Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2013 Contents A58
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 8, 2013
PARIS---British Cycling boss Brian
Cookson is going on a global tour
to hammer home his message that
the sport s governing body needs
new leadership as he tries to unseat
embattled UCI president Pat
McQuaid in an election next month.
The challenger has made restoring
credibility to cycling one of his key
campaign themes after the sport s
string of doping scandals stretching
back nearly two decades.
He ll be repeating that theme on
a round-the-world campaign slog
over the coming weeks ahead of the
UCI election Sept. 27 in Florence,
In a telephone interview with The
AP yesterday, Cookson said he s
already planned stops in the Amer-
icas, Oceana and Africa, and is still
likely to add in an Asian leg of his
world tour to "shore up my votes
and increase them" if possible.
Cookson is aiming to stop
McQuaid from winning a third term
as head of world cycling.
He says the Irishman has presided
over the opening up of "a massive
credibility gap" between the sport s
fans, sponsors, riders and leader-
As evidence he points to some-
thing he witnessed during the Tour
de France s 15th stage, when he saw
yellow-jersey wearer Chris Froome
booed on his way to a victory atop
imposing Mont Ventoux.
"I was on top of Ventoux and
when Froome attacked there was
booing and whistling because of the
assumption of doping," Cookson
said. "That is really sad."
The UCI under McQuaid, who has
been president since 2005, "has not
grasped the problem of doping firmly
enough," Cookson said.
LONDON---British actor and writer
Stephen Fry has called for the 2014
Winter Olympics to be taken away
from Sochi in a protest against Russia s
new anti-gay laws.
The openly gay activist released a
letter to British Prime Minister David
Cameron and International Olympic
Committee executives yesterday in
which he asks them not to give Russian
President Vladimir Putin "the approval
of the civilized world."
"For there to be a Russian Winter
Olympics would stain the movement
forever ... the Five Rings would finally
be forever smeared, besmirched and
ruined in the eyes of the civilized world."
Russia introduced a law that bans
so-called "propaganda of nontraditional
sexual relations" and imposes fines on
those holding gay pride rallies.
With Russia s sports minister saying
last week that the law would be enforced
during the Sochi Games, Fry wrote that
"an absolute ban" on the Olympics
being staged in Russia is "simply essen-
"The IOC absolutely must take a firm
stance on behalf of the shared humanity
it is supposed to represent against the
barbaric, fascist law that Putin has
pushed through the Duma," Fry wrote.
"Let us not forget that Olympic events
used not only to be athletic, they used
to include cultural competitions.
"Let us realise that in fact, sport is
cultural. It does not exist in a bubble
outside society or politics. The idea that
sport and politics don t connect is worse
than disingenuous, worse than stupid.
It is wickedly, willfully wrong."
The letter was delivered to the IOC
yesterday by the All Out advocacy group
along with a petition. The letter was
also published on Fry s personal Web
site and a link was sent out to his 6
million Twitter followers.
MOSCOW---One year after a
remarkable Olympics, an encore
at the world championships was
always going to be tough for a US
track team flush with fresh faces.
The Americans won a whopping
29 medals at the London Games,
but heading into Moscow they are
in building mode.
Even Allyson Felix, still only 27
but one of the most successful
athletes in world championships
history with eight gold medals,
suddenly finds herself a veteran.
"Yes," Felix said yesterday in a
fake, drawn-out voice, "I am old
In a sense, she is, considering
she burst onto the scene a decade
ago at the 2003 worlds in Paris
and has now become someone the
rookies can look up to.
"It is great to be able to give
them some advice," said Felix, who
also won three gold medals at the
London Olympics. "It is definitely
a different experience to be one of
the older people on the team now."
Years ago, it was a teenage Felix
making her name on the team.
Now there s Mary Cain, a 17-year-
old rookie looking to learn all she
can from her first worlds.
For Brianna Rollins, it will be
different. The 21-year-old Amer-
ican already showed her stuff when
she ran the fastest 100-meter hur-
dles in 21 years at the US cham-
If she continues her sterling
form and holds off Olympic cham-
pion Sally Pearson of Australia to
win the event in Moscow, Rollins
will be the youngest world gold
medalist in the event.
For men s head coach Mike Hol-
loway, the formula to stimulate
them is as easy as effective.
"I encourage them to do the things
that they did to get here," Holloway
said. "Don t change anything."
And for the veterans, Holloway
wants them to "share their expe-
riences, make them understand
what it takes."
The impact of youth can even
be felt on some of the star-studded
athletes still dealing with the phys-
ical and emotional wear and tear
of an Olympic year.
Olympic decathlon champion
Ashton Eaton gets a jolt just
spending time with the new kids.
"They bring a different fire to
the team," Eaton said. "You can
see the enthusiasm and the new-
ness in their eyes and you are kind
of like, OK, I ll show you how it
Fry: Ban Russia
Change of guard for US
after standout Olympics
From left, Aries Merrit, Ashton Eaton, and Brittney Reese, all of the US, speak during a news conference
ahead of the start of the IAAF World Athletics championships in Moscow, Russia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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