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  • Sochi Readies for Year-to-Go; WADA Blasts UCI


    Sochi Unveils Year-to-Go Plans

    Countdown clocks for the 2014 Winter Olympics will be unveiled Feb. 7 in eight major Russian cities – as well as host city Sochi.
    Omega's countdown clock showed 400 days to go earlier this month. (Bruce Talley)

    Organizers released details of the one-year-to-go celebrations for the 2014 Olympics on Tuesday.

    Sochi, of course, will be the hub of activities, with a “grand event” taking place that night at the Bolshoi ice arena. IOC president Jacques Rogge will invite the world’s National Olympic Committees to the Games, and “a spectacular ice show” with Russian figure skaters will tell the story of Games preparations.

    Also attending the event will be Russian Olympic Committee president Dmitry Kozak, Sochi 2014 president Dmitry Chernyshenko and other leaders of the IOC and Sochi organizing committee.

    WADA Blasts UCI

    The World Anti-Doping Agency is denying reports concerning cycling’s governing body, UCI, and its Independent Commission investigating the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
    John Fahey. (Getty Images)

    UCI created the Commission to see if UCI had covered up for the disgraced cyclist during the period he admitted to using banned substances. On Monday, UCI disbanded the commission after its president, Pat McQuaid, said he had talks with WADA.

    A statement from WADA President John Fahey on Tuesday was unflinching in its criticism and bluntness over the UCI decision.

    Fahey said UCI had “determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.

    “It has decided to terminate its own Commission on the grounds that others refuse to participate, and not for any reason that the Commission was precluded from operating transparently and without fear.

    “WADA was not part of the decision to establish such a Commission, it was not even consulted. When asked to participate, WADA was at pains to point out the inadequacies of the terms of reference and the timelines. The Commission’s lawyers agreed to point those out in order to remedy them. These were not addressed by UCI or the Commission so WADA declined to participate.”

    WADA raised several issues with UCI, including the impossibility of re-trying the Armstrong case, evidence timelines being unrealistic and an immediate release of the commission’s findings without UCI editing.

    UCI said Monday that it will now proceed solely with its “truth and reconciliation” efforts – another decision for which WADA blasted UCI.

    “This is not only wrong in content and process, but again deceitful. The fact is that WADA was awaiting a reply to the correspondence when the UCI release was delivered.

    “WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues. There has been no suggestion made by WADA that it will pay for or contribute to any collaborative effort with UCI into investigating UCI’s long-standing problems with doping in its sport and its alleged complicity.”

    This is the second release WADA has issued rejecting claims UCI made about it in a press release.

    On Jan. 16, WADA issued a statement regarding “misleading statements” from UCI about WADA’s involvement with the Independent Commission.

    First Partner for Gwangju 2015

    SK C&C and SK Telecom are the first global premium partners of the Gwangju 2015 Summer Universiade.
    Monday's signing ceremony. (Gwangju 2015)

    Mayor Kang Un-tae traveled to SK headquarters in Seoul on Monday for the signing of the contract with SK C&C CEO Jung Cheol-gil and SK Telecom CEO Ha Sung-min.

    "The global corporations, SK C&C and SK Telecom have joined GU 2015 in the first ever sponsorship for its successful hosting," said Kang, who also chairs the organizing committee.

    "I hope they would help the GU 2015 be a state-of-the-art IT Universiade with its world's leading technology in addition to contributing to development of the world's youths as the leading companies in social contribution activities."

    Gwangju 2015 is scheduled for July 3 to 14 of 2015 with around 20,000 participants from 170 nations taking part.

    South Africa Ready for 2024 Olympics? 

    South Africa is fit to host the 2024 Olympic Games and would have support from the IOC, the head organizer of the country’s 2010 football World Cup has told R-Sport.
    Danny Jordaan. (Getty Images)

    South Africa’s national Olympic committee has commissioned an initial feasibility study, but has yet to say whether it will bid.

    “Absolutely,” Jordaan said when asked if his country could host the Games.

    “In the IOC, there’s a strong understanding that the time has come to hold the Games in Africa," said Jordaan, now the chief of South Africa's World Cup legacy agency.

    Jordaan cited IOC head Jacques Rogge’s 2010 comments that the Olympics could be held in Africa as an example of the continent’s rise. (RIA Novosti)

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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