Doping-tainted weightlifting must reform or risk 2024

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made it clear that weightlifting will have to prove it is doping-free or risk losing its spot for the Paris 2024 Games.

In July, the IOC had already told the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to provide a report by December describing how it plans to tackle the issue of doping in the sport.

Post December, the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency will be monitoring to ensure that the changes have been made to their satisfaction.

The IOC President Thomas Bach made it crystal clear at the body’s session meeting in Lima that if the sport is declared non-compliant with the WADA code, then the situation might be different with regards to Paris 2024.

“This is the idea behind this formula concerning weightlifting, that the decision to include them (for Paris) is subject to the compliance with the WADA code.”

Out of the total 106 positive tests emerged from the re-tests conducted by the IOC in the past two years of samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London games, about half of them came from weightlifters.

Along with athletics, the sport represented more than 80 percent of the positive cases from the re-tests, informed IOC member Denis Oswald.

The IWF banned Russia from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for “bringing weightlifting into disrepute”, now several other countries are facing potential bans after a series of positive tests.

Sources – Reuters, India Today

Image Source – REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Sports Ministry announce stipend to athletes preparing for Olympics, commonwealth and Asian Games

Rajyavardhan Rathore, the newly appointed sports minister, on behalf of the Ministry of Sports and youth affairs announced that 152 elite Indian Athletes preparing for Commonwealth games 2018, Tokyo Olympics and Asian Games will get a monthly allowance of Rs 50,000.

Rathore, a himself Olympic silver medal winner has took his twitter handle to announce the decision taken after considering the recommendations submitted by Olympic Task Force to the sports ministry on August 11 with an objective of improving India’s performance in Olympics.

While expressing his joy over the fact that India is thinking in the terms of ‘athlete first’ he said,” “This is just purely an out of pocket allowance so that whatever minor expenditures happen, they (athletes) have this money readily available to them. And they can focus on their training”

The athletes entitled to this allowance are selected under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme and the ministry will ensure that along with the stipend their strategic training and competition plans are crafted professionally. With the promise of granting them ‘suvidha and samman’ Rathore also announced that if required the selected athletes will get the further assistance for their training.

SOURCES: TOI , India Today

Yogeshwar Dutt’s medal to remain silver

The governing body for wrestling, United World Wrestling (UWW), announced on Tuesday that Azerbaijan’s Toghrul Asgarov, the gold medallist from the 2012 London Olympics in the 60kg freestyle, had passed the dope test, which brought Yogeshwar Dutt, the original bronze medallist’s dreams of a gold in that event to an end. Earlier, sources had claimed that Asgarov’s sample, which had been stored and recently reanalysed according to the rules of the World Anti-doping Agency’s (WADA), had tested positive for banned substances, raising Dutt’s gold chances.

Last week, it was announced that Dutt’s bronze would be upgraded to silver after Russia’s Besik Kudukhov, the original silver medallist, failed a dope test after the reanalysis. However, after this news was published last week, Dutt stated that he will let the family of Kudukhov, who passed away in a car crash in 2013, retain the silver on humanitarian grounds.

It also seems that even if Asgarov had not cleared the dope test, Dutt may not have been awarded the gold, because the other gold medallist in the event, USA’s Coleman Scott, who stayed a bronze medallist because he lost to Asgarov in the semifinals, may have been awarded the latter’s snatched gold.

Sindhu wins Silver, creates history

In a historic feat on Friday, August 19, ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu won the silver medal in the women’s singles badminton match at the ongoing Rio Olympics, becoming India’s first woman to do so. Her win gives India it’s highest prize so far in badminton, the first being Saina Nehwal’s bronze at the London Olympics, 4 years ago. This is India’s second medal at Rio, after wrestler Sakshi Malik’s bronze. The 21-year old Sindhu, who had raised India’s dismal hopes at Rio by having reached the finals, lost 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in a tumultuous final to Spain’s Carolina Marin, the reigning world champion. She may have settled for silver but she won hearts across the nation as praises poured in for her historic achievement.

It remains a remarkable achievement for the shuttler who had reached the finals after 5 successive wins, the last two having come over the World No.2 and World No. 5 respectively. Sindhu held on and refused to roll over as the combustive Marin tried to dominate over her game with her trademark blistering attack combined with yelps and screams. The last of India’s badminton medal hopes, the hard-hitting Sindhu pounced on whatever openings she saw and kept up the pace of the match, which at one point saw a 52-shot rally over 49 seconds.

The victory means as much to the shuttler as it does to her coach Gopichand, who gestured the last instruction of the historic day, telling Sindhu to bite into the medal, as is tradition, as she stood on the podium, the picture of composure. The scene at the podium was a proud one, with one India, one Spanish and one Japanese leading the medal’s list in a game that China has come to whole-heartedly dominate.

PV Sindu assures India its second Olympic medal

Soon after Sakshi Malik won India’s first medal at Rio Olympics, India rejoiced its assurance of a second medal by shuttler PV Sindhu, who secured a steady victory against Nozomi Okuhara 2-0 (21-19, 21-10) on Thursday. Sindhu advances to Badminton finals and will face World No. 1 Carolina Marine on Friday.

It has been a crucial journey for Sindhu, a 21-year old girl from Hyderabad, Telangana who remarkably faced and defeated world-class Badminton players this Olympics such as World No. 2 Wang Yihan who she defeated in the quarter-finals on August 17 and World No.6 Nozomi Okuhara in semi-finals. The two-time World Championship bronze medalist, PV Sindu became the second Indian woman to reach an Olympics semifinal, which was previously achieved by Sania Nehwal four years ago at London Olympics 2012, and the first to reach finals in the India history of Badminton. Sindhu also joined the club of only four woman who previously won medal for India at Olympics, those being weight-lifter Karnam Malleswari in 2000, Mary Kom and Sania Nehwal at London Olympics 2012 and recently Sakshi Malik at Rio Olympics.

On March 30, 2015 PV Sindhu received the Padma Shree award and is the only Indian women’s singles player to win a medal at World Championship.

Bolt fights to reach the men’s 200m semi-finals

The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, qualified for the men’s 200m final beating Canada’s Andre De Grasse by 0.02 seconds. One of his fiercest opponents, Justin Gatlin who won a silver in the 100m final, bowed out from the semis as he finished third with a time of 20.13 and he was joined by another big name who failed to qualify- Yohan Blake.

Bolt set his eye on a 100m-200m double for the third straight Olympics and he is working towards it with real conviction.

LaShawn Merrit, the winner of the other semi-final, clocked a timing of 19.74. He will be one of the biggest threats of Bolt in the final.

But Bolt believes in breaking his previous world record of 19.19 in the final and can even go under 19 seconds. “I definitely think I can try for the world record, I definitely feel that. I need to run efficiently to get into the straight and run the perfect race”, BBC quoted him as saying.

In one of the memorable moments of the race, the Canadian De Grasse said something to bolt. In reply Bolt waved his finger at him with his trademark smile, doing just enough to cross the finishing line in time.

Five new sports receive IOC’s approval for Tokyo 2020

Five new sports which include baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing have received the approval of the International Olympics Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reports The Business Standard.

This unanimous confirmation comes after the decision was taken by the IOC’s executive board in June 2016 with an objective to appeal to younger audiences. The international federations of the respective games were celebrating the decision which was taken on Wednesday by the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro.
According to The Guardian, IOC in their official statement made public on August 4, stated, “Today’s vote was the culmination of a two-year process that began with the unanimous approval of the IOC’s strategic roadmap in 2014. The recommendation to give Organising Committees the flexibility to propose new sports for their edition of the Games was intended to put even more focus on innovation, flexibility and youth in the development Olympic programme.”
With the promise of balancing innovation and to make the Games easier to stage, the move will add 18 events and 474 athletes without affecting any existing athlete or event quotas.
Baseball and softball will be having six teams each. Surfing will include twenty competitors in men’s as well as women’s teams. Karate will be divided into kata and kumite events. Skateboarding will include park as well as street competitions.