A ban on all Russian weightlifters dealt a new blow to the nation ahead of an International Olympic Committee meeting yesterday that was to be dominated by multiple doping scandals.
New criticism of the athletes’ village in Rio added to the dark clouds hanging over the Games, which start on Friday.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) banned all eight Russian contenders — five men and three women — entered for Rio.
About 117 Russian competitors from the 387 initially put forward by the Russian Olympic Committee have now been banned from the Games. They include 67 track and field athletes.
Weightlifting’s reputation “has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians, therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport,” the IWF said. “We would like to highlight the extremely shocking and disappointing statistics regarding the Russian weightlifters.”
Among those banned are world champion Artem Okulov, 2012 London Games bronze medalist Ruslan Albegov and silver medalist Tatiana Kashirina.
The IOC has taken fierce criticism for not ordering a blanket ban on Russia after an independent report said there was state-organized doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The IOC executive was to meet this weekend to discuss the crisis. The full IOC meets from tomorrow.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie, who is also an IOC vice president, was to give a report on the agency’s activities yesterday.
Reedie had led calls for a blanket ban on Russia over the doping.
However, the IOC last week decided that individual sporting federations had to examine Russian entries and decide whether they should be allowed to compete.
The Olympic committee is to take a final decision on Russian entries based on the recommendations. However, it is not yet known when this is to be announced.
Boxing, golf, gymnastics and taekwondo are among sports still to have announced their decisions.
A small fire at the Rio athletes village on Friday, which forced the evacuation of the Australian delegation, left a new stain on preparations for the Games.
Team spokesman Mike Tancred said “there was a lot of smoke,” but that athletes returned after fire fighters controlled the blaze.
“There was no big drama,” Tancred said.
Australia had led a boycott over conditions at the village last week, while Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes lashed out on Friday at the Olympics organizing committee, accusing it of “serious problems” in managing the village.
Paes blamed the Rio2016 committee for a slew of problems at the village, which has been his public relations nightmare all week.
“The athletes’ village was ready. Then the organizing committee took charge for three months and there were extremely serious management problems. During those three months, people intruded into the apartments and a lot of things were stolen,” Paes told O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper. “The doors were left half-open. The organizing committee was careless, objectively speaking.”
He said his office was informed of the problems only last week, despite a series of weekly meetings between his staff and the organizing committee.
Paes’ week got off to a rough start on Sunday last week when the Olympic village opened to a boycott from Australia, which refused to move in because of exposed wiring, leaking pipes, blocked toilets, unlighted stairwells and other problems.
More than 600 plumbers have been working at the village this week to make repairs.
The Rio Games start on Friday and run through Aug. 21.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very