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Volume 6 No. 193


The 2012 London Olympics "left a healthy sheen on Britain’s psyche," but it is "less clear whether British business benefited," according to Burgess & Robinson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. As much as £5.9B ($9.2B) came from business deals brokered during the Games at the British Business Embassy. However, companies themselves "reported more mixed results." There were "outright winners." Chime Communications’ sports marketing arm "won a lucrative contract" for the 2014 Sochi Olympics "on the back of work done for the London Games." There were "obvious losers, too." A year ago, security firm G4S "was tipped to benefit hugely, until it failed to supply the number of security staff for the Games that had been contracted." The "deluge of extra tourists in London failed to materialise." The number of visitors to Britain "actually declined during and after the Games," with a 4% drop in overseas visits in the three months to Sept. 3. InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Richard Solomon said that while the hotel sector in London "enjoyed a short-term boost," the government "failed to make the most of a potential boost to British tourism." Solomon: "[The short term boost] has not been supported by government actions in terms of supporting tourism and making it easy to come to the country" (FT, 8/19).

A "livid" Sports Authority of India on Monday decided to take the Athletics Federation of India to task for the embarrassment it caused to the country after 18 overaged athletes were barred from the Nanjing Asian Youth Games and said that "it would recover the money spent by it on the athletes' airfare," according to the PTI. Squarely blaming the AFI for the incident, SAI Dir-General Jiji Thomson said that the government had spent around Rs. 10 lakh ($15,840) "for the airfare of the disqualified athletes who are returning home from China." Only U17 athletes -- those born in Jan. '97 or later -- were eligible to take part in the Asian Youth Games, "but the AFI included 18 athletes, who were born in 1996 in the track and field team of 27." Thomson: "It's a huge embarrassment. We are terribly annoyed by the development." The AFI claimed that it had followed Int'l Association of Athletics Federation rules "according to which 1996-born players were eligible." But they "forgot that the Games were being held" as per the IOC rules (PTI, 8/19).

After "a week of general diaspora," the Madrid 2020 bid organization is "regrouping this week." Starting Tuesday, the members of the candidacy are "meeting at the Spanish Olympic Committee's (COE) headquarters in Madrid to prepare the final presentation," which will be given in Buenos Aires in September, with the host city scheduled to be announced on Sept. 7. This "will be the last time that the candidacy members meet in Spain" (AS, 8/19). ... The former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan "has lodged a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in the city of Almaty." Kazakhstan national Olympic committee VP Pavel Novikov said that "an official letter was sent" to the IOC in Switzerland on Friday (AP, 8/19). ... Clean Sports India, a movement for corruption-free sports in the country, lashed out at Indian Olympic Association officials for objecting to the IOC's directive to bar charge-sheeted persons from contesting elections, saying that their "bankrupt arguments" have totally exposed them (PTI, 8/19).