A Malaysian mining magnate has offered the country's Olympic badminton team a gold bar worth 2M ringgit ($630,000) if they can "bring home a first gold medal" from the London Games. Andrew Kam, a badminton enthusiast and Chair of the Kuala Lumpur Racquet Club Berhad, offered "the additional sweetener" to the team, who have already been offered 1M ringgit ($315,000) by the government and a separate private firm to win gold. Men's singles silver medalist Lee Chong Wei, who lost the gold medal match to China's badminton great Lin Dan at the Beijing Games, "is likely to be Malaysia's greatest hope of a maiden gold" (REUTERS, 7/11).
CLEAN IT UP: The PTI reported that the London Olympics is all set to go down "as the most dope-tested Games" with more than 6,000 samples expected to be analyzed. Wowld Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey said that its' intention is to make the upcoming Games "as clean as possible" (PTI, 7/11).
LOOKING EAST: ASIASPONSORSHIPNEWS.com reported that the IOC is hoping a Chinese company will join its TOP sponsorship program for the London Games. IOC Marketing Head Gerhard Heiberg said that the TOP program has "mainly attracted western companies that have experience in sports marketing," but the IOC is "trying to make the program more universal" (ASIASPONSORSHIPNEWS.com, 7/11).
SPANISH ATHLETES: MUNDO DEPORTIVO's Lluís Carles Pérez reported that the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) is sending 282 athletes to the London Games. It will be their "fourth largest participation" in the Games after Barcelona in '92 (397), Sydney in '00 (295) and Athens in '04 (288). The COE will send 168 men and 114 women or a 60/40 ratio (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 7/11).