Olympic Newsweek I – The Neverending Story

What a week this has been for the Olympic Movement! And I don’t know really where to begin. There are always some topics I’d really like to write about, stories I’d love to share with you. This time there are four of them. Four stories, in one way or the other close to my heart but in any way too important to not tell them. If I had to choose only one…well, no idea… I think I’ll just leave that to you. I’m gonna write about all of them and let you decide which of them you want to read. After all, that’s how blogging works anyway, doesn’t it?

So, here we go…

Topic 1: The Neverending Story

Michael Ende’s ‘Neverending Story’ is about Bastian, Atreyu, the Child-like Empress and the dragon Fuchur (Falkor in the English translation), not so much about Doping and corruption in sports organisations, but there are certain parallels. OK, there’s probably only one: the title…

This week brought new revelations about the ongoing Doping investigation regarding the re-testing of samples from the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. 55 samples in total turned up with positive results for an illicit substance. All of the athletes involved have active careers and are, well, were until recently…, candidates for a spot on their respective Olympic teams for Rio 2016. That was one of the, well chosen (!), criteria set by WADA and the IOC when selecting the samples to be re-tested. Apparently, the largest group of positive results in both Games are from (drumroll please…!) Russian athletes…
This development, first made public by Russian media, by the way, led sports minister Vladimir Mutko to admit for the first time that Russia may be at risk of being banned from participating in the Rio Olympics. Only for Athletics, of course, because why should anybody even remotely think that other sports might also be affected by what ARD and others are now calling a ‘state-run Doping system’? Those would be totally unfounded and ridiculous allegations, right…?

Let’s talk about some better news, shall we? The IOC is about to welcome some new members (yeah!), and I do congratulate all eight of them, whose names I’ve never heard before, but who undoubtedly are highly qualified for the job (sorry for that! I really wish them the best of luck for their work in the IOC).
Two names mentioned in that context I have heard of, however. Those who were omitted from the list…
You must know that the heads of certain International Federations have semi-formal ex officio claims for membership in the IOC. The more important their Federations are, the more likely they are to become IOC members themselves soon after their election. Well, can you name me two veeeery important governing bodies of a specific veeeery important Olympic sport?

FIFA? Good guess! And the other one?
IAAF? Spot-on!

And now guess whose names are missing on the list of new IOC members! Right, Gianni Infantino and Sebastian Coe… I’ll leave the rest to your own imagination…

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