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  • Big Changes for Boxing; Pistorius Returns to Court; Prince Harry, Warrior Games


    Big Changes for Olympic Boxing

    It’s out with head guards and in with pro-style scoring for boxing at the Olympics.
    Headguards in use at London 2012. (Getty Images)

    Both changes are included among the amended AIBA Competition Rules, according to documents the International Boxing Association made available to Around the Rings.

    Head guards were added to amateur boxing in April 1984 and were worn at eight straight Summer Games. The AIBA World Boxing Championships in October will be the first major international event without them.

    “All available data indicated that the removal of headguard in elite men would result in a decreased number of concussions,” AIBA said, citing separate studies by the AIBA Medical Commission, which studied more than 2,000 bouts, and the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which reviewed almost 30,000 bouts over 59 years.

    Also new to the Olympics will be the “Ten Point Must-System” with five judges around the ring, only three of whose scores will be counted.

    “It is AIBA’s duty to bring the sport of boxing to the pinnacle of the Olympic Movement and I am convinced that these changes will critically contribute to the development of our beloved sport,” AIBA President C.K. Wu said in a statement.

    “Decisions have not been made lightly and we will now put a lot of efforts in educating our national member federations, our officials, boxers and coaches, as well as boxing fans around the world”.

    Royal Guest for Warrior Games

    Prince Harry will attend the 2013 Warrior Games.
    Prince Harry on duty in Afghanistan last December. (Getty Images)

    The event, scheduled for May 11-16 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., is for wounded service members. A team from Great Britain will compete at this year's Games.

    U.S. Paralympics CEO Charlie Huebner said in a statement: "The United States Olympic Committee and the Royal Foundation have been working together since last year on our shared mission to develop sustainable community programs in both the U.S. and the U.K. for people with physical disabilities, including our wounded veterans and service members. Prince Harry is personally committed to help expand these programs, and we are honored to have him participate in the event."

    Pistorius Returning to Court

    Oscar Pistorius will return to court March 28.
    Oscar Pistorius in court Feb. 22. (Getty Images)

    The Associated Press reports he will head to the High Court of Pretoria on Thursday to challenge some of his bail restrictions.

    Pistorius is accused of pre-mediated murder in the shooting death of his girlfirend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day. His lawyer told the AP Pistorius hopes to get his travel restrictions and alcohol ban lifted as well as to gain permission to speak with residents of the gated community where he lives and where his girlfriend was shot.

    Gold Medalist Wins Doping Appeal

    Estonian cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu won his appeal of a three-year competition ban for failing a drug test.
    Andrus Veerpalu at the 2006 Olympics. (Getty Images)

    Veerpaalu appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that a 2011 out-of-competition test finding banned substance HGH should be annulled for several technical reasons, including the lab performing the test was unaccredited and the test was not scientifically valid because it set “unreliable decision limits”. 

    CAS ruled that FIS, the International Ski Federation, “failed to meet the applicable standard of proof with respect to the procedure that followed to set the aspects of the decision limits.”

    The statement from CAS announcing its decision emphasized the “decision limits” multiple times and noted “many factors in this case which tend to indicate” that Veerpalu self-administered HGH.

    He won gold in the 15km event at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics and silver in the 50km in Salt Lake City. He has competed in six Olympics.

    Toyota Joins Tokyo 2020

    Toyota is the 17th sponsor of Tokyo 2020.
    Toyota sales jumped 13 percent in 2012. (Getty Images)

    The bid announced on Tuesday the auto manufacturer’s partnership.

    “We are thrilled to receive the support of Toyota, one of the most globally recognized corporations,” said bid president Tsunekazu Takeda. “It is an honor to have such a respected company associated with our campaign.”

    Toyota was the largest car manufacturer in 2012, selling 9.75 million vehicles.

    Rio Finalizes Mascot Selection Process

    Five Brazilian design firms were shortlisted for the next phase in the design of the mascots for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    A statement from Rio 2016 says during this phase, the firms "should adjust and detail" their proposals. Following another design phase, the winner will be selected by a unanimous decision from a technical committee.

    The winning firm will create two mascots and receive a $25,000 contract.

    Rio 2016 said the firms were selected on Friday. Rio 2016 added it only selected Brazilian companies because it "hopes to give impetus to the national market through a vote of confidence in the ability to create and develop characters."

    Oscars Moves for Olympics

    The award ceremony for the Oscars was moved to avoid a television clash with the 2014 Winter Olympics.
    March 2, 2014 is the new date of the Oscars. (Getty Images)

    On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2014 edition will take place March 2, a week later than usual.

    The Games are scheduled for Feb. 7-23. Oscars festivities have been rescheduled to avoid the Winter Olympics in the past.

    The Screen Actors Guild Awards also rescheduled their ceremony for earlier in January 2014 to avoid competing with the Olympics.

    Li Ning Posts 2012 Loss

    Lin Dan, one of Li Ning's highest-profile endorsements. (Getty Images)
    Chinese sportswear manufacturer Li Ning posted losses of $319 million in 2012. The company is the sponsor of numerous Olympic teams and athletes.

    "In the next two to three years, the industry will still see a lot of restructuring, but I think we can say we've survived the most difficult time," Executive Chairman Li Ning said at a press conference Tuesday.

    Part of the plan includes reducing inventory, potentially closing retail outlets and a brand overhaul.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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