Request to invite 15 athletes and coaches to PyeongChang 2018 for the Olympic Athlete from Russia group declined

News Release

Request to invite 15 athletes and coaches to PyeongChang 2018 for the Olympic Athlete from Russia group declined

Based on the recommendation of the Invitation Review Panel, the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group (OAR IG) has met to discuss the request by the suspended Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to invite 13 more athletes and two more coaches to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

On 2 February 2018, the suspended ROC provided a list of 15 people whose suspension had been lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Thirteen are still active athletes and two are retired athletes who competed at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and are now acting as support personnel.

While the Invitation Review Panel noted the CAS’s decision of 1 February 2018, it also noted that the full reasoning for these decisions had not been made public. The Panel highlighted that its role, according to the IOC Executive Board decision of 5 December 2017, was not to establish ADRVs, but to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential OAR invitation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Therefore, the Panel unanimously recommended that the IOC not extend an invitation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 to the 15 individuals requested by the suspended ROC.

To give further assurance that all information available to the Panel had been analysed and assessed, the Panel reviewed all 13 athletes submitted by the suspended ROC for OAR invitation places using the same methodology as its initial review of 16 and 17 January 2018 − on a case-by-case basis, individually and anonymously.

Following the detailed analysis conducted by the Panel, its members observed that there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered by the IOC Oswald Commission because it was not available to it, that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes. The additional information included data from the LIMS database, traces of prohibited substances, evidence of steroid profile manipulation and further confidential information provided to the Panel by WADA. In addition, the Panel agreed that the decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping or given the Panel sufficient confidence to recommend to the OAR IG that those 13 athletes could be considered as clean.

With respect to the two officials (coaches), the Panel took the view that, due to the evidence available from the Oswald Commission reports and additional information at the disposal of the Panel, these two individuals should not be considered for an invitation to attend the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

The Invitation Review Panel is chaired by Dr Valérie Fourneyron, the Chair of the International Testing Agency (ITA) and former French Sports Minister. It includes Mr Günter Younger, Head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Intelligence and Investigations Department; Mr Pedro Goncalves, GAISF DFSU Project Manager in charge of the Pre-Games Testing Task Force secretariat; and Dr Richard Budgett, Olympic rowing champion and IOC Medical and Scientific Director.

In a second step, the recommendation of the Invitation Review Panel was assessed and accepted by the OAR IG, which is chaired by IOC EB Member Nicole Hoevertsz and includes IOC Athletes’ Commission Member Danka Bartekova and IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper. The OAR IG confirmed that no additional invitations will be extended to these 15 individuals. The decision has been communicated to the IOC Athletes’ Commission which supports this position.

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Vic Manuel PBAPC Player of the Week

With his knee issues now a thing of the past, Vic Manuel is back to his explosive self, helping Alaska stretch its winning run to six this past week in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Nicknamed the “Muscleman”, Manuel averaged solid numbers of 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals off the bench to power Alaska past Phoenix and GlobalPort, respectively and in the process, earning the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of January 29 to February 4.

Moving without pain anymore on his knee, the stocky Manuel showed mobility and strength as evident in his 21-point-five-rebound effort in Alaska’s thrilling 105-98 overtime win over GlobalPort Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The 6-4 Manuel followed up his pair of free throws with an inside stab in extension period to frustrate the Batang Pier, who blew a 13-point lead in the third period, leading to their fourth loss in seven matches.

Prior to their match against GlobalPort, Manuel logged in 10 points and grabbed three rebounds in another off-the-bench role as Alaska routed Phoenix, 93-75 in a lopsided contest.

Alaska, which started the season with back-to-back losses, has won its last six matches

to occupy joint second place with Magnolia, just half a game behind pacesetter San Miguel (6-1) in the race for the two twice-to-beat incentives.

The 30-year-old Manuel bested teammates Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero, Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro of TNT, Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, Chris Tiu and Ed Daquioag, SMB’s Chris Ross, Chico Lanete and Fajardo, NLEX’s Cyrus Baguio and Larry Fonacier as well as Magnolia guard Mark Barroca for the weekly citation.

Alaska takes a weeklong respite before swinging back to action on Sunday against NLEX at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (pr)

IOC Statement on CAS decision

News Release

IOC Statement on CAS decision

The IOC has taken note of the CAS decision, with satisfaction on the one hand and disappointment on the other.

On the one hand, the confirmation of the Anti-Doping Rule Violations for 11 athletes because of the manipulation of their samples clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

On the other hand, the IOC regrets very much that – according to the CAS press release – the panels did not take this proven existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases. The CAS required an even higher threshold on the necessary level of evidence than the Oswald Commission and former CAS decisions.

This may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping. Therefore, the IOC will analyse the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available and consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

With regard to the participation of athletes from Russia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place. It makes it clear that, since the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is suspended, Russian athletes can participate in PyeongChang only on invitation by the IOC.

The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation. In this context, it is also important to note that, in his press conference, the CAS Secretary General insisted that the CAS decision “…does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent”.

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71st PAL Interclub fires off in Bacolod on March 1

71st PAL Interclub fires off in Bacolod on March 1

BACOLOD – Marapara and Binitin, old layouts here that vary very much in character but offer the same stern tests of golf, will host the 71st edition of the PAL Senior’s and Men’s Regular Interclub championships starting March 1.

Now known as the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club and the Bacolod Golf and Country Club, respectively, these two courses will take centerstage as Luisita and Manila Southwoods shoot to extend their respective reigns in the Senior’s and Men’s divisions of the country’s unofficial team golf championship.

And unlike in the past, the Men’s championship will see a Sunday ending this year as tournament organizers have decided to give the field three official practice rounds leading to the opening skirmishes on March 8.

Jaime J. Bautista, the indefatigable president of the country’s flag carrier, is expected to hit the ceremonial drive and signal the start of Senior play on Feb. 26, Monday, at Marapara.

Canlubang is again listed as the chief threat to Luisita even if the multi-titled Tommy Manotoc is again expected to miss play owing to some family commitments in the United States.

The Senior field will also have three days to sample both courses, though early reports have it that the Luisitans have already come over to test both layouts and not leave anything to chance.

Southwoods will come into the event as the heavy favorite, more so because Japanese teenager Yuto Katsuragawa has confirmed that he will return to play for the Carmona-based squad.(pr)

Paul Lee PBAPC Player of the Week

Paul Lee got off to an explosive start in 2018 after steering Magnolia to back-to-back wins in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.

Lee captured his first PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award after averaging 17 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this year, leading Magnolia past KIA Picanto, 124-77 and NLEX (105-94), respectively.

The Hotshots opened the brand new year by hammering hapless KIA Picanto, 124-77 last Wednesday with Lee catching fire behind his strong third-quarter offensive.

The six-foot Lee, his left knee injury now a thing of the past after undergoing surgery in the offseason, banged all 13 of his points in the third quarter as Magnolia turned the tables against KIA, which took a two-point edge at halftime.

The 28-year-old “Angas ng Tondo” also made his presence felt in other departments, adding four assists and three blocks.

Four days later, the sweet-shooting Lee upped the ante of his offense, firing 21 points, spiked by four triples in the Hotshots’ domination of the Road Warriors.

Although NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena won his personal duel against Lee with a PBA career-high 31 points, the former University of the East star made the biggest baskets in the second half as Magnolia improved to 3-1.

Lee scored 12 points in the third canto, a stretch that saw Magnolia assert its dominance, before holding off NLEX’s fourth-quarter stand.

The Magnolia guard beat Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel and Chris Banchero; GlobalPort guard Stanley Pringle, Blackwater big man JP Erram and Mac Belo, as well as San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos for the weekly citation. (pr)

Team SEA, Phl begin Pradera Ladies 2

LUBAO, Pampanga – Yuka Saso hopes to cap a brilliant two-week display of individual skills with a victory in team play as the Philippines seeks to equalize against Team Southeast Asia in the Pradera Verde Ladies Challenge 2 firing off on Monday, Jan. 15 at the Pradera Golf and Country Club here.
Saso bolstered the hosts’ chances in the novel event by winning a pro tournament and the Philippine Ladies Open the last two weeks with the Fil-Japanese shotmaker brimming with confidence as she leads the team out to avenge a lopsided defeat in last year’s inaugurals of the three-day championship.
“The battle cry is to win the championship. We will give them a very good fight given the depth of the team this year,” said Norman Sto. Domingo, one of Team Phl’s skippers who include Rolly Romero and Daisy Reyes. “We have beefed up our lineup and I’m hoping the girls all play 100 percent in all three days.”
But the visiting squad, led by the top players from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, also toughened up its roster to underscore its readiness to duplicate its imposing 19 1/2-10 1/2 romp in the first Pradera Ladies Challenge pitting the country’s leading jungolfers and amateurs against the top players from the neighboring SEA countries.
“Of course, our goal is to retain the crown. We also have new players and we hope they will blend in well with those who played last year,” said Team SEA co-captain Phunampa Pornperapan of Thailand, the other being Jantsonn Kan of Malaysia.
That should guarantee a fierce but friendly duel right in the opening Scramble format in the morning among five teams before play shifts to alternate shot in the afternoon. The two sides will play best ball tomorrow (Tuesday) then back to alternate shot format in the afternoon while the deciding singles (10 matches) will be held Wednesday with the team to score 15.5 points winning the perpetual Pradera Verde Ladies trophy.
Saso didn’t see action last year but with her current form, the 16-year-old star is expected to provide the firepower and spunk to a team composed of PLO runner-up Mikha Fortuna, Harmie Constantino, Nicole Abelar, Tomi Arejola, Sofia Chabon, Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, Kristine Torralba, Kayla Nocum and 13-year-olds Annyka Cayabyab and Laurea Duque.
But Team SEA is upbeat and all primed up for a repeat in the Ryder Cup-style format event, a brainchild of Archen Cayabyab, Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab and Sto. Domingo as part of their effort to help boost the country’s junior and amateur golf program and at the same time foster camaraderie and friendship with the neighboring SEA countries.
“We’re optimistic of our chances. Though Onkanok (Soisuwan) is the only holdover from the Thai group plus two youngsters, our team is keen for competition and we are quite positive of our chances to be champion again,” said Kan.
Soisuwan will be joined by compatriots Kultida Pramphun and Pinkaew Trachentong with Indonesian Michela Tjan and 13-year-olds Pimkwan Chookaew and Phannarai Meesom-us of Thailand and Singapore’s Shannon Tan backstopping the squad that also includes three Malaysian players in Ashley Lau, Audrey Tan and Zulaikah Nurzian with veteran Winnie Ng providing the experience and leadership.(pr)

Atos, Jucutan dominate PPS Angeles netfest

Atos, Jucutan dominate PPS Angeles netfest
 
Angelyn Atos and Exequiel Jucutan saved their best for last, posting a pair of singles victories each to share the MVP honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Angeles City leg age-group tennis tournament at the Angeles City Tennis Club in Villa Gloria Subd. in Pampanga last weekend.
The top-seeded Atos lived up to her billing, dropping just two games to reign in the girls’ 12- and 14-and-under classes of the Group I tournament hosted and sponsored by councilor Joseph Ponce and Palawan Pawnshop. The rising Baguio City crushed Tristenn Kitong twice, 6-0, 6-0, and 6-0, 6-2, respectively.
Jucutan turned in a more impressive performance, beating Jundee Magtabog, 6-0, 6-0, in the boys’ 14-U finals then the Manaoag, Pangasinan ace clipped Josh Molina, 6-1, 6-0, to claim the 16-U diadem in the event presented by Slazenger which capped the PPS-PEPP 53-leg nationwide circuit.
Atos and Jucutan actually made it a three-title feat with the former teaming up with Gabrielle Abarquez to rout Angel Alambra and Rymone Moreno, 8-1, for the 18-U doubles plum and the latter partnering with JM Erpelo to whip Gabby Avila and Ranz Cuarto, 8-2, for the 14-U doubles title.
Anna Demyer also came away with two victoreis as the San Fabian, Pangasinan bet trounced Gabrielle Abarquez, 6-0, 6-2, in the girls’1 6-U finals and repulsed Kim Evangelista, 0-6, 6-3, 10-5, in the 16-U championship.
Local bet Jed Labasano held off Charles Torres, 6-1, 7-5, to clinch the boys’ 18-U plum, John Prince Lim from Urdaneta, Pangasinan topped the 10-unisex side with a 4-1, 4-2 romp over Jeremiah Labasano, and JM Erpelo, also of Urdaneta, took the boys’ 12-U title with a 6-0, 6-7(4), 10-4 victory over Thomas Gabuat.
Other doubles winners were Jed Labasano-Andrei Torres, who edged Josh Molina-Charles Torres, 8-5, for the boys’ 18-U crown; Gab Abarquez-Kitong, who nipped Jumia Ehipto-Janice Navalta, 8-7(4), for the girls’ 14-U title; and JP Lim-Kriz Lim, who ripped Jeremiah Labasano-Matthew Tiotuico, 8-1, for the 10-U plum.
Meanwhile, the country’s premier talent-search, backed by the Unified Tennis Philippines, including PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg, has lined up a 54-stage tour this year, according to PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director and organizer Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 0915-4046464.(pr)

Just keeping the sports community posted.