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Volume 7 No. 108
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Olympic Notes: South Korean Foreign Ministry Stresses 2018 Games Will Be Safe

South Korea's foreign ministry "stressed" the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics will be "safe from North Korean provocations" in a briefing to diplomats and execs at foreign companies in the country on Friday, as "concerns persist over tensions with the North." Officials and execs from around 120 embassies and companies in South Korea were hosted by the ministry to explain the government's efforts for a safe Olympic Games (REUTERS, 10/19).

Former Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman left prison on Friday after his arrest two weeks ago on "eventual charges that he arranged bribes to land the Olympics he headed last year in Rio de Janeiro." The 75-year-old will stand trial for money laundering, tax evasion and racketeering, though it is "unclear how long that will take under Brazil's slow-moving justice system" (AP, 10/20).

Rio Olympics Silver Medalist Madeline Groves has been cleared of a third breach of anti-doping "whereabouts rules" and is free to compete at next year's Commonwealth Games, Swimming Australia said on Saturday. The 22-year-old missed her third test at her residence in the U.S. in May. However, FINA said on Friday that Groves had been "fully compliant with her responsibilities and obligations" and therefore did not record a third breach of the rules in a 12-month period (REUTERS, 10/20).

Pole dancing and poker could become Olympic events in the future after being recognized by an int'l sporting body for the first time. Both activities were given "observer status," which means they are now provisionally regarded as sports, according to The Global Association of Int'l Sports Federations (London INDEPENDENT, 10/22).

Taekwondo will make its Paralympics debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games, according to World Taekwondo. The World Taekwondo Council presented its "roadmap for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics" and also "tackled procedures for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to be held from August to September." Seventy-two athletes in the K44 (+K43) sports class profile will compete in six medal events -- three male and three female (KOREA TIMES, 10/22).

Russia President Vladimir Putin said that the IOC was "being pressured" by the U.S. to "prevent Russia from taking part" in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Putin said, "We are seeing that the IOC is under strong pressure. It relies on advertisers, television channels, sponsors, and so on. And these sponsors are receiving unambiguous signals from certain American institutions" (REUTERS, 10/19).