Olympics

Villa park pulls out as possible Olympic football venue

Villa park pulls out as possible Olympic football venueLondon - Villa Park will not be one the six venues for the football tournament at the 2012 London Olympics after the Premier League club revealed it was unsure if the stadium would be fit to host matches due to planned upgrade work.

"The club is considering plans for major construction work over the next few years," the London organizing committee (Locog) said in a statement.

"Whilst these plans are developed, the club is unable to commit fully to hosting matches."

China''s 2008 Olympic Games sites still attracting millions of visitors

Beijing, Aug. 10 : Even a year after the 2008 Olympic Games, the world-famous sites are still a major attraction for visitors to Beijing.

New business proposals and expansion plans promise to bring even more revenues to the massive venues.

Operators of the Bird''s Nest, or the National Stadium, have submitted a proposal to the Beijing Municipal Government to build restaurants, fitness centers and a shopping complex in 50,000 square meters of available commercial space.

Beginning in October, the National Aquatics Center complex, better known as the Water Cube, will undergo an expansion from its current size of 49,000 square meters to 77,000 square meters.

Pechstein to fight doping ban over procedural inaccuracies

Pechstein to fight doping ban over procedural inaccuracies Berlin - Five-time Olympic speed skating champion Claudia Pechstein is to use what she believes are several procedural errors by the ruling body ISU in an attempt to overturn a two-year ban handed down for doping.

The 37-year-old German has protested her innocence and told a press conference Thursday in Berlin that eight of the 20 blood test results used by the ISU were not identical with that of the athlete.

Emission control during Beijing Olympics could help in adoption of pollution-curbing policies

Emission control during Beijing Olympics could help in adoption of pollution-curbing policiesWashington, July 26 : A new study has determined that the air in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics was cleaner than the previous year's, thanks to aggressive efforts by the Chinese government, which could help policymakers adopt pollution-curbing policies to improve air quality.

British police fear rise in sex workers during 2012 London Olympics

British police fear rise in sex workers during 2012 London OlympicsLondon, July 15 : Police in Britain fear that the 2012 Olympics, which will be hosted in London, may spark a rise in sex workers.

With thousands of spectators, site workers and athletes around, there will be a huge demand for prostitutes, and the chances of sex workers being smuggled in, are huge.

Vice cops have already reported that more and more sex workers are plying their trade around the five Olympic host boroughs in London.

Beijing Olympian becomes pimp as he lacks funding for 2012 London Olympics

Beijing Olympian becomes pimp as he lacks funding for 2012 London OlympicsWellington, Jul 13 : New Zealand taekwondo practitioner Logan Campbell has turned to pimping after his funds dried up, and his chances at making the London Olympics in 2012 looked slim.

Campbell, 23, joined hands with business partner Hugo Phillips, 20, last week, and launched a "high-class gentleman''s club" (read brothel) near Auckland''s infamous K Rd.

London Eye to get a £12.5m upgrade for 2012 Olympics

London Eye to get a £12.5m upgrade for 2012 OlympicsLondon, June 24 : London Eye, the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe, will get a 12.5 million pound refurbishment job starting this week.

Britain''s most popular paid-for visitor attraction’s 32 capsules are being upgraded in the biggest investment since it opened in 2000 to ensure it is ready for the 2012 London Olympics.

The upgrade will enable the capsule to provide music and on-screen visuals, by adding four ceiling-mounted screens and enhanced multi-media and Wi-Fi capabilities.

Beijing declares large surplus from 2008 Olympics

Beijing declares large surplus from 2008 OlympicsBeijing - China on Friday said it made a surplus of more than 1 billion yuan (146 million dollars) from hosting the 2008 Olympic Games despite spending far more than its original budget.

The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) had reported income of 20.5 billion yuan (3 billion dollars) and expenditure of 19.3 billion yuan (2.83 billion dollars) by March 15, leaving a provisional surplus of nearly 1.2 billion yuan, the semi-official China News Service quoted the National Audit Office as saying.

Cities make 2016 Olympics pitch

Cities make 2016 Olympics pitchLausanne, Switzerland - The four cities hoping to stage the 2016 Olympic Games were given the opportunity Wednesday of presenting their bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its headquarters in Lausanne on Wednesday.

Leaders from Madrid, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Chicago are in Lausanne trying to impress IOC members before they vote in October on the host city for the Games.

Almost all members of the IOC were on hand to listen to the bid cities' presentations which were being made behind closed doors.

Russis set to to cut 2014 Olympic spending

Russis set to to cut 2014 Olympic spendingMoscow - Russia is set to cut Olympic spending for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games by more than half a billion dollars in the wake of the world economic crisis, a top official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

The Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Kozak as saying that Olympic costs can be optimized, with 20 billion roubles (461 million dollars, 653 million dollars) to be slashed off the budget 2009-2014. Kozak is in charge of Olympic planning.

IOC "most impressed" with Madrid bid for 2016 Olympics

El Moutawakel Madrid  - Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympics made a strong, positive impression on the evaluating commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), commission head Nawal El Moutawakel said Friday.

"We have been most impressed to find what the city of Madrid could offer to the Olympic movement," El Moutawakel said at a press conference on the final day of a five-day visit to the Spanish capital.

"Madrid is ready to organize the Games," said the former Moroccan athlete, before dampening local hopes. "Just like the other three cities."

WADA warns that Madrid 2016 stands to lose with anti-doping laws

WADA director general David HowmanMadrid  - New Spanish laws that ease up on doping tests in sports were condemned by the World Anti-Doping Agency Friday and could harm Madrid's chances of hosting the 2016 Olympics, the agency said.

"We said to them that they should quickly change the law. They said they would do that, modify some aspects," WADA director general David Howman told the German Press Agency dpa in a telephone interview.

Madrid optimistic of hosting 2016 Olympics despite financial woes

Madrid optimistic of hosting 2016 Olympics despite financial woes Madrid  - Madrid expressed again Thursday its confidence in being chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games, and stressed that the ongoing financial and economic crisis would not prevent Spain from organizing the world's largest sports event.

"Here we can hold the Games with or without a crisis, with a very concrete argument: in this country, most of the investment has already been made," said Juan Antonio Samaranch, son of the former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Spain's only representative in that organ.

IOC inspectors visit proposed facilities for Rio 2016

International Olympic CommitteeRio de Janeiro  - Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) evaluating commission Friday visited facilities that could host the 2016 Games were Rio de Janeiro to win the bid.

Rio is fighting rival bids from more economically powerful cities such as Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo.

In Copacabana, IOC officials came across people holding signs supporting their city's bid, including a message made famous by US President Barack Obama during his campaign: "Yes we can!"

Havelange asks IOC to pick Rio to host 2016 Olympics

Rio de Janeiro - Former FIFA president Joao Havelange on Wednesday asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to choose Rio de Janeiro as the host city of the 2016 Olympics.

"At my age, unfortunately, I no longer have ambitions in sport. But I do have one wish, which is to offer Brazil and South America the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Havelange, one of the most important sports personalities in Brazil.

Havelange, 92, made his speech in French before members of an IOC evaluating commission currently visiting Rio.

IOC inspectors led by Moroccan former athlete Nawal El Moutawakel on Wednesday held closed-door consultations with Brazilian authorities to hear about Rio's plans for the 2016 Games.

Obama “our quarterback” to win Olympic bid for Chicago: Daley

Tom DaleyChicago, Mar 29 : Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has declared President Barack Obama "our quarterback" who will help bring the Olympic Games to the city.

Daley fresh from a Denver trip to promote the Chicago's Olympic bid, said, "This is the United States of America, and the person who's our quarterback is President Barack Obama."

"He is the one who will go to Copenhagen" to present the city's final pitch to the International Olympic Committee in October, The Chicago Sun Times quoted him, as saying.

Obama apologises for Special Olympics wisecrack

Obama apologises for Special Olympics wisecrack Los Angeles  - US President Barack Obama has offered a "moving, sincere" apology for a wisecrack in which he compared his notoriously bad bowling skills to those of handicapped participants at the Special Olympics, the chairman of the US Special Olympics board said Friday.

Tim Shriver told Good Morning America that the president called to apologize even before his taped remarks on the Jay Leno show were broadcast Thursday night.

Annecy looks to host 2018 Winter Olympics

Annecy looks to host 2018 Winter Olympics Paris - The French Alpine town of Annecy was named Wednesday as France's candidate city to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, holding off the challenge from Nice, Grenoble and Pelvoux-les-Ecrins.

Town mayor Jean-Luc Rigaut said 80 per cent of the necessary infrastructure was already in place in Annecy, which is situated beside the cleanest lake in Europe and Mont Blanc.

The German city of Munich, Switzerland's Wallis and Pyeongchang, South Korea have already expressed an interest in hosting the 2018 Winter Games.

ROUNDUP: Martina's 200m appeal turned down by CAS

MatrinaLausanne, Switzerland - Churandy Martina of the Dutch Antilles on Friday lost an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to be reinstated as Beijing Olympics 200 metres silver medallist.

The CAS cited rules by the governing body IAAF that decisions by a race jury of appeal are final and can not be fought.

Martina had originally finished second in the Beijing race in August won by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, with American Wallace Spearmon placing third.

Churandy's 200m appeal turned down by CAS

Churandy MartinaLausanne, Switzerland - Dutch Antilles runner Churandy Martina was not reinstated as Beijing Olympics 200 metres silver medallist as the Court of Arbitration for Sport 
(CAS) rejected his appeal on Friday.

The CAS cited rules by the governing body IAAF that race jury decisions are final and can not be appealed.

Churandy had originally finished second in the Beijing race in August won by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, with American Wallace Spearmon placing third.




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