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SBD/February 5, 2014/Olympics
IOC's Debate On Changing Olympic Bidding Process Draws Mostly Negative Reaction
Published February 5, 2014
PAY FOR PLAY? The AP's Graham Dunbar notes the IOC has been "urged not to pay sports to attend the Olympics during talks on its relations with North American professional leagues." The NHL, which has sent players since the '98 Nagano Games, has "yet to commit to the Olympics beyond Sochi," and MLB has "had issues with the Olympics over releasing top players midseason." New Zealand IOC member Barry Maister said, "The bottom line is we are on a slippery slope if we start paying people to come to the Olympic Games. It's fundamentally against the Olympic movement." Still, "renewed efforts with strong support in Japan have begun to include baseball and softball" at the '20 Tokyo Games (AP, 2/5).
TAKING A STAND: USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside notes Bach yesterday "told world leaders to keep their nation's politics out of the Olympics in a forceful address to his membership." With Russia President Vladimir Putin "as the honored guest, Bach didn't call out" President Obama's administration by name, but the "inference was clear." The White House "named three openly gay athletes to its delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics, which was seen as a direct message of opposition to Russia's anti-gay laws." Bach also "took a shot at world leaders who decided not to attend the Sochi Games." Bach: "We had to see a few politicians whose contributions to the fight for a good cause consisted of publicly declining invitations they had not even received" (USA TODAY, 2/5).