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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Australian Olympic Committee on Tuesday said that "athletes will be allowed to consume alcohol at upcoming Games but swaying, staggering, and having rambling conversations will not be tolerated," according to the AFP. AOC President John Coates set out the new team rules in a position statement sent to all national governing bodies of Olympic sports, "driven by a tumultuous period for swimming after the London Games in 2012, which were marred by ill-discipline, drug use and drunkenness." Coates said, "These restrictions have been implemented to ensure that Australia's Olympic athletes are given the opportunity to compete to the best of their ability and with distinction" (AFP, 11/19). The AAP's Joe Barton wrote despite insisting the new guidelines are not a reaction to the London incidents, 2016 Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said that "it was all about removing anti-social behaviour which can hinder the performances of their teammates." Chiller said, "It's totally about respect. It's about respect for the coat of arms that we wear. It's about respect for the green and gold." Under the rules to apply at both Summer and Winter Games, team members "are not permitted to be present in the Olympic Village or other team locations if intoxicated and displaying inappropriate or disruptive conduct" (AAP, 11/19).

DRINK RESPONSIBLY: REUTERS' Martyn Herman wrote before listing a range of behavior that would be frowned upon, a statement said, "Team members are permitted to consume alcohol responsibly." The statement said that "being disorderly or argumentative, being bad tempered, swaying or falling down, talking boisterously, having rambling conversations and annoying fellow team members would all result in possible disciplinary action." No alcohol "will be permitted in the Olympic Village or on the return flight to Australia following the Games" (REUTERS, 11/19). In Sydney, Nicole Jeffery wrote the AOC insisted it was not the "fun police." Chiller: "It's not about a ban on alcohol, it's not about stopping celebrations -- it's about providing a totally 100 percent high-performance focused environment. We are not the fun police. This is about recommending the responsible consumption of alcohol and ensuring no other athlete in the village is disrupted by the irresponsible consumption of alcohol by other team members who have finished competing." Chiller said that the AOC would not have officials policing the entrance to the Olympic village looking for intoxicated athletes, "but would act on reports of disruption and apply sanctions if necessary." For serious offenses, "these could include sending athletes home" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/20).

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has slammed the Int'l Cricket Council and the cricket boards for their "weak leadership" while dealing with corruption in the game and said that "they need to do more to stamp out the menace," according to the PTI. Delivering a keynote address at the ESPNcricinfo at 20 event in Brisbane, Chappell said so far only "soft targets" have got the punishment for corruption from cricket administrators. Chappell: "I would like cricket administrators to get back to where priority number one is ... I think now the most important issue for cricket administration is corruption. I can't think of anything other than corruption that can bring this game down." Chappell called for a zero-tolerance approach to fixing from the game's administrators, "including bans for players suspected of corruption, regardless of whether such suspicions would hold up in court." Chappell: "I think if cricket is going to rely on prosecuting these guys in court, you're going to catch about one every hundred years. It's damn near impossible." Chappell said that "the only way for the game to deal with corruption and its other problems was through strong, impartial leadership at ICC level and through the national boards." But, he said that the game's administrators "had shown themselves to be too weak and self-interested to look beyond the bottom line of profit" (PTI, 11/19).

The NBA, Africare and ExxonMobil announced the launch of "Power Forward," a youth engagement initiative that will use basketball to develop health, leadership and life skills in Nigeria. Nigerian native and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, fellow countryman and former NBA player Obinna Ekezie and three-time WNBA champion Swin Cash joined leading Nigerian government officials in tipping off the program Tuesday during a two-day launch event in Abuja. “Power Forward” is being introduced at 10 public and private high schools in Abuja and will engage 300 students, with equal representation of boys and girls. This includes a curriculum that teaches leadership skills and builds health awareness through a combination of classroom and athletic activities. NBA VP of Development in Africa Amadou Gallo Fall said, "The NBA and WNBA are committed to working with our partners across Africa to use the power of basketball to positively impact social change." The launch was marked by a two-day “tip-off” event held at the Government Secondary School in Wuse and the Old Parade Ground in Abuja. Olajuwon, Ekezie and Cash joined 100 youth participants on the court for a series of basketball drills (NBA).

The Spanish second division has "still not had a firing of any of its 22 coaches, which is significant at this point in the season -- after 14 games -- when recent years are taken into account," according to García & Díaz of MARCA. While La Liga side Osasuna replaced coach José Luis Mendilibar with Javi Gracia, the second division "has kept all the coaches that started the season in August." Not once in the "last two decades have so many games in a season taken place without a firing of a coach." Last season, the first firing occurred after nine matches. In both the '11-12 and '10-11 seasons, the first firings "came after just four games" (MARCA, 11/19).