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Volume 7 No. 149

Olympics

Refugees will take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after the IOC on Tuesday said that it "would form a refugee team for the second consecutive Summer Games," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. IOC President Thomas Bach asked members of the Olympic body at its session in Buenos Aires to support the creation of a refugee team, "along the lines of the one that competed at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games." The members "responded with applause." Bach said that the IOC had "already identified a pool of more than 50 refugee athletes" and it was "necessary to keep the world aware of the plight of the tens of millions of refugees around the world." He added, "There is one unfortunate reason for the creation of this team. This is the fact that the reasons we created the first ever team still persist. We have altogether 68.5 million refugees in this world." There were no details provided on the final size or makeup of the team but Bach said that "the pool of potential athletes for the team could grow more." Bach: "Last time (for Rio), we were under very high time pressure. Now we have two years. We have already taken precaution ... and we have a pool of athletes in place. Already now we’re supporting 51 or 52 refugee athletes who we have identified" (REUTERS, 10/9).

Measures to help British athletes "deal with mental health issues" are being introduced by UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport. The new Mental Health Strategy was launched on Wednesday -- World Mental Health Day. UK Sport Chair Katherine Grainger said, "I don't think high-performance sport will ever feel cozy or comfortable -- it will always be tough and hard and there will be high pressure. But we want to help people deal with it better" (BBC, 10/10).

The IOC asked Senegal to support a French investigation into the son of the former head of the IAAF, who is suspected of corruption. France's financial prosecutor said that Senegalese Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, had been "at the heart of a corruption scheme" in int'l sports, an accusation he has denied. The prosecutor added that there were indications that payments were made "in return for the votes of IAAF and IOC members over the designation of host cities for the Olympics and other major sporting events" (REUTERS, 10/9).

New Zealand's Para athletes "will now earn the same as their Olympic counterparts regarding performance enhancement grants." NZ PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at a gala dinner celebrating Paralympics New Zealand's 50th anniversary as a national committee. NZ's Paralympic and Olympic medalists will be "supported equally through direct financial grants to enable them to train full time" to maximize their int'l performance (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 10/10).

The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) and Tokyo 2020 organizers announced the foothills of Mount Fuji will be the setting for the individual time trial events at the Games. The course will start and finish at the Fuji Speedway Circuit at the base of the mountain. The course length is approximately 22.1km, with an elevation gain of approximately 423m (REUTERS, 10/10).