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Volume 10 No. 22


Spain "brought itself into line with international guidelines" when its parliament approved a new anti-doping law on Thursday, saying that it "would boost Madrid's chances of hosting the 2020 Olympic Games," according to Edgar Aribau of REUTERS. The ''law for the protection of athletes' health and the fight against doping" will come into effect within 20 days and "meets recommendations made by the World Anti-Doping Agency." Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) Miguel Cardenal said, "It strengthens the Madrid 2020 bid. Doping is no longer on the agenda as a concern for Madrid's candidacy. It is a determined step forward for Spain in the fight against those who do not respect the purity of sport." The new law "strengthens existing legislation with an increase in amounts available for fines and introduces the possibility of life bans." The law will see the creation of a new body to replace the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEA). Madrid is bidding against Istanbul and Tokyo for the 2020 Games, with the International Olympic Committee due to elect the winning city in September (REUTERS, 6/13). The EP reported the new law will include evening drug tests occurring between 11pm and 6am, and fines of up to €400,000 ($532,560) for cases involving minors. New protection measures for athletes' health will also be established for when athletes finish an activity, and there will be a reinforced investigation system "specializing in preventive medical aspects to avoid, for example, cases of sudden death" (EP, 6/13). EL PAIS reported the vote won approval in Congress by an overwhelming majority, with 298 votes in favor to just three opposed, with 26 abstentions. The new law substitutes the previous law instituted in '06 (EL PAIS, 6/13).

Olympic bid leaders said on Wednesday that violent protests that have hit Turkey over recent days need to end swiftly, "but will have no bearing on Istanbul's candidacy to host the 2020 Olympics," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Turkey is also scheduled to host the U20 football World Cup, starting on June 21, and the sport's world governing body FIFA said that "the tournament would go ahead as planned." Bid officials said in a statement, "The feedback Istanbul 2020 has received from IOC members and the wider Olympic family continues to be positive and very understanding. While they are obviously as keen as we are for a swift and peaceful resolution, the majority of people we have spoken to recognise that 2020 is still seven years away." Bid cities are due to attend a meeting of national Olympic Committees in Lausanne, Switzerland later this week with Istanbul planning to offer "assurances" there (REUTERS, 6/12).

London's Olympic legacy "was called into question again" on Thursday after the latest Active People Survey reported the number of adults playing sport in England "had fallen" since the 2012 London Games. The indicator of sports participation among English people over the age of 16 "showed there had been a 220,000 drop in those active for at 30 minutes once a week between October and April" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/13). ... Cambodian PM Hun Sen on Thursday inaugurated a seven-story building at the National Olympic Committee headquarters, "urging athletes to increase training towards victory" when the country hosts the Southeast Asian Games Games in '23. The headquarters, which took 18 months to construct in the complex of the capital's Olympic Stadium, include the offices of 40 sports federations and the National Paralympics Committee (XINHUA, 6/13).