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Volume 10 No. 22

Olympics

Athletes "need to be fitted with microchips, in a similar way that dogs are, in the fight against drug cheats in sport," a leading representative of int'l sportspeople said, according to Martha Kelner of the London GUARDIAN. World Olympians Association CEO Mike Miller claimed that "radical anti-doping methods" -- including implants to recognize the effects of banned substances -- are needed to protect clean sport. He said, "Some people say we shouldn’t do this to people. Well, we’re a nation of dog lovers, we’re prepared to chip our dogs and it doesn’t seem to harm them, so why aren’t we prepared to chip ourselves?" Miller claimed a "breakthrough in microchip technology is on the horizon and testers need to be aware of developments." His fear is that drug cheats "could exploit the technology to avoid detection through self-monitoring," alerting them when their blood has returned to "normal" levels before testers arrive (GUARDIAN, 10/10). In London, Ben Rumsby reported admitting he was "no Steve Jobs," Miller also called for drugs cheats to be banned for life. Miller: "We need to keep in front of the cheats." Stressing this was his "personal opinion" and not that of the WOA, he added, "The technology is not quite there yet but it's coming." Miller, who was Int'l Rugby Board CEO for a decade until '12, is "not the first person in sport to propose athletes are microchipped in the fight against doping" (TELEGRAPH, 10/10).

With less than four months remaining until the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, "sluggish ticket sales and lodging reservations could spell trouble for Korea's first Winter Games." The PyeongChang Organizing Committee on Wednesday released preliminary numbers for ticket sales, which showed that 30.3% of 1.07 million tickets have been sold. About 20.7% of 760,000 tickets released to the Korean general public have been sold, while 59.7% of 320,000 tickets reserved for foreigners have been sold. Sales of tickets to the Paralympic Games are "even more dismal," with only 4.2% sold (KOREA HERALD, 10/11).

Japanese labor inspectors determined the suicide of a 23-year-old man who worked at Tokyo's new Olympic stadium construction site "stemmed from overwork," and that his family is "eligible for government compensation." Hiroshi Kawahito, a lawyer representing the bereaved family, said that the victim, in charge of quality control of materials at the stadium site, recorded 190 hours of overtime in one month before killing himself in March (London GUARDIAN, 10/11).