Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 22nd 2015 Contents A57
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SOCHI---A day after his blis-
tering attack on Olympic lead-
ers, Marius Vizer faced isolation
and a growing backlash yester-
day as international sports bod-
ies suspended or broke off ties
with his umbrella organisation
and rallied behind IOC Presi-
dent Thomas Bach.
Vizer remained defiant, stick-
ing to his guns and declaring of
the Olympic establishment: "We
don t need cardinals of sport.
We don t need popes."
The council of the Association
of Summer Olympic Interna-
tional Federations decided unan-
imously to suspend relations
with Vizer s SportAccord pend-
ing a review and clarification of
its role and governance.
The head of track and field s
governing body compared Vizer
to a "dictator," and the Interna-
tional Paralympic Committee
announced that it was with-
drawing as an associate member
of SportAccord in protest.
The developments came after
Vizer blasted the International
Olympic Committee and Bach
on Monday in a speech at the
opening of the SportAccord con-
vention in Sochi. It marked an
unprecedented public rebuke
within the Olympic movement
and exposed a bitter power
struggle at the high levels of
With Bach looking on, Vizer
accused the IOC of lacking
transparency, ignoring the fed-
erations, blocking his plans for
new multi-sport competitions
and wasting money on an
Olympic TV channel and open-
ing and closing ceremonies. He
described the IOC system as
"expired, outdated, wrong, unfair
and not at all transparent."
The summer sports associa-
tion said it considered Vizer s
position "not compatible with
the role and mission of ASOIF
as a major stakeholder of the
The issue will be discussed at
the ASOIF general assembly in
ASOIF represents the 28
sports on the program of the
Summer Olympics. Among its
members is the judo federation,
of which Vizer is also the pres-
SportAccord represents more
than 100 Olympic and non-
Olympic federations, including
the 28 ASOIF members. Vizer,
who is demanding more power
for his organization, was re-
elected Monday to a four-year
term as president.
With his position under fire,
Vizer shot back in an interview
broadcast Tuesday night on
SportAccord s TV network part-
ner, Euronews, again accusing
the IOC of looking out for its
own interests. (AP)
BARCELONA---Top-seeded Kei Nishikori
began the defense of his Barcelona Open
title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Teymuraz
Gabashvili of Russia yesterday.
Nicolas Almagro also advanced to the sec-
ond round, where he will face eight-time
winner Rafael Nadal, after opponent Paolo
Lorenzi retired 10 minutes into the match
with Almagro leading 3-0. Last year, Almagro
stunned Nadal in the quarterfinals, ending
Nadal s run of 41 straight wins at the tour-
Nishikori hit 22 winners and held his serve
to win the second-round match on the out-
door clay court in one hour, eight minutes.
The fifth-ranked Japanese player could
face last year s runner-up Santiago Giraldo
tomorrow if the Colombian gets past Joao
Sousa. Nishikori took control of the match
by hitting 11 winners and breaking Gabashvili
before finishing out the first set by holding
his final serve to love.
Gabashvili tossed his racket down after a
third double fault cost him his service as he
fell behind 3-2 in the second set. Nishikori
then struck an ace to finish the match.
In the day s other second-round matches,
seventh-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut
advanced after beating Thomaz Bellucci 6-
3, 6-4, while Tommy Robredo downed
Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2.
Earlier, Russian teenager Andrey Rublev
beat 2010 champion Fernando Verdasco 7-
6 (4), 6-3 in the first round.
The 17-year-old Rublev, who entered as
a qualifier ranked 329th, broke the Spaniard
three times while saving five break chances.
Rublev will next face 13th-seeded Fabio Fogni-
ni. Albert Montanes also came back to defeat
Ricardas Berankis 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 and will meet
David Ferrer in the second round, where
2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic will play
Victor Estrella after Estrella ousted Dominic
Thiem 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Juan Monaco got past Alejandro Gonzalez
7-5, 6-1 and will play Martin Klizan, while
Pablo Cuevas beat Roberto Carballes Baena
6-4, 7-5. Marsel Ilhan outlasted James Ward
7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-1 in just over two hours, while
Sousa edged lucky loser Kenny de Schepper
6-4, 3-6, 6-3. (AP)
SOCHI---Russia will not be barred from
major athletics competitions because of
allegations of systematic doping, IAAF
President Lamine Diack said yesterday.
Russia is being investigated by the IAAF
ethics commission and the World Anti-
Doping Agency over claims its officials ran
a sophisticated doping programme. Four
Olympic track champions from Russia have
been banned this year alone.
However, suggestions that Russia could
be excluded from the world athletics cham-
pionships or Olympics are "a joke."
In December, a German TV programme
reported that doping is organized in Russian
sports, and that almost all athletes used
Diack compared Russia s doping problem
to the scandals in the United States in the
1990s and said it should be solved in a sim-
ilar way, with stricter enforcement by an
Separately, new Russian athletics coach
Yuri Borzakovsky defended controversial
race walking coach Viktor Chegin, who has
trained several Olympic champions but also
seen more than 20 of his athletes banned
for doping. He is currently under investi-
gation by the IAAF as part of its probe into
Russian doping, but has not been suspended.
"He s a professional in his field, even though
people are slandering him with doping scan-
dals," Borzakovsky said, praising Chegin s
record in producing medal winners. "I have
a lot of respect for any coach with that kind
With the world championships coming
up this year in Beijing and the Olympics
next year in Rio de Janeiro, Borzakovsky
said Chegin will remain on the Russian team
"until there s an official piece of paper saying
he s accused of something or other." (AP)
Diack: Russia won't be excluded from athletics for doping SOCHI---The International Cycling Union s new
in-house anti-doping tribunal will hear its first
cases in the coming weeks.
The tribunal is a key part of UCI president
Brian Cookson s attempts to reform a sport long
tainted by doping scandals.
It was recommended last year by an independent
commission that was appointed to suggest meas-
ures to reform cycling in the wake of the Lance
Cookson tells The Associated Press that "we re
anticipating the first cases to go to it in the next
few weeks" and that a shortlist of tribunal officials
has been drawn up.
Adjudicators will be "appointed case-by-case"
from a pool of qualified officials, he added.
tribunal ready to
start work soon
PONTE VEDRA BEACH---The PGA Tour says
Tim Clark of South Africa has withdrawn from
the Match Play Championship next week because
he s still recovering from an elbow injury.
Clark has not played since the Sony Open in
Luke Donald is not playing because of his broth-
er s wedding, so Clark will be replaced by Francesco
Molinari of Italy in the 64-man field.
The Match Play Championship starts April 29
at Harding Park in San Francisco. (AP)
from Match Play
LAUSANNE---The IAAF has asked sport s high-
est court to double a two-year ban for doping
imposed on Boston and Chicago Marathon win-
ner Rita Jeptoo.
Jeptoo has also filed an appeal seeking to over-
turn her ban by Kenya s athletics federation, the
Court of Arbitration for Sport said yesterday.
She tested positive for the blood-booster EPO
in a sample taken while training last September,
several weeks before winning her second straight
Chicago Marathon title.
Jeptoo, who has three Boston Marathon titles,
is the highest profile name among dozens of
Kenyan athletes to fail drug tests in recent years.
Kenya s reputation as an elite distance-running
nation has been threatened since 2012 when a
German TV documentary alleged doping was
CAS said in a statement that the International
Association of Athletics Federations wants a four-
year ban "due to aggravating circumstances."
Jeptoo also requests an interim court decision
to freeze her sanction which would let her "par-
ticipate in IAAF competitions" during the appeals
process. The world championships are staged
August 22-30 in Beijing.
Athletics Kenya suspended Jeptoo from all com-
petition until October 29, 2016.
CAS said no timetable is set for the interim
ruling or full hearing.
The case could cost the 34-year-old Jeptoo a
$500,000 prize in the World Marathon Majors
IAAF seeks 4-year
ban for marathon
Nishikori eases past at Gabashvili in Barcelona
Backlash: Olympic groups break
with umbrella body in protest
Petro Poroshenko, left, President of Ukraine, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president
German Thomas Bach pose for a photograph next to the statue of IOC founder baron Pierre de
Coubertin, during a visit at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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