Sports court to start Russian Olympic doping appeals Monday

The Court of Arbitration of Sport will begin appeals hearings on Monday for 39 Russian athletes disqualified from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games for doping and banned for life from the Olympics. (AP)
Updated 17 January 2018

Sports court to start Russian Olympic doping appeals Monday

LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration of Sport will begin appeals hearings on Monday for 39 Russian athletes disqualified from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games for doping and banned for life from the Olympics.
Two key witnesses, Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov and World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren, will testify by video or telephone link to the closed-door hearings, CAS said in a statement Wednesday.
The court said the combined hearings should last for six days at a conference center in Geneva, near the European headquarters of the United Nations.
One panel of three judges will hear 28 cases and a second trio will judge 11. Two of the judges — Christoph Vedder and Dirk-Reiner Martens, both from Germany — will sit on both three-man panels, CAS said.
Verdicts are expected by Friday, Feb. 2, one week before the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea.
A further three appeal cases in biathlon will not be heard next week, the court said.
All 42 athletes deny being part of a state-backed doping program for the Sochi Olympics.
The first group of athletes whose hearings have been combined are in bobsled, cross-country skiing, skeleton and speed skating. They include athletes who have continued to compete in World Cup races not controlled by the IOC.
The second group of 11 cases is from bobsled, luge and women’s ice hockey.


The Open canceled for first time since World War II due to virus

Updated 06 April 2020

The Open canceled for first time since World War II due to virus

  • The 149th Open was scheduled to take place at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent in July
  • Both this year’s Masters and the PGA Championship were postponed in March because of the health crisis

LONDON: The Open has been canceled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus.
The 149th Open was scheduled to take place at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent in July.
But with the pandemic ripping the 2020 sporting schedule to shreds, the event has became the first of the sport’s four majors to be canceled this year.
Golf’s oldest major will now be hosted at the same Sandwich venue in July 2021.
“The Open was due to be played in Kent from 12-19 July but it has been necessary to cancel the championship based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and the R&A’s advisers,” organizers R&A said in a statement on Monday.
St. Andrews will still host the 150th Open, but a year later than scheduled in 2022.
“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in the Open. We care deeply about this historic championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said.
“We have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.
“We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organizations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with.
“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.”
The Open is the latest high-profile tournament to be axed because of the virus.
Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II last week, while Euro 2020 and the Olympics have been pushed back a year until 2021.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry won last year’s Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
“Obviously I’m disappointed that I won’t get to defend the Open Championship this year but I feel the R&A have made the right decisions based on people’s health and safety. See you all in Royal St. George’s in 2021,” Lowry tweeted.
Royal St. George’s has hosted the Open 14 times, most recently in 2011, when Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke won the event.
Both this year’s Masters and the PGA Championship were postponed in March because of the health crisis.
It is believed organizers still hope to play those events later in the year.
The US Open is currently set to be played from June 18-21 at Winged Foot in New York.
However, the United States Golf Association (USGA) is expected to announce a decision on staging the tournament soon.