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  1. #1

    2008 Beijing Olympics

    Eight months to fo, Beijing Olympics na.

    stonecold316
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  2. #2

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    China starts Olympic year with bash, fireworks
    01/01/2008 | 01:15 AM
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    BEIJING – China kick started its Olympic year with a New Year party Monday with the country's biggest medal hope on hand to watch fireworks, singing and dancing at a countdown party.

    The party, put on by the organizers of the Summer Olympics, saw Beijingers flock in the cold to the Millennium Monument, capping a year in which frenzied construction of ultramodern Olympic venues and other projects changed the face of Beijing.

    A cheer went out from the crowd for Liu Xiang. As the Beijing Games get closer, public expectations have grown on Liu to repeat his gold-medal winning performance in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2004 Athens Olympics Games.

    All but one Olympic project, the ambitious 91,000-seat National Stadium scheduled to be finished by March, has been completed, officials said recently.

    Scores of laborers worked around the clock to ensure timely completion of the projects – from archery ranges, to a swimming venue that is covered by a translucent, blue-toned skin, to gymnasium halls, dotted mostly around the north of the city.

    Also at hand at the Millennium Monument, a circular raised stone edifice in west Beijing, was movie star Jackie Chan.

    From January 1, there will be 220 days until the start of the Aug. 8-24 Olympics.

    A source of immense national pride in China, Beijing is spending an estimated $40 billion (€27 billion) to modernize for the Olympics. Attended by US President George W. Bush and an estimated 500,000 to 800,000 foreign visitors, Beijing will be under the world's gaze as never before.

    Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a live television address broadcast Monday that he hopes the Olympics will be a platform for "promoting understanding and friendly cooperation between the people of China and the world."

    The Games have also provided an impetus to a full-scale redesign of Beijing, with ultramodern buildings changing its centuries-old look. American soprano Kathleen Battle and Chinese Pianist Lang Lang played at the newly opened futuristic egg-shaped National Center for the Performing Arts on Monday evening, right next to Tiananmen Square – long symbolizing the center of power in the Communist state.

    In winning the Olympics in 2001 China promised it would allow greater media freedoms, improve human rights, and clean up its environment.

    But air pollution is still a worry for Beijing. The International Olympic Committee has said it might reschedule events if smog levels are too high.

    Jammed traffic and the possibility of protests by critics of the communist regime are also concerns.

    Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, as well as media advocacy groups and others, want the IOC to go further and promote human rights in China in line with what they believe is the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

    Statements in the past few months have criticized the lack of human rights and press freedoms in Beijing, which is also under fire for a perceived lack of action on pushing the Sudan government to do more to end the crisis in Darfur.

    A series of arrests of dissidents this year, continued clampdown on free speech, as well as forced evictions of residents living on Olympic sites, have increased accusations China is not doing enough to come through with its promises.

    More than 7 million tickets will be sold for the Beijing Olympics.

    A series of test events over the last four months in Beijing mostly went off without a hitch. Successful test events were also held at Olympic venues outside Beijing, with an equestrian competition in Hong Kong and sailing in Qingdao on China's eastern coast. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  3. #3

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Chinese distance star Sun Yingjie set to return from doping ban
    01/02/2008 | 05:20 PM
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    BEIJING – A Chinese long-distance runner who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs has registered for a marathon this weekend in what would be her first race after a two-year suspension, a race official said Wednesday.

    Sun Yingjie, who won bronze in the 10,000 meters at the 2003 Paris World Championships, failed a urine test for the testosterone derivative androsterone at the Chinese National Games in 2005. Her two-year ban was upheld despite a civil court's ruling that another athlete spiked her drink with the drug.

    She has registered for the Xiamen International Marathon on Saturday in southern China, said an official in the race's competition department, surnamed Chen, who refused to give her full name. Chen said she didn't know if Sun planned to race.

    A recent report by the government's Xinhua News Agency quoted coach Tao Shaoming as saying Sun was looking forward to her first race but her conditioning level was not good enough to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

    The Chinese government has launched a crackdown on doping in the country, which is a source of illegal steroids sold worldwide. In November, China opened its first anti-doping agency and a state-of-the-art laboratory.

    As host of the 2008 Summer Games, China is eager to avoid the embarrassment of one of its athletes being caught doping. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  4. #4

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Sprinter Gatlin vows to fight for Olympic comeback despite doping ban
    01/02/2008 | 08:12 PM
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    LOS ANGELES – Sprinter Justin Gatlin got his doping ban reduced, but not by enough to make him eligible to defend his Olympic 100-meter title this year.

    An arbitration panel, in a ruling released Tuesday, reduced the 25-year-old sprinter's potential eight-year ban to four. With the ban set to expire May 24, 2010, it means Gatlin would be on the sidelines for the Beijing Olympics in August.

    But the panel left open the possibility of a further reduction.

    The panel ruled Gatlin committed a doping offense when he tested positive for excessive testosterone in April 2006, but the sprinter's first doping offense in 2001 troubled the group.

    If that doping violation were erased, that would make Gatlin's 2006 case his first offense, clearing the way for a further reduced ban. First doping offenses often result in a two-year ban, which would make him eligible to run in May, a month before the US Olympic trials.

    "I'm a fighter and I've been a fighter from the very beginning and I'm going to continue to fight," Gatlin told The Washington Post on Tuesday. "I know in my heart I haven't done anything wrong.

    "I have been robbed. I have been cheated of an opportunity to finish my career."

    Gatlin has six months to appeal.

    The panel called the circumstances surrounding Gatlin's first offense "the real dilemma."

    As a 19-year-old competitor at the world junior championships, Gatlin tested positive for amphetamines, part of a prescribed medication he was taking for attention deficit disorder. Gatlin stopped taking the medicine a few days before the competition, but it didn't clear his system, according to the case records. He received a two-year ban.

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the sport's world governing body, later reinstated Gatlin after he had served only one year of the ban but never specifically said Gatlin had "no fault" in the case.

    The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) characterized Gatlin's reinstatement as a reduction in the ban whereas Gatlin contended it vacated the finding of a doping offense.

    The panel said Gatlin could go through an appeals process to seek a finding of no fault in the first case or ask the IAAF for a clarification on its earlier ruling.

    "The actions of the IAAF clearly suggest at a minimum, a finding of 'no significant fault' in 2001," the panel said. "However, there is no evidence from which this panel may determine that a finding of 'no fault' under the current WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) standard was made or could be inferred."

    "No significant fault" would leave Gatlin still somewhat responsible for the positive test, and it would remain a first offense. A "no fault" finding would erase the offense.

    The 2001 findings came under different standards than those in effect now because the World Anti-Doping Code had yet to be established.

    A family member who said he was speaking on Gatlin's behalf told The Associated Press "the fight is not over for us."

    "We feel we were wrongly done," said the man who answered the phone at Gatlin's parents home but declined to give his name. "He has a disability. The family is going to sit down. We're going to decide where to go next."

    Gatlin's attorney John Collins did not return messages.

    The ruling means Gatlin must wait to regain his world record in the 100 meters. He shared the record of 9.77 seconds with Jamaica's Asafa Powell. Since then, Powell has improved the record, finishing in 9.74 seconds last September.

    Gatlin, who held himself up as a role model for clean competition before his positive test, has said he doesn't know how steroids got into his system before the April 2006 test.

    Gatlin accused a disgruntled massage therapist of rubbing a steroid cream on him to trigger the positive test, but the massage therapist repeatedly denied the allegations.

    The panel rejected that defense and noted Gatlin also acknowledged receiving an injection of what was purported to be vitamin B-12 from an assistant coach before the Kansas meet.

    "We have no higher priority than the commitment we have made to clean competition," US Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said. "If that means leaving behind when we go to the Games an athlete who has the talent and ability to break world records, but has also cheated, so be it. That's an easy choice to make."

    The panel noted Gatlin's cooperation with a federal doping investigation.

    "While Mr. Gatlin seems like a complete gentleman, and was genuinely and deeply upset during his testimony, the panel cannot eliminate the possibility that Mr. Gatlin intentionally took testosterone, or that he accepted it from a coach, even though he testified to the contrary," the ruling said.

    USADA general counsel Bill Bock said Gatlin helped federal authorities "in investigating doping in sport, to extent of wearing wire in communications with his former coach," Trevor Graham. Bock also said Jeff Novitzky, the lead investigator in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid investigation, testified about Gatlin's assistance.

    "Mr. Gatlin should be commended for his decision to cooperate with authorities following his positive test," USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart said in a statement. "However, these efforts do not completely remove his responsibility for his second doping offense. Given his cooperation and the circumstances relating to Mr. Gatlin's first offense, the four-year penalty issued by the arbitration panel is a fair and just outcome." - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  5. #5

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Beijing to set up food safety monitoring center for Olympics
    01/03/2008 | 07:06 PM
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    BEIJING – China, which has been plagued by food safety problems, will set up a center to monitor food standards at the Summer Olympics, state media reported Thursday.

    The Olympic Food Safety Command Center will tackle the task during the Aug. 8-24 Games and will deal with any food-related emergencies, Xinhua News Agency quoted Zhang Zhikuan, head of the Beijing Industry and Commerce Bureau, as saying.

    Xinhua said food supplied for the Olympics will be checked against specific technical standards.

    "Precautions must be taken to avert any trace of terrorist attacks on our food supply chain," Xinhua quoted Zhang as saying.

    Problems in China's food supply are common, due to lax standards and improper use of chemicals, preservatives or drugs.

    Such concerns were heightened last year after some Chinese food exports, such as seafood, were found to be contaminated with dangerous chemicals. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  6. #6

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Beijing to clear beggars out of Tiananmen Square for Olympics
    01/03/2008 | 07:16 PM
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    BEIJING – Beijing has launched a campaign to remove beggars and unlicensed sellers from Tiananmen Square and a major street running through the center of the city in the run-up to the Olympic Games, state media reported Thursday.

    Beggars and unlicensed peddlers will be fined and have their goods confiscated, Xinhua News Agency said.

    The crackdown also will focus on Chang'an Avenue, the city's major east-west artery that cuts across the top of the square.

    Tiananmen is a major tourist attraction and visitors are constantly accosted by beggars and people selling maps or fake goods such as watches.

    Xinhua quoted Yu Hongyuan, deputy director with the Beijing city police, as saying the around-the-clock patrols were aimed at uprooting illegal activities and building a "harmonious, civilized and sound" environment for the Olympic Games.

    Police already have started using sniffer dogs to detect fireworks and other explosive substances on Beijing's subway stations ahead of the Olympics, which start Augugst 8. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  7. #7

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Tibetan exiles to march from India into Tibet to protest Beijing Olympics
    01/04/2008 | 09:35 PM
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    NEW DELHI – Hundreds of Tibetan exiles plan to march from India to Tibet to protest China's hosting of the Olympic Games, an exile group said Friday.

    The protest is one of a series in India against the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games, which the Tibetan exiles say comes despite China's continued attempts to subvert Tibetan Buddhist culture and strengthen Beijing's hold on the Himalayan region.

    "The march to Tibet is an initiative by exiled Tibetans to strengthen Tibetan resistance by taking the struggle home," said Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress.

    India has been a center for the Tibetan exiles since the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled to there in 1959 after a failed uprising and set up his government in exile in the northern town of Dharmsala.

    Rigzin said hundreds of members of his organization would depart from Dharmsala on March 10, the day Tibetans commemorate the uprising, and try and walk to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

    He declined to give further details on the march, including the route they planned to take.

    It was also unclear what sort of reception the marchers would receive from the Chinese authorities.

    "The Chinese have said in the past that Tibetans are welcome to return home, so we are going to test that," Rigzin said.

    The Tibetan Youth Congress, which takes a more radical line in its protests against China than the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Government in Exile, said it had not consulted the Dalai Lama over the protests.

    The group called on all Tibetans to use peaceful means to protest the Games and Chinese plans to have the Olympic torch carried through Tibet. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  8. #8

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Chinese runner Sun Yingjie eyes Olympics after doping suspension
    01/07/2008 | 05:12 PM
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    BEIJING – Disgraced Chinese long-distance runner Sun Yingjie still hopes to qualify for the Beijing Olympics after recently returning from a two-year doping suspension, local media reported Monday.

    Sun placed 10th at the Xiamen International Marathon on Saturday in southern China, her first race since failing a urine test for the testosterone derivative androsterone at the Chinese National Games in 2005. Previously she won the 10,000 meters bronze at the 2003 Paris World Championships.

    She told the China Youth Daily that while ineligible for the marathon event at the Olympics because she has competed in only one of five qualifying races, she hoped to qualify for the 5,000 or 10,000 meters.

    "I definitely will try my best to reach the qualifying standards," she was quoted as saying. "Now I need to slowly regain my form. If I can get back to my best form, I think I still have a chance to run in the Olympics."

    The two-year ban against Sun was upheld despite a civil court's ruling that another athlete spiked her drink with the drug.

    As host of the 2008 Summer Games, China is eager to avoid the embarrassment of one of its athletes being caught doping.

    The Chinese government has launched a crackdown on doping in the country, which is a source of illegal steroids sold worldwide. In November, China opened its first anti-doping agency and a state-of-the-art laboratory. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  9. #9

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Jamaica to strengthen anti-doping law ahead of Beijing Olympics
    01/07/2008 | 05:59 PM
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    KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica plans to strengthen its anti-doping legislation ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.

    "(The legislation) is a very comprehensive one and we hope to get it through (parliament) before the end of March," government medical officer Dr. Herbert Elliott said Sunday in a statement.

    Elliott said that an anti-doping unit will be set up in the sports ministry, and Jamaica will establish bilateral arrangements with countries where athletes are based.

    "Our athletes, while on the road, will be tested," Elliott said. "And if they violate the rules, the appropriate sanctions will take place."

    Elliott also announced the creation of a commission – made up of representatives from several ministries – to keep banned substances out of the Caribbean country.

    "I know of no doctor in Jamaica who so far has ever given an anabolic steroid injection to any of our athletes, and this is very commendable for a profession that elsewhere has sold its soul for big money," Elliott said. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!

  10. #10

    Re: The 2008 Beijing Olympics

    Venezuelan volleyball team makes Beijing Olympics, beating Argentina 3-1 in qualifying
    01/08/2008 | 09:42 PM
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    FORMOSA, Argentina – The Venezuelan volleyball team has advanced to the Beijing Olympics, qualifying for the first time after beating Argentina 3-1 in the South American elimination tournament.

    Venezuela beat Argentina 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-16 to clinch a berth late Monday. In a runner-up match, Paraguay beat Uruguay 3-1.

    Brazil, a leading volleyball power in South America, qualified directly for Beijing on the strength of its last World Cup performance in Japan.

    Argentina and Venezuela reached the Formosa qualifying round unbeaten. Venezuela's victory gave it eight points, to seven for Argentina. Paraguay and Chile finished with six points and Uruguay with four.

    Venezuela avenged a 3-0 loss to Argentina in January 2004 in Caracas, when Argentina qualified for the Athens Olympics.

    Argentina's volleyball squad has participated in the last six Olympics and its best finish was the bronze medal in South Korea in 1988. Argentina can still reach the Beijing Games, depending on the outcome of a repechage at a qualifying tournament to be held in the next two months in Portugal. - AP
    And that's the bottom line, because I said so!


 
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