South Korea's sports ministry "has launched a probe into seven winter sports federations in a bid to uncover any illegal activities and recover public trust in the organisations" ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, according to Narae Kim of REUTERS. The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the probe "would look into the activities of the skating, ice hockey, curling, skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh/skeleton and luge federations and seek the cooperation of the police and prosecution if it uncovered any evidence of corruption." The sports ministry said that with the home Winter Games just four years away, the role of the federations "was becoming increasingly important." In a statement, it said, "However, we have heard continuing allegations of misconduct, as well as complaints such as suspicions surrounding Ahn Hyun-soo's failure to make it to the national team, recent sexual harassment allegations within the curling team and... accusations that violence was used by coaching staff in the luge team, therefore we are losing trust in sports organisations" (REUTERS, 4/1).
The top organizer for this year's Asian Games in South Korea has asked the IOC "to help North Korea take part in the event," according to YONHAP. Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee President Kim Young-soo met with IOC President Thomas Bach during his visit on Monday to the Olympic Council of Asia headquarters in Kuwait. There, Kim asked Bach "for the IOC's cooperation in ensuring North Korea's presence in the quadrennial continental competition." Bach responded that the IOC "would spare no effort in assisting South Korean organizations, since the Asian Games wouldn't be complete if any one country were missing" (YONHAP, 4/1). REUTERS' Narae Kim reported the news comes "amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula after the North fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters as part of a drill on Monday, prompting the South to fire back." North Korea said in January that "it would send men’s and women’s soccer teams to compete at the Asian Games" (REUTERS, 4/1).
The Dubai Sports Council "wants to popularise Brand Dubai" among the IOC family "more effectively with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award," according to Alaric Gomes of GULF NEWS. DSC Secretary General Dr. Ahmad Sa’ad Al Sharif said, “For Dubai, this award is one of the best vehicles in spreading the word of what we stand for in the sporting sector, regionally and on the international level." The total prize purse for the awards is Dh7M ($1.9M), with the best int'l sporting body "standing to win the top prize" of $250,000. The acceptance of nominations will go on till Aug. 31 (GULF NEWS, 3/31).