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  • Japan Cuts Judo Funding; Danish Cyclist Admits Doping; More Work for Probst


    EA Duties Expand for Probst

    Around the Rings is told the U.S. Olympic Committee does not expect any change in the leadership duties of Larry Probst – despite his other job giving him more work.
    Larry Probst. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    Chairman of the USOC since 2008, Probst also helps run video game company Electronic Arts, which appointed him executive chairman Monday following the resignation of CEO John Riccitiello. Probst was previously just chairman but will take on the new role until EA finds a replacement CEO.

    "We don't anticipate any change in his USOC relationship," Patrick Sandusky, chief communications and public affairs officer for the USOC, tells ATR.

    IOC Previews Golf Course

    An architect's rendering of the links. (Gil Hanse Course Design)
    The IOC tweeted a preview of the Rio 2016 golf course.

    "Tee off with this peek at the @Rio2016 golf course," says a March 15 post on the official Olympics account on Twitter.

    Construction on the golf course is teed up to begin on April 1.

    Olympian Admits Doping

    Olympic silver medalist Rolf Sorensen admitted to doping during his professional cycling career.
    Rolf Sorensen at the Atlanta Olympics. (Getty Images)

    "I used EPO periodically in the 90s," Sorensen said in a statement on Monday.

    "I have also in some cases used the substance cortisone. There is no other excuse than that I did what I felt compelled to do to be an equal among peers," he added.

    He won a silver in the 1996 men’s road race representing Denmark. He was one of the country’s most successful riders.

    He added will not name any other cyclists who doped, saying "It's not my style" to do so.

    "The only thing I will say is that I, as we all know today, was not alone in it."

    Japan Cuts Judo Funding

    The Japanese Olympic Committee will reduce its subsidy to the All Japan Judo Federation following allegations that one of its top coaches harassed judoka.
    Ryuji Sonoda with Kaori Matsumoto after she won gold at the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

    In a statement, the JOC said it made the decision following a review of the allegations from 15 members of the national women’s team by the JOC Executive Committee and a third-party lawyer. The judoka said former head coach Ryuji Sonoda would insult and hit them during training.

    “After a thorough review, the committee concluded that serious misconduct had occurred,” the JOC said in a statement.

    The JOC added it has a “zero-tolerance policy for any action that runs counter to the principles of Olympism and will take further initiatives in order to promote the Olympic Movement.”

    Japanese broadcaster NHK reports this is the first time the JOC has cut funding for a member federation. Judo is a Japanese martial art and closely linked with traditional Japanese culture.

    France Features in Judo Rankings

    French fighters top five of the 14 weight categories in the International Judo Federation’s latest world rankings.
    Teddy Riner and coach last month after winning for the sixth time in seven years at the Paris Grand Slam. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    Among them is reigning Olympic and world champion Teddy Riner in men’s heavyweight as well as David Larose in men’s -66kg.

    On the women’s side, Automne Pavia (-57kg), Clarisse Agbegnenou (-63kg) and Lucie Decosse (-70kg) are also ranked first in their categories.

    Japan is the only other country with multiple top-ranked judoka.

    Click here to see the complete rankings.

    SportAccord Signs Burson-Marsteller

    Global communications firm Burson-Marsteller is the latest exclusive partner of SportAccord, the umbrella body for international federations announced Tuesday.

    “As our mission has grown, it has become clear that it was time to engage a global firm to ensure that our work on behalf of our members is properly communicated,” SportAccord Director General Vincent Gaillard said in a statement.

    “We have a number of very exciting global projects that we will be developing over the coming months, such as our SportAccord Multi-Sports Games, and we look forward to working with Burson-Marsteller to ensure their success.

    Also among the projects Burson-Marsteller will advise are SportAccord’s brand positioning and its application to own the new top-level domain name dot sport.

    Jeremy Galbraith, Global Vice Chairman of Strategy and CEO of Burson-Marsteller in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added: “It is a great privilege to bring our expertise to SportAccord and its members, who collectively form the beating heart of the world of sports.”

    Burson-Marsteller becomes the recommended service provider to SportAccord’s 107 member international federations and organizations courtesy of Tuesday’s deal.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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