Int'l Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper said that "household names" featuring in Sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics "is imperative for rugby maximising its opportunity on the world stage," according to Ben Horne of the AAP. The game's int'l body "is encouraging international unions," including Australian Rugby, to "work through red tape issues and ensure the stars who want to play are allowed." The Austrlian Rugby Union "must work through a minefield" with Wallabies scheduling and Super Rugby clubs, who "don't want to give up their best talent." Gosper said that while the value of having out-and-out Sevens players "must be properly respected, rugby's chances of becoming a permanent Olympic sport may rely on an injection of star power." Gosper: "We've got to work very hard to ensure we'll be successful at Rio ... because a lot of money comes into rugby because of the Olympics" (AAP, 6/12).
Taiwan "currently has no plans" to bid for hosting the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, but "is focusing on a bid for the 2023 Asian Games, a sports affairs official said Wednesday in response to a U.S. media report that Taiwan is among the countries making bids for the games." Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee Secretary-General Kevin Chen also said that his committee "has received no information on a Taiwanese bid for the Olympics" (CNA, 6/11). ... The South African Olympic committee said that the "troubled national football association must submit a report on its finances every six months for the next two years." Despite South Africa hosting the first World Cup in Africa four years ago, SAFA "is reported to be in significant debt." The Olympic committee also threatened in its statement to "intervene to regularize the finances" of SAFA if the problems weren't solved in two years (AP, 6/11). ... The 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizing committee agreed Thursday to "conduct a review of the facilities being planned for the event as proposed by Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe." After discussing the matter and consulting with other organizations, committee President Yoshiro Mori said Japan "will stick to its basic principle of building 85 percent of all the venues in an area with an 8-km radius" (JIJI, 6/12).