Tag Archives: Olympic Games”

Swimming federation to splash tens of millions on African technique


There was too little variety within the swimming pool and fewer on the medal podium on the Tokyo Olympics

Elite coaching facilities in Africa and scholarship applications worldwide are a part of a method to assist athletes emerge from outdoors the game’s energy bases. Of 105 medals received within the pool on the Tokyo Video games, nearly half went to Individuals and Australians. Solely three have been received by Africans, and none of these by Black swimmers.

That image needs to be totally different on the 2024 Paris Olympics, newly elected FINA president Husain al-Musallam informed The Related Press, pledging to make student-athletes a precedence.

“I imagine there will likely be quite a lot of athletes coming from Africa in swimming and they’re going to attain the rostrum,” al-Musallam stated in an interview on the Tokyo Aquatics Middle. “Whenever you give alternative to everyone they carry out. Africans have an absence of sources, particularly for aquatic sport.”

One stand-out story in Tokyo was 18-year-old Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia, who received a shock gold within the 400 freestyle.

Two years in the past, Hafnaoui did not make the 400 ultimate on the junior world championships, however had entry to a gymnasium to construct his power for the Olympics, the FINA president stated.

“With out weights, it’s tough to supply,” al-Musallam stated. “I’m certain if he was doing one 12 months of fine preparation he’ll (set) a brand new world file.”

FINA has recognized Tunisia, Senegal and two universities in South Africa as elite coaching bases to put African athletes. Others will go to Europe, in Hungary and Russia.

Abeku Jackson of Ghana educated for the lads’s 100 butterfly at a FINA-supported base in Kazan, the 2025 world championships host metropolis in Russia. His time of 53.39 seconds set a nationwide file however didn’t advance him from the heats.

“You may’t snap your fingers and put minorities (swimmers) on the rostrum,” new FINA govt director Brent Nowicki stated.

He pointed to FINA spending $29 million over 4 years on a method to widen and deepen swimming’s expertise pool.

“You will note quite a few Africans and minorities pupil athletes competing,” predicted Nowicki, an American sports activities lawyer employed to assist reform FINA.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based group has lengthy been among the many richest Olympic sports activities our bodies however with little transparency.

In Tokyo, FINA introduced a 50% rise in prize cash for the 25-meter pool world championships, which will likely be held in Abu Dhabi in December. World data will earn $50,000 bonuses from a complete pot of $2.eight million.

The earlier FINA management’s failure to reward athletes led to the breakaway Worldwide Swimming League, and an anti-trust swimsuit in California filed by swimmers together with three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszú and Tokyo gold medalist Michael Andrew.

That case is ongoing, and al-Musallam stated he has taken half in two on-line conferences with a choose searching for to achieve a settlement between the events.

The FINA president has talked with and plans to satisfy Matt Biondi, the American swim nice who leads the brand new Worldwide Swimmers’ Alliance representing the game’s athletes.

Al-Musallam stated he didn’t announce having spoken with Biondi “as a result of then I will likely be a showman. I’m not a showman.”

He additionally engaged with Olympic stars in Tokyo, inviting them to go to Africa and encourage younger swimmers.

“I stated, ‘I can provide you this chance. I ship you to Ghana. Speak to the children within the river,’” al-Musallam stated. “I need to work within the discipline, I’m quiet. You choose the consequence.”


Extra AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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For some bobsled hopefuls, the Olympics could also be a click on away


USA Bobsled and Skeleton could not hit the highway recruiting this summer season due to the coronavirus pandemic

This 12 months, amid a pandemic, none of that would happen.

So USABS made your entire course of digital — and up to now, it’s working.

Following the identical type of considering that works for highschool athletes attempting to get observed by schools, USABS has invited potential sliders to add resumes and movies that present what they’ll do and who they’re. The outcomes have been overwhelming, each when it comes to the numbers and the standard of athleticism from many who’re .

“I might say on this brief period of time — and we’re simply speaking actually like from Could to now — I feel this has been the best response fee of any recruiting factor that we’ve ever accomplished,” mentioned USABS assistant coach Mike Dionne, who handles a lot of the federation’s recruiting efforts. “I used to be shocked on the quantity of responses that we have been getting.”

Somebody submitted video of herself pushing a automobile for 30 yards in a parking zone. One other despatched his rugby highlights. One girl inserted a clip of her lacking what would have been a game-winning purpose in a state highschool soccer championship recreation and the way she grew from that have.

USABS already has gotten dozens of significant candidates concerned, by Zoom video conferences with coaches and established athletes and previous bobsled and skeleton Olympians. Crew officers anticipate many extra names to get into the combo earlier than the Sept. 30 submission deadline for consideration this season.

The thought of taking the method on-line, USABS CEO Aron McGuire mentioned, was in all probability overdue and is probably going right here to remain. Athletes submit themselves operating a 40-yard sprint, finishing a broad leap, plus fill out a questionnaire. Similar to that, they formally develop into Olympic hopefuls.

“COVID or no COVID, we’ve acquired to be enthusiastic about ways in which we may be extra environment friendly and actually get a higher attain,” McGuire mentioned. “We will get extra athletes excited concerning the sports activities and get them concerned. So, that is type of a good way to type of attain that subsequent era of athletes.”

One other plus for USABS: It saves a ton of cash. Finances constraints would sometimes restrict the workforce to recruiting stops in 8-10 cities, McGuire mentioned. This attain, being on-line, is limitless.

“Now, we will have your entire attain of actually anybody on the earth, any US citizen on the earth that desires to check out,” McGuire mentioned. “It’s far more efficient when it comes to that outreach.”

What occurs within the coming weeks, if all goes to plan, would see most of the Olympic hopefuls journey to Lake Placid, New York, — the workforce’s residence base — or probably Park Metropolis, Utah, for rookie camps. Lake Placid could be the place most of the incoming athletes who’re looking for to be a part of the bobsled program would see a push observe for the primary time, and coaches might begin getting extra info on who has the kind of power, pace and explosiveness that’s wanted to assist get a sled down a mountain as quick as doable.

Dionne mentioned it’s not outdoors the realm of risk that somebody who comes into this system this fall might nonetheless discover themselves on the 2022 U.S. Olympic bobsled workforce. There are precedents for issues occurring that shortly.

And this season, it is unclear how a lot U.S. nationwide workforce athletes will likely be abroad due to the pandemic. If some prime athletes are in a position to prepare in Lake Placid or Park Metropolis extra for even a few of the sliding season, that would speed up the event of this 12 months’s rookie class.


Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Virus disaster ebbs in China, spreads worry throughout the West


The coronavirus disaster shifted more and more westward towards the Mideast, Europe and america on Tuesday, with governments taking emergency steps to ease shortages of face masks and different provides for front-line docs and nurses.

“We’re involved that international locations’ talents to reply are being compromised by the extreme and rising disruption to the worldwide provide of private protecting gear, brought on by rising demand, hoarding and misuse,” stated the World Well being Group’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We won’t cease COVID-19 with out defending our well being employees.”

All over the world, deaths in Italy surged to 79, making it the deadliest reported outbreak exterior China. Twenty-three members of Iran’s Parliament and the pinnacle of the nation’s emergency companies had been reported contaminated. South Korea began drive-thru testing. And in Spain’s Basque area, at the least 5 docs and nurses had been contaminated and practically 100 well being care employees had been being held in isolation.

The mushrooming outbreaks contrasted with optimism in China, the place hundreds of recovered sufferers had been going dwelling and the variety of new infections dropped to the bottom degree in a number of weeks.

Worldwide, greater than 92,000 folks have been sickened and over 3,100 have died, the overwhelming majority of them in China. The variety of international locations hit by the virus reached at the least 70, with Ukraine and Morocco reporting their first circumstances.

Virus clusters in america led faculties and subways to sanitize, quickened the seek for a vaccine and unfold fears amongst nursing dwelling residents, who’re particularly weak. The variety of the infections within the U.S. topped 100 and the loss of life toll climbed to 9. The entire deaths had been in Washington state, and most of them had been residents of a Seattle-area nursing dwelling.

The U.S. Federal Reserve introduced the most important interest-rate reduce in over a decade to attempt to counter the anticipated injury to the economic system, and shares rose briefly on Wall Avenue in response earlier than slumping once more. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated the virus “will certainly weigh on financial exercise each right here and overseas for a while.”

Different Group of Seven international locations appeared reluctant to observe go well with with their very own cuts, most likely as a result of lots of their rates of interest are already close to or beneath zero.

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration gave well being care employees the OK to make use of an industrial kind of respirator masks typically used to guard building employees from mud and particles.

Iran’s supreme chief ordered the army to help well being officers in combating the virus, which authorities stated has killed 77 folks. Among the many useless are a confidant of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s former ambassador to the Vatican and a not too long ago elected member of Parliament.

Iran’s judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, stated some persons are stockpiling medical provides for revenue and urged prosecutors to point out no mercy. “Hoarding sanitizing objects is taking part in with folks’s lives, and it isn’t ignorable,” he stated.

France’s president introduced the federal government will take management of present and future shares of face masks to make sure they might go to well being employees and coronavirus sufferers, and the finance minister warned that binge-shopping for family necessities may set off shortages. The nation reported a complete of greater than 200 circumstances and 4 deaths.

“On this interval we’re going via — we have now entered a part that may final weeks and, undoubtedly, months -– it’s indispensable to have readability, resilience, sang-froid and willpower to cease the epidemic” French President Emmanuel Macron stated throughout a go to to the federal government’s virus disaster heart.

South Korea noticed its largest day by day enhance in new circumstances Tuesday, with 851 extra infections reported, largely in and across the southeastern metropolis of Daegu. In all, about 5,200 folks in South Korea have examined constructive for the virus.

Within the capital of Seoul, drive-thru virus testing facilities started working, with employees dressed head-to-toe in white protecting fits leaning into automobiles with mouth swabs, a transfer meant to restrict contact with potential carriers of the sickness. Troops had been additionally dispatched throughout town to spray streets and alleys with disinfectant.

In China, the depend of recent circumstances dropped once more Tuesday, with simply 125 reported. It’s nonetheless by far the hardest-hit nation, with over 80,000 infections and about 95% of the world’s deaths.

“We scrutinized this knowledge and we consider this decline is actual,” stated WHO outbreak professional Maria Van Kerkhove, who traveled to China as a part of a staff from the U.N. company. She stated the extraordinary measures taken there, together with the lockdown of greater than 60 million folks, had a major impact on the course of the outbreak.

“We consider {that a} discount of circumstances in different international locations, together with Italy, Korea, Iran, in all places, that that is potential,” she stated.

China’s ambassador to the United Nations stated the nation is profitable its battle in opposition to COVID-19. “We’re not removed from the approaching of the victory,” Zhang Jun stated.

In Japan, questions continued to construct in regards to the destiny of the Olympics.

The nation’s Olympic minister, Seiko Hashimoto, stated Japan is “making the utmost effort” to proceed with the video games’ opening on July 24 in Tokyo. However she advised parliament that the nation’s contract with the Worldwide Olympic Committee specifies solely that the video games be held in 2020, which means they could possibly be postponed to later within the yr if obligatory.


Hinnant reported in Paris. Contributors embrace Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber in Washington; Jamey Keaten in Geneva; Maria Cheng in London; Matt Sedensky in Bangkok; Nicole Winfield and Frances D’Emilio in Rome; Aritz Parra in Madrid; Chris Grygiel in Seattle; Kim Tong-Hyung and Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Stephen Wade in Tokyo; Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran; and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Observe AP protection of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


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So goes the neighborhood? Resort wrestles with rental rise


Lake Placid is a picture-book village in the Adirondack Mountains offering tourists crisp air, pretty peaks, Winter Olympic sites and, lately, a lot more houses to rent for the weekend.

The rising popularity of short-term rentals on services like Airbnb is alarming residents who fear they’re gobbling up so much of the housing market that workers who want to live there are getting frozen out.

“What about the families? They’re not here anymore,” said longtime resident Zay Curtis, as he drove through the snowy village to point out rentals. “The neighborhoods are slipping away.”

Short-term rentals like those listed on Airbnb are surging all over, but they loom larger in smaller resort areas like this village of 2,400.

Since December 2017, the number of Airbnb and HomeAway listings in and around Lake Placid has grown from 555 entire places to 684, according to AirDNA, a short-term rental data provider. As conversions continue, officials are struggling with a contentious question that also echoes in many Atlantic beach towns and on the shores of Lake Tahoe: How do resorts balance neighborhood concerns against the economic benefit of tourists who stay in short-term rentals?

“It fuels the economy here. I’m telling you, if they were to stop vacation rentals, this would be a ghost town,” said Sharon Middendorf, a rental owner and part-time resident.

Seasonal rentals are nothing new in Lake Placid, famous for the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s medal-winning “Miracle on Ice.” Homeowners and landlords have long rented out spare rooms and the area around the village is dotted with condominium developments that cater to vacationers.

It’s the growth of home rentals in residential neighborhoods that’s raising alarms.

About a third of the housing units in the larger Town of North Elba are generally for vacation or temporary seasonal use, up from about a fifth in 2010, according to a new report commissioned by the village and the town. And half of the village and town’s homeowners live elsewhere.

The rapid rise of rentals has fueled the sort of complaints heard in Los Angeles or London: noisy parties, trash, overpacked homes. But some residents say they’re also taking homes off the market that local workers could buy or lease.

Melissa Furnia said she was priced out of Lake Placid despite a good job at the agency that oversees former Olympic facilities. She wanted to buy a home where she was raised, where her parents live, where she works and where she volunteers as an EMT.

But with median single-family homes valued at $300,000, she purchased a home for a third of the price a half hour away.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “Lake Placid is where I want to be. It’s where I always wanted to be.”

W hile Lake Placid bustles with tourists, its population is dropping, as is school enrollment .

Huda Scheidelman, chairwoman of a group of area rental owners, said affordable housing is a nationwide issue and it is unfair to blame short-term rentals for the local crunch. Operators point out that many rental listings include large, lakeside homes that are out of reach for buyers of modest means.

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said local leaders were expected to soon propose a permitting system for short-term rentals that could include a 90-day annual limit for homes not occupied by the owner.

“I think this will begin to calm it down a little bit,” he said. “It also provides reassurance to those second-home owners that we’re not totally pulling the carpet out from underneath them.”

If approved, Lake Placid would join a growing list of resort areas tackling the issue.

In South Carolina, the beach resort town Kiawah Island in November amended its short-term rental regulations to, among other things, cap the number of licenses in certain residential districts. The caps, effective in January, ensure that no more than 20% of developed lots in those districts can be used for short-term rentals.

“While being sensitive to the tourism market that we love and appreciate on the island, we also exist to protect the residential character of the island,” said Stephanie Braswell, the town’s communications director.

Voters in South Lake Tahoe, California, narrowly approved a ballot measure in 2018 severely restricting short-term rentals in residential areas by 2022. A group of businesses and property owners promptly sued. If the measure stands, it would reduce the number of vacation home rentals from a high of about 1,700 to 300, said former city manager Frank Rush.

Lake Placid also is likely to face legal challenges if it goes ahead with the 90-day limit, said Scheidelman, chairwoman of Gold Medal Hospitality group. She agrees there should be regulations to address concerns like noise and parking, but she said the rules need to be reasonable.

“I think something that is unreasonable is restricting the rental business to the point where guests actually are not feeling welcomed to Lake Placid,” she said.


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Russia requested to clarify alleged doping knowledge tampering


The World Anti-Doping Company is giving Russia three weeks to clarify attainable indicators of tampering with knowledge from its doping laboratory that was essential to prosecuting circumstances in opposition to athletes alleged to have cheated on the 2014 Olympics and different main occasions.

WADA heard in regards to the attainable tampering at its govt committee assembly Monday in Tokyo. Turning over the info was a key requirement for the reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping company, and WADA has formally opened a compliance process that would result in a brand new ban if the info was manipulated.

Russia’s sports activities minister Pavel Kolobkov mentioned his workplace had been instructed in regards to the discrepancies between the info turned over by a whistleblower and knowledge from the lab, which was getting used to corroborate the whistleblower data. He indicated that Russian technical specialists can have entry to the assessment.

“What, precisely, these inconsistencies are and what they’re associated to, that can be cleared up by specialists within the area of digital know-how from either side, who’re already cooperating,” Kolobkov mentioned. “From our facet, we are going to proceed to supply all attainable help.”

The info was handed over to WADA in January after Russia breached an earlier deadline of Dec. 31, 2018. It has already been used to convey circumstances in opposition to athletes in weightlifting and biathlon, and WADA mentioned it will proceed to pursue circumstances whereas this newest assessment is ongoing.

WADA has been criticized for reinstating RUSADA beneath phrases much less stringent than the unique roadmap. However director normal Olivier Niggli instructed The Related Press he stood by the choice.

“I imagine it was really a vital choice and completely the correct choice,” Niggli mentioned. “I am satisfied that we’d not have the info if we had not taken that call, so we’d not even be speaking about it at present. There would nonetheless be a cloud of suspicion and nothing would have gone ahead.”

WADA wouldn’t set a agency timetable on a choice. The case is heating up a couple of days earlier than the beginning of the monitor world championships in Doha, the place 30 Russians will compete as impartial athletes whereas Russia’s monitor federation stays beneath suspension by the game’s governing physique.


AP Sports activities Author James Ellingworth reported from Duesseldorf, Germany.


Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Go well with seeks to dam gondola linking Lake Tahoe ski resorts


A wilderness safety group has filed a lawsuit to attempt to block development of a 2.2-mile lengthy (3.5-kilometer-long) gondola that may go by way of a nationwide forest to attach the ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics with a neighboring Lake Tahoe ski resort.

The conservationists desire a California choose to put aside Placer County’s approval of the undertaking they are saying would destroy crucial habitat for a uncommon, federally protected frog and result in irreversible lack of pure panorama on the sting of a excessive Sierra wilderness space.

“This may desecrate a wilderness sanctuary,” mentioned Huey Johnson, chairman and founding father of the Useful resource Renewal Institute, a nonprofit group that oversees the Granite Chief Wilderness Safety League.

The lawsuit mentioned the county’s approval in July was based mostly on an environmental overview that hid the cumulative impacts anticipated along side an related housing growth within the works.

“The undertaking represents step one in remodeling this pristine space into one that’s developed with roads, housing and appreciable human infrastructure,” mentioned the lawsuit filed Aug. 22 in Placer County Superior Court docket.

The gondola with eight-passenger automobiles and 33 towers — some as excessive as 50-feet tall (15 meters) — would transport as much as 1,400 individuals an hour on a 16-minute journey between the bases of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows northwest of Tahoe Metropolis, California. Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

About 20% of the undertaking, together with 5 of the towers, could be situated within the Tahoe Nationwide Forest. The county rejected earlier alternate options that probably may have handed by way of the close by Granite Chief Wilderness Space designated by Congress in 1983.

Ron Cohen, president of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, which owns each resorts, mentioned the gondola route chosen from 4 choices is essentially the most environmentally pleasant as a result of it’s the farthest away from the wilderness boundary.

“An amazing quantity of analysis and research knowledgeable the approval of this undertaking,” he mentioned, pointing to almost 2,400 pages of research and evaluation within the environmental overview.

“Public overview and approval features a mixed 20-1 vote by two municipal advisory committees, the Planning Fee, and the Board of Supervisors, on high of the clear findings and approval of the Tahoe Nationwide Forest. Fairly merely, this undertaking has a broad and convincing mandate,” he mentioned in a press release emailed to The Related Press on Tuesday.

Cohen mentioned the gondola will permit skiers to benefit from the two resorts’ mixed 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) of terrain with out having to drive between the 2. Backers estimate it may cut back site visitors by 100 automobiles a day alongside State Freeway 89.

The lawsuit mentioned the builders failed to contemplate a non-gondola different, together with enhancing the present shuttle system. It mentioned the undertaking will result in appreciable growth inside crucial habitat designated for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and assumes that solely occupied habitat must be protected, failing to reveal impacts to adjoining dispersal habitat.

The environmental overview additionally “wrongly asserts” that the undertaking is impartial from the proposed White Wolf growth, consisting of 38 residential items, a clubhouse, tennis courts and equestrian services.

“The undertaking has been deliberate particularly in order that property house owners and visitors of the event could be permitted unique personal entry” to the gondola at a tower on the mid-section, the lawsuit mentioned.

The undertaking received preliminary approval from the Forest Service earlier this 12 months and is awaiting closing approval.

Tahoe Nationwide Forest spokesman Joe Flannery mentioned the wilderness league was amongst 12 organizations and people that objected to their draft report of choice. He advised the Sierra Solar they intend to complete clarifying these objections within the subsequent two weeks and launch a closing report of choice in November.


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Judo champion who defied Iran’s guidelines now in hiding


Saeid Mollaei has been in hiding since he left the Iranian judo crew final month, saying he had been ordered to withdraw from the world championships on political grounds.

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Now he is coaching for subsequent yr’s Olympics with no assure he can compete.

Mollaei was the defending world champion, and Israel’s Sagi Muki his greatest rival for the gold medal. There was one downside — Iran has a coverage of boycotting all competitions towards Israelis, even when meaning an athlete’s coaching was all for nothing.

Mollaei advised The Related Press he was ordered to lose a preliminary bout towards a Russian with a purpose to cowl up the explanation for his withdrawal. When he refused and received, he acquired extra intimidating calls from senior officers.

“For as soon as, I made a decision to stay as a free man for myself, and show to the world that I’m a courageous man,” Mollaei mentioned in a current interview in Germany, the place he is dwelling in an undisclosed location.

“I did this for my human soul. For myself. I needed to apply and compete with freedom, with peace of thoughts,” mentioned Mollaei, talking in Persian. “I did not need to fear about whom to compete with and whom to not compete with. I will compete with anybody, to honor the Olympic constitution.”

In the long run, Mollaei misplaced a bronze-medal bout and did not face Muki, who received gold. The Worldwide Judo Federation, which is supporting Mollaei, mentioned he acquired calls for to withdraw from an Iranian deputy sports activities minister, embassy workers and the pinnacle of the Iranian Olympic Committee.

Mollaei’s likeliest path to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is now the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s crew for refugees. The IJF helps him however mentioned he’ll want refugee standing from the United Nations.

Up to now, adapting to life in Germany is difficult.

“Even the garments you possibly can see on me (are presents). I had nothing when arrived in Germany. I simply determined to come back and I got here,” he mentioned. “I had loads of presents from mates and that is how I stay now, with the assistance of some mates and the IJF. I am nonetheless ready to see what is going to occur later, how I can compete, however clearly from the very starting of my arrival right here in Germany I began my coaching. The place and the way I’ll compete later, I do not know but.”

Mollaei mentioned he has not requested for asylum in Germany. As a substitute, he’s dwelling on a visa issued when he competed in German membership occasions, and is cautious about safety.

Powerfully constructed, with broad shoulders, Mollaei speaks softly and chooses his phrases fastidiously.

“Even after I need to contact my household I do it by a good friend in Tehran as a result of my household is underneath surveillance and I am unable to discuss many points,” he mentioned. “I haven’t got a lot contact with any of my mates.”

Mollaei advised the AP he had been given comparable orders to keep away from Israeli rivals on three earlier events. The final time was in February, when he failed to seem for the medal ceremony at a contest in France as a result of it will imply sharing the rostrum with Muki.

“Virtually all Iranian athletes have acquired such orders when it’s linked to Israeli athletes,” he mentioned.

Iranian officers have mentioned Mollaei was one way or the other manipulated into leaving the crew, and that he could be welcomed if he returned residence.

He’s skeptical, pointing to an Iranian letter to the IJF in Might pledging to adjust to Olympic non-discrimination guidelines. On the time, it was hailed as a sign Iran would finish its sports activities boycott of Israel.

“I can guarantee you that they did not adjust to the Olympic Constitution. So how can we belief them?” Mollaei mentioned of Iran’s sports activities officers.

Mollaei’s break with the Iranian authorities comes at a time when activists are utilizing sports activities to defy authorities calls for.

Feminine Iranian activists have campaigned for years to be allowed to attend sports activities stadiums, significantly for males’s soccer video games, and staged protests ultimately yr’s World Cup in Russia. Final week, Iranian information retailers reported 29-year-old soccer fan Sahar Khodayari had died after setting herself on hearth upon studying she might spend six months in jail for making an attempt to sneak right into a recreation.

Mollaei expressed sympathy for Khodayari and different feminine campaigners.

“I questioned why this occurred, why Iranian ladies cannot freely stay like different ladies, and luxuriate in sports activities and luxuriate in watching sports activities,” he mentioned. “I do not know what is going on on, and why such difficulties ought to solely occur to Iranians and the Iranian sport neighborhood.

“I do not know what to say. I am simply unhappy and disillusioned. I simply hope that at some point the ladies and athletes in my nation can stay freely and may get pleasure from life.”


Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Ex-US Olympic dressage athlete charged with tried homicide


A historical past of disputes between a former Olympic equestrian athlete and two individuals who rented from him at a farm the place he trains riders apparently turned violent this week, leaving a girl with life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Prosecutors in Morris County on Thursday charged Michael Barisone, 54, with two counts of tried homicide and weapons offenses.

In keeping with a prison criticism, a girl referred to as 911 Wednesday afternoon and stated Barisone had shot her twice.

Police arrived to search out the lady bleeding on the bottom with wounds to her chest, and one other man mendacity on high of Barisone. Barisone had fired on the man as properly however had missed, in response to the criticism, and the person had subdued him till police arrived.

The lady’s accidents had been described as critical and life-threatening.

Authorities haven’t launched their names. In keeping with the criticism, they lived on the farm, and there had been a number of latest calls to police from the residence due to what it described as “landlord-tenant associated points.”

Earlier than he was faraway from the scene, Barisone was overheard repeating the phrase, “I had life,” in response to the criticism.

In keeping with his web site, Barisone was a member of the 2008 Olympic workforce and the 1997 gold medal-winning Nations Cup workforce in Hickstead, England. It says he has coached Olympians and is a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s board of administrators.

It was not instantly doable to succeed in Barisone, whose voice mailbox was full.

The Morris County prosecutor’s workplace did not have a document of an legal professional listed for Barisone on Friday, and an preliminary courtroom look hadn’t but been scheduled.


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Milan-Cortina 2026 bid boosted by government support


The Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics received a boost Friday by a key letter of financial support from the Italian government.

The letter was signed by Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and handed to Octavian Morariu, the chair of the IOC’s evaluation commission, which is concluding a weeklong inspection of the bid sites.

The letter from Conte promises that the government would provide security for the games, handle anti-doping expenditures and coordinate visas for visiting athletes, officials and fans.

In another showing of the government’s support, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini met with IOC inspectors in Milan on Friday.

“Absolutely,” Salvini said when asked if the government would provide funding for the games. “It’s a guarantee to cover all the security expenses, which depend personally on me.

“I hope everything necessary is covered,” added Salvini, who was wearing a jacket featuring the logo of the Milan-Cortina bid.

Meanwhile, questions remain over the Swedish government’s support of the Stockholm-Are bid, the only other remaining candidate for 2026.

The IOC will vote on the 2026 host on June 24 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Milan-Cortina candidacy takes full advantage of more flexible hosting rules provided by recent reforms from IOC President Thomas Bach.

The bid proposes to hold figure skating, hockey and short-track speedskating in Milan; sliding sports and curling in 1956 host Cortina; and speedskating, biathlon and Nordic sports in Trentino-Alto Adige.

Alpine skiing would be divided between Bormio (men) and Cortina (women), and only one venue would need to be built from scratch — an arena in Milan.

The opening ceremony would be at the 80,000-seat San Siro in Milan, with the closing at Verona Arena, a large Roman amphitheater.

While AC Milan and Inter Milan are considering building a new stadium to replace the San Siro, bid leaders have assured that the opening ceremony will take place either at the San Siro or a new stadium.

“It’s not a problem. Whatever choice is made works for us and the IOC,” said Giovanni Malago, the president of the Italian Olympic Committee.

Milan-Cortina plans for a budget of 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), far less than the $51 billion Russia spent on the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Much of the local funding would be organized by the governments of Lombardy and Veneto — two of Italy’s richest regions.

Italy is anxious to bring a bid through the entire process after two Rome candidacies were withdrawn.

Three years ago, Italy was forced to end Rome’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics because of staunch opposition from the city’s mayor. And in 2012, then-premier Mario Monti scrapped the city’s candidacy for the 2020 Olympics because of financial concerns.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports


Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf


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The Secret Food Behind Colombia’s Cycling Success | Feed The Flame

Discover how Colombian cyclists have long relied on guava jelly as a natural energy booster to fuel their success on the international stage. Get a first-hand taste of the unusual diets and…