Olympic News Roundup: IOC Asks Sport Federations to Ensure Fair Competition

by Andy Cheng 0

January 03rd, 2022 International, National, News

Periodically, SwimSwam will update you on the biggest news around the Olympic and Paralympic world, outside of aquatic sports. Read on to learn about the IOC asking countries to ensure all athletes from all nations can fairly compete, the International Cricket League’s push to include the sport in LA28, where the 2036 Olympics might go, and an open letter asking athletes to boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.

IOC Urges International Sports Federations to Ensure All Countries Can Compete in Tournaments

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) informed international sports federations that they must ensure all countries can compete in their tournaments. This announcement came when Malaysia refused to allow Israel to compete in the World Team Squash Championships. The event, scheduled for December 7-12, was then canceled.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell urged federations “to be extremely vigilant when allocating and organizing international sports competitions.” He also added that federation heads should ask hosting governments for written assurances that all eligible athletes can compete and be treated equally without any political discrimination.

This also comes on the heels of Serbia not allowing Kosovo’s boxing team to compete in the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships. Kosovo is a partially-recognized Eastern European country that gained independence from Serbia in early 2008.

The IOC has announced it will work with Malaysia’s and Serbia’s governments and Olympic Committees to find long term solutions. If no solutions can be found, then the countries would “exclude themselves from the right to host international sports events until” the assurances are met.

International Cricket Council Sets Forth $3 Million Campaign to Add Sport to LA28

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has planned a $3 million lobbying and public relations campaign to see cricket included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Some of that amount will be dedicated to travel that encourages working group members to meet with relevant stakeholders.

Cricket was not on the provisional list of 28 sports first provided by the IOC in early December. In fact, the sport has not been part of the Olympics since 1900, when it was only played between two countries. The last time cricket was featured in a multi-sport event was at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

The ICC will need to convince the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee by 2023. That is when the committee will propose additional sports to be added to the games. Although an Olympic bid was publicly announced in August, the ICC has experienced internal turmoil that has slowed it down.

An official close to the process told ESPN “It took time to get the ball rolling. There hasn’t been enough work done yet. There have been too many sideshows within the ICC.”

Other provisional sports that made the cut were skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Boxing, weightlifting, and modern pentathlon were also excluded from the initial list.

2036 Olympic Games Might be Headed to Moscow

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) recently suggested that Moscow could host the Olympics in the near future.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov promoted the country’s infrastructure for hosting sporting events. The IOC’s selection process for host cities has started to focus on reducing the costs of the games. Pozdnyakov added, “applications will be submitted where the infrastructure necessary for the Games already exists, in this regard, Russia is one of the priority areas.”

Russia has also continually improved and expanded its sporting infrastructure in recent decades, according to the ROC President. He said,

Over the past 10-20 years, our country has moved much further in increasing the quantity and quality of sports infrastructure for almost all sports… In the 1990s, we had a base in Novogorsk and half-destroyed in the Lake Krugloye, and now there are construction projects everywhere.

Russia last hosted the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, back when it was still known as the Soviet Union. It most recently hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The most recently-awarded Summer Olympics were the 2032 Games, which will be held in Brisbane, Australia, and surrounding areas. Russia is currently not allowed to formally bid for Olympic hosting as part of a sanction for problems within their anti-doping organization.

Human Rights Activists Release Open Letter Urging Athletes to Boycott Beijing Games

Uyghur, Tibetan, and Hongkonger human rights groups recently published an open letter asking athletes to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This call-to-action follows the diplomatic boycotts many countries are participating in, like the United States, Australia, and Great Britain.

The letter outlines the human rights violations the Chinese government has committed, such as mass imprisonment, surveillance, and forced labor. It also highlights recent violations involving Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Hongkongers.

We know it is an extremely difficult ask for Olympic athletes who have dedicated so much time and energy to becoming champions in their sport. But it is not an exaggeration to say that life under Chinese government rule is literally death for our people.

The activists also call out the IOC, saying “Thomas Bach and the International Olympic Committee have failed you by putting you in a situation where you have to choose between human rights or competing against the backdrop of a genocide.”

The letter concludes with an emotional appeal from the activists: “We appeal to you to use your position, to stand on the right side of history, and say no to the Genocide Games.”

So far, no countries have announced boycotts of the Games by athletes.

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