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Breakdancing gets provisional okay for 2024 Olympics

Last updated on: March 28, 2019 09:23 IST

The Paris 2024 organising committee in February proposed surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing as well as breakdancing for inclusion in the Games.

Thomas Bach

IMAGE: Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, attends a news conference after an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 27. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Breakdancing was among four sports given a provisional green light for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Games by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, IOC President Thomas Bach said.

 

The Paris 2024 organising committee in February proposed surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing as well as breakdancing for inclusion in the Games.

"We decided to recommend the four sports (for ratification) to the IOC session in June in Lausanne," Bach told a news conference. "It is a provisional inclusion because the final decision should only be taken at the end of 2020."

Surfing, climbing and skateboarding will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and their performance as new sports there will be key for their final inclusion in Paris.

"There will be a meeting in November 2020 and a board meeting in December where the final decision should be taken. In the meantime there is a monitoring program... to see how they perform, to look at governance, integrity of competitions, refereeing and judging system," Bach said.

The Paris Games organizers have said they want to deliver a program that will be "in keeping with the times and inspire new audiences and attract young people ... and which can be played anywhere and anytime in urban and other environments."

Under new IOC rules first introduced for the Tokyo Games, Olympic host cities can hand-pick sports and propose them for inclusion in those Games if they are popular in that country and add to the Games' appeal.

The IOC is eager to refresh the Games' sports program to remain relevant to sponsors, broadcasters and fans.

IOC wants swift and tough punishment for doping offenders

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Wednesday demanded swift and tough sanctions for doping offenders -- both athletes and their support staff -- involved in a German-Austrian doping ring.

At least 21 athletes from eight nations across five sports are suspected of blood-doping linked to a German doctor who was arrested as part of an Austria-Germany doping raid last month.

Five athletes, including two Austrians, were initially arrested on Feb. 27 at the Nordic skiing world championships in the Austrian resort of Seefeld.

The arrests were part of a joint operation with German police targeting a suspected international blood-doping ring believed to have been run out of Germany.

"We hope that all this will be clarified and everything will come on the table and there those responsible and the entourage of these athletes, the doctors and the personnel, that they will be punished soon and hard," Bach said.

"I hope that this is not dragging on, that their justice will really set an example. I hope there will be hard sanctions to have a deterrent effect on everybody," he added.

A doctor in the German city of Erfurt was also arrested along with five other suspected accomplices.

According to German prosecutors, the doping of the 21 athletes from five sports -- three winter and two summer -- occurred from 2011 onwards and blood transfusions took place in many countries across the world.

Since the arrests other Austrian athletes have been implicated in blood doping. Cyclist Georg Preidler told police this month that he had attempted doping.

Cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, whose interview with Germany's ARD television in which he admitted doping triggered the investigation and raids, was arrested on March 5.

The IOC has had to deal with its own major doping scandal, stemming from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and involving many Russian athletes, including medal winners.

Some of those case are ongoing, making their way through the sports and civil courts, years after the athletes in question were identified.

IOC wants new Japan member as soon as possible: Bach

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is looking to appoint a new member for Japan soon following the departure of Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) chief Tsunekazu Takeda from the global ruling body, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Takeda, who is under investigation in France for suspected corruption and will step down from his JOC role in June, ceased to be an IOC member on Tuesday after a decision by the IOC executive board. He had initially planned to leave that post in June as well.

Bach said the IOC Executive Board did not want any uncertainty regarding Takeda's future with Tokyo hosting the Olympics next year.

"I think he (Takeda) also wanted to clear the way in the interest of Japan and also of the IOC," Bach told a news conference, adding that the IOC would like to identify a successor as soon as possible.

"Japan not only being the host and a very strong member of the Olympic movement, we are interested in having as soon as possible a member in Japan."

International gymnastics federation president Morinari Watanabe is an IOC member from Japan, though his membership is not individual but linked to the international federation presidency.

Takeda's IOC departure means he also no longer heads the organisation's marketing commission, a key body in securing deals with major sponsors. The 71-year-old joined the IOC in 2012.

French prosecutors have questioned Takeda in Paris and placed him under formal investigation in December for suspected corruption in Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Games.

Takeda, who was president of the 2020 bid committee, has been head of the JOC since 2001 and his resignation leaves a cloud hanging over both the national committee and organisers of the Tokyo Games.

French investigators have led a years-long probe into corruption in athletics and in early 2016 extended their inquiry into the bidding and voting processes for the hosting of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Multi-million dollar payments made by the Tokyo bid committee to a Singapore consulting company are being examined.

Takeda has said there was nothing improper about the contracts made between the committee and the consultancy and that they were for legitimate work.

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