London 2012 organizers have said that "they remain 'on track' to balance the books before the dissolution of the organizing committee this year, although there may be no money left over for the British Olympic Association," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The cash-strapped BOA, which recently agreed to a £2M ($3.2M) deal with the the government to allow small businesses to use the rights to London 2012, would receive the first £5M ($7.9M) of any surplus made by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But LOCOG's annual report predicted that it "would only break even," balancing the £2.4B ($3.8B) raised in commercial and ticket revenue with its expenditure. In addition, the organizing committee confirmed that it had spent £800M ($1.3B) of public money on tasks that the government "decided it was better placed to deliver." The accounts, for the 18 months to September, showed that LOCOG "had made an operating loss" of £53M to that point but had deferred income of £78M. It said that the balance "would be used for other expenses involved in winding up the organisation, which ceases to exist" in June '14 (GUARDIAN, 2/8). The BBC reported accounts also show LOGOC directors "were paid more than" £2.1M over the 18 months. Former LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton "was paid a bonus in excess" of £330,000 during the accounting period. His total bonus while in charge of LOGOG "has amounted to" £1.34M, all of which he has given away (BBC, 2/8).
After months of evaluation, the IOC's "decision will come next week" on which sport to remove from the Olympics, and "the century-old competition of modern pentathlon appears the most at risk," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. The IOC exec board will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, and announce Tuesday "which of the current 26 sports on the Olympic program will be dropped for the 2020 Games." The IOC will also decide this year which sport to add as a replacement, with the "aim of refreshing and modernizing the Olympic sports lineup." Signs show that modern pentathlon, a tradition-laden contest once practiced in the Olympics by George S. Patton, "is facing the closest scrutiny." The sport has been criticized that it is "outdated, lacks global popularity and has only a small base of top competitors" (AP, 2/8).
The Japanese Olympic Committee interviewed representatives of 31 Olympic national sport federations over two days last week as part of its new initiative to eliminate violence from sports. No incident of violence or harassment has been reported. The JOC will conduct further investigations with top athletes and coaches (JOC).
NO CHANGE IN CULTURE: The AFP reported the resignation of Japan's national women's judo coach, who allegedly beat athletes with a bamboo sword, was a "nasty reminder of how Japan's sporting world still draws on the traditions that led the country to war last century." Experts said that "despite the bravery of the judokas who risked their careers to bring it to light, the culture of coercion and corporal punishment is so ingrained that it will die hard." The women, who haven't been named publicly, said that multiple complaints were only acted on by the male-dominated federation and the JOC when "the scandal was exposed by the media" in late January. The "explosive case" came weeks after a teenager killed himself following repeated physical abuse from his high school basketball coach, "reigniting a national debate on widespread corporal punishment in schools and sport" (AFP, 2/10).