Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 6th 2014 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 6, 2014
beach volleyball players will be
competing in the midnight hour
at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de
The International Olympic
Committee and Brazilian organ-
izers confirmed yesterday that the
competition schedule includes
late-night sessions in the two
sports---swimming finals running
from 10 pm local time to mid-
night, and some beach volleyball
matches starting at midnight on
The times are geared toward
NBC s night-time coverage in the
United States, as well as Brazilian
TV s tradition of showing sports
events at late hours. Rio will be
one hour ahead of US eastern
time during the games.
"The Olympic Games are a
global event that is seen around
the world and the schedule has
to work around the world to give
the best showcase for each sport,"
IOC spokesman Mark Adams
said. "It s quite a balance. They
seem to have reached a conclusion
that suits everybody."
The IOC executive board also
praised Rio s progress in tackling
the delays that had put the
Olympics at risk a few months
ago, saying the crisis has eased
but that there still is no time to
lose with the games less than two
"I m 100 per cent confident
that we will get the venues that
we need ready in time," said the
IOC s executive director of the
Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi.
"There is nothing today where
we say, Whoa, this test event is
at risk , or, for that matter, the
Putting together the sports
competition timetable for an
Olympics is always a challenge of
meeting requests of broadcasters
and sports federations. The Inter-
national Association of Athletics
Federations announced this
month that it will hold some Rio
track-and-field finals in the
morning for the first time since
Swimming and beach volley-
ball, meanwhile, are going for
Australian Olympic Committee
officials have objected to holding
the swimming finals so late, com-
plaining that the move was taken
under pressure from US broad-
casters and would mean some
medals would be decided after
Swimming governing body
FINA and other officials said the
following day s heats will be
moved from the usual morning
hours to 1 pm, meaning swimmers
will have 13 hours between ses-
"We need to organise a schedule
that the television asks, together
with the international federations,"
Rio organising committee head
Carlos Nuzman said. "They
decided with us. We have no
problems with this. It will be good
for the athletes."
Rio s overall preparations for
the Olympics reached a crisis stage
in May when sports federations
and the IOC voiced concerns that
the games were in jeopardy
because of chronic delays.
The IOC introduced special
measures, including assigning vet-
eran administrator Gilbert Felli to
work with organisers in Brazil.
While concerns remain over
pollution in the Rio bay that will
host sailing events, delays in con-
struction of the main broadcast
centre and legal wrangling over
the golf course, the IOC said the
situation had much improved.
IOC vice president John Coates
of Australia, who a few months
ago publicly called Rio s prepa-
rations the "worst" he had ever
experienced, told the Brazilians
yesterday that "great progress had
been made," Adams said.
"There are 20 months to go
and we are in that phase with all
games, less than two year to go,
when it s really about delivery
now," Adams said.
On Saturday, the IOC board
will review preparations for the
2018 Winter Games in
Pyeongchang, South Korea, where
a dispute over construction costs
has raised concerns about the
The two-day board meeting in
Monaco comes ahead of a two-
day session of the full IOC that
will vote on president Thomas
Bach s 40-point reform program,
including changes to the bidding
process and sports program and
creation of an Olympic television
Swimming, beach vball
will be on late in Rio MOSCOW---The Russian Anti-Doping
Agency has launched an investigation
into claims of corruption and system-
atic doping in the country and within
its own ranks.
Also yesterday, the national athletics
federation head hit back at the German
broadcaster who made the claims, call-
ing its report a "a crudely planned
attempt to blacken Russian athletics
and Russian sport as a whole."
German television channel ARD
broadcast a documentary in which for-
mer RUSADA official Vitaly Stepanov
accused the agency of routinely cov-
ering up positive doping tests by leading
Russian athletes in a variety of sports.
He also said the head of the national
anti-doping laboratory had sold banned
substances and falsified tests.
"RUSADA is starting its own inves-
tigation in relation to those involved
in the film and the information pre-
sented by them," the anti-doping
agency said Friday in a statement.
The aim of the investigation is to
"check the facts presented," the agency
said, without giving any further details.
Russian athletics federation head
Valentin Balakhnichev issued a strongly
worded statement on the body s web-
site, saying it was contemplating taking
legal action against "people guilty of
disseminating defamatory informa-
He said the doping accusations are
"a provocation aimed at undermining
The film including testimony from
Russian athletes alleging that doping
was widespread in track and field, with
former runner Yulia Stepanova, the
wife of Stepanov, saying that coaches
had provided her with banned sub-
stances. Since Stepanova and some
other athletes have previously been
banned for doping, they may hold "a
grudge" and "it s hardly possible to
relate to them with trust," Balakhnichev
ARD also appeared to show reigning
Olympic 800-meter champion Maria
Savinova admitting to using the banned
steroid oxandrolone, and ARD and
French sports daily L Equipe reported
that three-time Chicago Marathon
winner Liliya Shobukhova paid 450,000
euros ($600,000) to avoid a doping
ban. Shobukhova was eventually
banned for doping and she said some
of the money was refunded.
RUSADA and the national laboratory
are funded and overseen by the Russian
Russia has seen a string of doping
scandals in recent years, including the
banning of Olympic race-walking
champion Yulia Lashmanova for two
years in June.
The director of the center where
Lashmanova trained was banned by
RUSADA for four years last month fol-
lowing an investigation into repeated
doping violations by athletes there. At
least 17 athletes from the center have
been found guilty of doping offenses.
ZURICH---Fifa has "no indications" that
football is implicated in alleged widespread
doping and corruption in Russian sports.
German broadcaster ARD and French sports
daily L Equipe reported there was extensive
doping, cover-ups and extortion in various
sports in the 2018 World Cup host nation,
some of it linked to the WADA-accredited
laboratory in Moscow and Russian Anti-Dop-
An IAAF ethics panel is investigating the
"Fifa monitors carefully the reports con-
cerning doping in Russia and is in close con-
tact with (the World Anti-Doping Agency),"
Fifa said yesterday. "Up to now, there are no
indications that football would be involved."
Fifa intends to use the Moscow lab to test
samples from players at the World Cup and
the 2017 Confederations Cup warm-up tour-
Fifa noted that it would take charge of anti-
doping programs at its tournaments, and not
Russian national team players were tested
by Fifa before and during this year s World
Cup in Brazil. No positive tests were given.
In the 2009-10 season, three Russian play-
ers from current champion CSKA Moscow
were suspended by Uefa for doping viola-
Defenders Sergei Ignashevich---who played
in all three Russia games in Brazil---and Alexei
Berezutsky served one-match bans for using
stimulants in a cold remedy without permis-
sion. They tested positive after a Champions
League match at Manchester United.
Two months later, youth international goal-
keeper Artur Nigmatullin tested positive for
a banned diuretic at a training camp in Spain.
Uefa banned him for one year.
Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino said
football does not have a doping problem.
"When somebody tries to cheat, maybe it
works in other sports (but) it will not work
with us," Infantino said Thursday when asked
about the Russian scandal.
Uefa tests players from clubs and national
teams involved in its competitions.
Neither Fifa nor Uefa has responsibility for
testing players at Russian league clubs. (AP)
Fifa: No sign football linked to Russian doping
IOC President Thomas Bach attends the International Olympic
Committee executive board meeting in Monaco, yesterday. The 127th
IOC session will be opening tomorrow. AP PHOTO
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