Periodically, SwimSwam is updating you on the biggest news around the Olympic and Paralympic world, outside of aquatic sports. Read on to learn about the first athlete disqualification from the Tokyo Olympics, protesters at the Olympic flame lighting ceremony, and funding for a Congressional review of the USOPC.
Russian Triathlete Handed 3-Year Ban After Testing Positive Ahead of Tokyo Games
Russian triathlete Igor Polyanskiy is the first athlete who competed at the Tokyo Games to be disqualified for doping.
Polyanskiy is banned for three years, precluding him from competing in Paris in 2024, World Triathlon announced on Thursday.
Polyanskiy, 31, tested positive for the EPO — which stimulates red blood cell production, increasing endurance capacity– at a training camp five days before he started competing in Tokyo. He did not dispute the test results, waiving his option to have a “B” sample tested, and thus got a one-year reduction on a potential four-year ban.
“All the Athlete’s results and points earned since 21 July 2021 are to be disqualified with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money.” World Triathlon said. The ROC relay team is also disqualified.
Polyanskiy placed 43rd in the men’s triathlon at the Games and competed on the Russian Olympic Committee’s 14th-place mixed relay. In 2016, he finished 13st in the men’s event.
Protestors Arrive at Beijing Olympic Flame Ceremony
The Olympic flame for the Beijing 2022 Games was lit on Monday, but not without some disruption.
Three “activists” protesting human rights abuses in China made their way near the ceremony and attempted to reach the Temple of Hera where ti was actually being held, according to the Associated Press. They were holding a Tibetan flag and a banner that said “No genocide games.”
A number of parties have suggested a boycott of the Beijing Games over the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, a northwest region of China.
The flame ceremony protesters were reportedly “thrown to the grown” by police and detained.
“How can Beijing be allowed to host the Olympics given that they are committing a genocide against the Uyghurs?” one protester said, according to the AP.
Earlier in the day, Greek police detained other protestors who were attempting to reach the flame lighting site. This Sunday, the flame will be handed over to Beijing organizers in Athens.
USOPC Athlete Council Asks for Funding for Congressional Review
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Advisory Council asked U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Kerry Moran for funding for the Commission on the State of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics so that it can begin its work, which was supposed to have concluded in July.
The 16-member commission, created as part of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020, has yet to even meet.
In the letter to Blumenthal and Moran, tweeted by the council on Oct. 18, it asks Congress to extend the timeline for the commission to conduct its review (which was supposed to be done within 270 days of when the legislation was enacted). The council submitted a budget request for $2,078,860 in the FY2022 cycle, it said.
“If we miss this opportunity altogether or if the Commission is unnecessarily limited in the scope or timeframe under which it is permitted to operate, we fear we won’t be able to help solve the real problems that demand attention now, and the credibility of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement will be further eroded,” the council wrote.