I would hate to bung someone in there and see it fall apart in five years. If it takes a couple of extra months to get there, then so be it."

    West Ham has long been the stadium’s preferred bidder, but legal wrangling forced the LLDC to scrap its plans to make the east London football club its tenant ahead of the 2014-2015 Premier League season.

    In the latest round of bidding, three other proposals emerged from Leyton Orient, the UCFB College of Football Business and a group trying to transform the 80,000-seat stadium into part of a Formula One track.

    Olympic Stadium remains one of the only venues in Olympic Park whose legacy is not yet set in stone. Athletics is at the heart of proposals, as promised to the IOC in Singapore seven years ago. The venue is already guaranteed to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, and it’s also on a shortlist of potential sites for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

    Co-Comm Inspects Glasgow 2014

    The Coordination Commission of the Commonwealth Games Federation says Glasgow 2014 is “well on track” with less than two years to go.
    Glasgow's new Emirates Arena and Chris Hoy Velodrome opened last week. (Getty Images)

    “Over many meetings with the Glasgow 2014 Organizing Committee and a wide range of Games partners including Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Police and Commonwealth Games Scotland, we have been able to gain an excellent understanding of the status of the overall Games project,” CGF vice president Bruce Robertson said Thursday as the four-day Co-Comm came to a close.

    “The fact that a number of venues are either completed or are nearing completion, provides the CGF with significant confidence in the ability of Glasgow to deliver a successful Games. The infrastructure projects are being well managed by Glasgow City Council and the planning now being done by the Organizing Committee to adapt venues for Games time use is well on track.”

    Among the venues visited by Robertson and his five-strong inspection squad were the newly opened Emirates Arena and the Games Village, scheduled for completion in January 2014.

    The Co-Comm also received reports on the launch of Games mascot Clyde the Thistle; the signing of new commercial partners Atos, Dell, Longines and SSE; as well as the announcements of key supplier agreements including Sunset + Vine, Global Television (SVGTV) as the host broadcaster, Jack Morton Worldwide as the ceremonies producer and RGS as the official furniture supplier.

    “It is a great credit to the hard work of the team at the Glasgow 2014 Organizing Committee and to our partners, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland to hear the CGF talk of the confidence it has in all of us to deliver a great and transformational Games,” said Glasgow 2014 Chairman Lord Smith.

    “We value its recognition that the standard of all our venues is exceptionally high and that they create excellent platforms from which the great athletes of the Commonwealth can compete at the highest levels. Equally welcome is recognition of the wider positive impact these Commonwealth Games are already having - and will continue to have - not just in Glasgow but right across Scotland.”

    "Inside Sochi" with Bruce Talley

    A new office building for Sochi 2014. (Bruce Talley)
    With less than 500 days to go until Sochi 2014, Around the Rings is taking the opportunity to introduce our partner, Bruce Talley, a Sochi resident who publishes the newsletter "Inside Sochi" featuring the latest news from the Black Sea resort.

    Here are some of the highlights from his most recent newsletter, which can be found here:
    • The weather in Sochi continues to be pleasant. 
    • A new office building for the Winter Games Organizing Committee is being built.
    • Another new hotel is being constructed in Sochi, next to the train station...
    • The first Test Event at the Iceberg Skating Palace concluded October 7.
    Media Watch

    Sara Miller Llana asks at what cost Rio de Janeiro is making itself over for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics in this Christian Science Monitor report.

    Neil Parthun of People’s World tells the story of Australian sprinter Peter Norman, the third man on the podium with Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their famous Black Power protest at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

    Reported by Christian Radnedge in London and Matthew Grayson in Atlanta

    For general comments or questions, click here.

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