Aug 042017
IOC defends stance on Russian doping

LONDON: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday defended its stance on Russia despite being criticised for baulking at calls to ban the country outright from last year’s Rio Olympics over doping. Russia was accused in a World Anti-Doping Agency report last year of widespread state-sponsored doping. Its athletics team was barred by the IAAF from the Rio Games and will also miss the IAAF World Championships that got under way later Friday.But there was no blanket ban for Russia in Rio, the IOC coming under fire for instead allowing individual sports federations to decide which Russian athletes could compete. IOC president Thomas Bach insisted that the IAAF was a special case, outlining the “collusive cooperation” Russian elements had enjoyed with the disgraced former IAAF president Lamine Diack and other corrupt people at the heart of track and field. Russia “was discussed, it was raised”, Bach told a press conference here alongside current IAAF president Sebastian Coe, who initiated the ban on Russia and resultant reforms within global track and field’s governing body. “It was very clear that, as we have always said, different issues need different approaches,” the German said.“The IAAF is in fact the only international federation, international sports organisation, which is, due to facts relating to the former leadership of the IAAF, implicated in the report of Professor McLaren as is the national federation of athletics of Russia,” he said in reference to the Canadian co-author of the bombshell report into the state-sponsored doping. “This is the [Read More…]

Aug 032017
Russian athletics chief apologises for doping scandal

Russia made an “important step” Thursday by publicly apologising for the doping scandal that has seen the country barred from international track and field competition.Dmitry Shlyakhtin, head of the Russian athletics federation (RusAF), made the apology in an address to the IAAF Congress meeting ahead of the world championships which get under way on Friday.“The situation with athletics is very difficult indeed,” Shlyakhtin said, outlining that the federation had been totally overhauled since he took charge in early 2016 and that “radical changes” have been introduced.“The initial period was not sufficient to understand the scale of the crisis happening in Russia.“I’ve delved into this situation and understand that the decision by the IAAF and Council (to ban Russia) was the right one.“I would like to apologise to all athletes who have had gold and silver medals snatched from them at competitions.”Shlyakhtin added: “I can assure you that our new team will fight doping and what happened will never happen again.”IAAF president Sebastian Coe called the apology “a very candid response”.“The whole Congress was pleased to recognise that the Russian federation recognised themselves that they have been through some pretty torrid times, that they are doing everything they possibly can to make sure that the federation started doing the hard yards of changing the culture around coaching systems and endemic systems that have served, very badly, the athletes,” Coe said.“Clearly, progress is being made… It’s been a very constructive day,” said Coe. “We’ve taken a tough decision and we need to [Read More…]

Aug 022017

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump grudgingly signed into law on Wednesday new sanctions against Russia that Congress had approved overwhelmingly last week, criticising the legislation for having “clearly unconstitutional” elements. After signing a bill that runs counter to his desire to improve relations with Moscow, and which also affects Iran and North Korea, the Republican president laid out a lengthy list of concerns. “While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilising behaviour by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed,” Trump said in a statement announcing the signing. The Republican-controlled Congress approved the legislation by such a large margin on Thursday that it would have thwarted any effort by Trump to veto the bill. The legislation has already provoked countermeasures by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has ordered big cuts to the number of staff at the US diplomatic mission to Russia. Trump, Putin in first showdown at headstrong G20 Congress approved the sanctions to punish the Russian government over interference in the 2016 presidential election, annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and other perceived violations of international norms. Trump said he was concerned about the sanctions’ effect on work with European allies, and on American business. “My administration … expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or [Read More…]

Aug 012017

MOSCOW: Three people being taken to stand trial in a Moscow court were shot dead after they tried to grab side-arms from court security officers and escape, Russian law enforcement officials said on Tuesday. Five defendants were in a lift in the Moscow regional court building when they tried to seize the weapons from the officers escorting them, Tatyana Petrova, a spokeswoman for Moscow region police, told Russian state television. Russia’s military says may have killed Islamic State leader Baghdadi: agencies She said that three of the defendants were shot as they tried to escape, and two others were wounded. Three law enforcement officials were wounded, said Petrova and Yevgeny Kubyshkin, a spokesman for the Russian national guard, which had an officer in the court. A lawyer for the defendants, citing the chief investigator in their case, told Reuters earlier that four of the accused had been killed in a gunfight which broke out in the building of the Moscow Regional Court. The post Three killed in Russia court after defendants try to grab officers’ guns appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jul 222017
Germany edge Italy, Sweden sink Russia

DEVENTER, Netherlands: Babett Peter´s second-half penalty edged defending champions Germany to a 2-1 victory over 10-woman Italy at the women´s Euro tournament in Netherlands on Friday. In the other Group B game, captain Lotta Schelin and Stina Blackstenius powered Sweden to a 2-0 win over Russia. In an eventful game in Tilburg, Germany drew first blood in the 19th minute when Josephine Henning headed home after Italian keeper Laura Giuliani spilled the ball following Dzsenifer Marozsan´s free-kick. Italy equalised from a counter-attack 10 minutes later as Ilaria Mauro nutmegged German keeper Almuth Schult after a pass from Barbara Bonansea who had sprinted down the whole length of the left wing. Peter scored from the spot on 67 minutes after Giuliani had brought down Anja Mittag in the box, and a minute later Italy were reduced to 10 players as defender Elisa Bartoli picked up a second yellow card. Germany hit the post twice — Sara Daebritz in the first half and Mandy Islacker in the second — while Bonansea saw her free-kick cleared by a diving Schult with 10 minutes to go as Italy were eliminated. “I think this was a great Italy,” said Italy coach Antonio Cabrini. “We played on a par with a much better team than us. We had a great 70 minutes and believed in it to the very end.” In Deventer, Schelin scored Sweden´s opening goal on 22 minutes, heading in a superb free-kick taken by Magdalena Ericsson. Blackstenius made it 2-0 in the 51st [Read More…]

Jul 182017

WASHINGTON: The US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran Tuesday over its ballistic missile programme, just hours after Washington admitted the Islamic Republic was complying with a landmark nuclear deal signed two years ago. Iran’s parliament retaliated by voting for extra funding for the missile programme, a move that speaker Ali Larijani said would show the Americans that Iran “will resist them with all its power.” The heightened tensions came after President Donald Trump was forced to back off from a key campaign promise to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran, which eased sanctions in return for limiting its ability to produce material for atomic weapons. Trump had described it as “the worst deal ever” and accused Iran of continuing to back terrorism in the Middle East. But on Monday the White House admitted that the Islamic Republic was sticking to the nukes agreement. It noted, however, that while Iran might be meeting its requirements on paper, it was unquestionably in default of the spirit” of the accord. In announcing the new sanctions against 18 individuals and entities in Iran, the State Department said it “remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity.” US sending mixed messages on Iran nuclear deal: Zarif It cited Iran’s support for Hezbollah, Hamas, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Huthi rebels in Yemen fighting a US-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia. In addition to earmarking an additional $260 million for its ballistic [Read More…]

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