The 200th episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” premiered Tuesday night with a report on corruption and the $50B cost of the 2014 Sochi Games. Former Russia Deputy PM Boris Nemstov told reporter Bernard Goldberg of the $50B expense, “If you calculate the cost of previous Winter Olympics, altogether it’s cheaper then [Russia President Vladimir Putin’s] Olympic Games.” The report states that Putin is the culprit for the elaborate spending. Goldberg in his narration of the piece said, “Sochi is one of President Putin’s favorite vacation spots, a resort town that has long been a getaway for Russia’s elite -- going all the way back to Stalin and Khrushchev. The message [Putin] wants to send with these Winter Games is clear: that he heads up a strong, modern Russia capable of putting on the biggest show in all of sports.” A 30-mile road and rail line from Sochi to the mountains where the skiing events will take place is said to have cost $9B. Former chess champion and longtime Putin critic Garry Kasparov said he is not proud of the Olympics being held in his homeland. Kasparov: “Picking Sochi and organizing everything there against all the odds, against the nature, against the interest of people who live there, that’s about Putin. That’s about his regime. That’s about stealing money. It’s not about Russia.” The episode debuted Tuesday night on HBO and will be reaired frequently on HBO’s networks during the next two weeks.
Samples stored from the 2006 Torino winter Olympics are being retested by the IOC "as the eight-year statute of limitations runs out next year and as two labs find hundreds of unrelated positive tests," according to Ganguly & Grohmann of REUTERS. An IOC official said that "the retests were in no way connected to a German state television report about two doping labs finding hundreds of positive tests using new methods." The IOC "is eager to root out cheats long after Olympic Games by using new methods of tracing known banned substances or substances that were not known at the time." The official said, "We are re-testing Torino Games samples as planned. This is not linked to that report" (REUTERS, 11/19).
Who "should run the local organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games?" asks Jack Gallagher of the JAPAN TIMES. This "is not the job for a retired politician, bureaucrat, or a person who wants to sit back and delegate everything." This is a position "which requires a hands-on approach from somebody who has been there before and knows how to connect with people of different cultures." The "best man for the job is clearly" former Mizuno Corp. Chair Masato Mizuno. The heir to the sporting goods conglomerate "has the knowledge, respect and experience required for the post." Mizuno was the CEO of the Tokyo 2020 bid, and although he is now 70, "he looks and acts like a man much younger." Attempts to get comments from IOC President Thomas Bach about Mizuno's potential candidacy were unsuccessful (JAPAN TIMES, 11/19).