Victory for Olympic athletes in Germany to promote sponsors
GENEVA (AP) — In a win for athletes over Olympic restrictions, a German anti-trust agency has ruled that "abusive" limits on games-time promotional activities should be relaxed.
IOC chief: North Korea commits to ‘remedy’ anti-doping issue
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The IOC received commitments from North Korea that it will work to "remedy" its anti-doping controls that led to the country's testing agency being suspended this week.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met with sports and government officials from North and South Korea on Friday, and they talked about creating combined teams in four sports to try to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Finnish ski jump icon Matti Nykanen dies at 55
HELSINKI (AP) — Matti Nykanen, the four-time Olympic ski jumping champion whose personal life was affected by alcohol problems, has died. He was 55.
Nykanen, who also won seven World Championship gold medals, died Sunday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Nykanen became an icon of sport in Finland. He was 18 when he won his first competition in the storied Four Hills tournament, yet with boyish looks seemed even younger.
China’s Xi: 2022 Winter Games will be green, inclusive, open
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country is well on track to deliver a "spectacular" 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
China's government was firmly committed to staging the games with a "green, inclusive, open, and corruption-free approach," Xi told IOC President Thomas Bach on Thursday.
"We will deliver a spectacular games," Xi said in opening remarks at their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.
IOC backs FIFA’s calls for Bahraini player to be released
The International Olympic Committee has backed FIFA's calls for a Bahraini soccer player to be allowed to return to Australia from Thailand where he is detention while being pursued for extradition by Bahrain.
But Asian soccer's leadership is declining to publicly back the campaign to secure the release of Hakeem al-Araibi, who has refugee status in Australia.
Lawyer: IOC loses Swiss supreme court appeal in Russian case
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A lawyer for Russian cross-country skier Alexander Legkov says Switzerland's federal court has dismissed the IOC's appeal against Russian athletes being cleared of doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Lawyer Christof Wieschemann says in a statement "Alexander Legkov can rightly claim: 'My medals are clean!' Congratulations."
The IOC had stripped Legkov of his gold medal in 50-kilometer freestyle and silver in the 4x10-kilometer relay.
Probe of IOC’s Takeda hangs over Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO (AP) — A month ago, Tsunekazu Takeda was warmly applauded by 1,400 Olympic dignitaries as he spoke alongside International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Tokyo.
A month later, the powerful IOC member and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee is fighting a corruption investigation, suspected by French investigators of authorizing the payment of bribes to help land the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when IOC members voted in 2013.
AP Interview: Milan-Cortina bid can revolutionize Olympics
ROME (AP) — It starts with the name — featuring two cities as opposed to the usual one — and involves venues dotted across a large swath of northern Italy stretching from Milan to the Dolomites.
The Milan-Cortina bid for the 2026 Olympics has the potential to revolutionize the Winter Games and leave a new blueprint for the future.
Bach and IOC: No Olympic city ever as ready as Tokyo
TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach and other International Olympic Committee members are calling Tokyo the best prepared host city in memory.
Still, there are obstacles ahead for the 2020 Games, though small by the standards of the corruption-plagued Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
John Coates, the head of an IOC inspection team, wrapped up three days of meetings in Tokyo on Wednesday and said the city's summer heat is a growing worry.
Samsung signs Olympic sponsorship to 2028 Los Angeles Games
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung has extended its IOC sponsorship deal through the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, making it 30 years of Summer and Winter Games support.
The IOC says the South Korean technology firm will give limited edition phones to all Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The value of the deal was not stated. The IOC's 2017 annual report showed $493 million revenue from 13 top-tier sponsors.
IOC human rights advisory committee to start with 2024 Games
TOKYO (AP) — The IOC has set up an advisory committee on human rights chaired by Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the former U.N. high commissioner for human rights.
President Thomas Bach said Saturday at meetings in the Japanese capital that "human rights standards" will be included in Olympic host-city contracts, beginning with the 2024 Games in Paris.
Whither Olympic boxing: Will it be in Tokyo, or not?
TOKYO (AP) — The International Olympic Committee wants boxing to be held at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That much we know.
But IOC President Thomas Bach could not give an ironclad promise on Saturday that it will happen when the Olympics open in just over 20 months.
"We want to have the boxing tournament in the games in Tokyo and we will make all efforts to have it," said Bach, who was asked several times about it on Saturday as the IOC closed two days of meetings in the Japanese capital.
Race on: It’s Stockholm vs. Milan-Cortina for 2026 Olympics
TOKYO (AP) — After finding it difficult to sell the 2026 Winter Olympics, the IOC finally has two countries that are all in: Sweden and Italy.
It's Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and the self-described capital of Scandinavia, up against a joint Italian bid of Milan — a global fashion capital— and the ski resort of Cortina d' Ampezzo.
IOC President Bach lavishes praise on suspended Sheikh Ahmad
TOKYO (AP) — Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Sabah, who has stepped away temporarily from the presidency of an Olympic umbrella group to fight a criminal court case in Switzerland, was praised by IOC President Thomas Bach on Thursday.
"We have said, first of all, that we respect the decision he took under his own will and we recognize that this decision, his decision, was taken in the interests of all of us," Bach told 1,400 delegates of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
Olympic ‘kingmaker’ Sheikh Ahmad leaves to handle court case
TOKYO (AP) — The corruption case involving a powerful IOC member promised to sow confusion as 206 national Olympic committees — known by the acronym ANOC — started two days of meetings in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Olympic-related meetings overshadowed by corruption charges
TOKYO (AP) — A corruption case involving a powerful International Olympic Committee member is overshadowing meetings this week in Tokyo with local 2020 Olympic organizers, IOC officials, and the heads of 206 national Olympic committees.
Under pressure from a pending criminal trial in Switzerland, Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Sabah stepped down temporarily on Monday as head of the powerful Association of National Olympic Committees — which had been due to re-elect him unopposed on Wednesday.
IOC’s Bach and Abe make brief visit to Fukushima region
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a quick trip Saturday to the region northeast of Tokyo that was devastated by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed three nuclear reactors.
The Fukushima region will hold baseball and softball games during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Milan-Cortina 2026 bid moves forward without gov’t funding
ROME (AP) — IOC president Thomas Bach has given his blessing for Milan's and Cortina d'Ampezzo's bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics to move forward without funding from the Italian government.
The candidacy is being supported exclusively — financially at least — by the regional governments of Lombardy and Veneto.
Patrick Baumann, rising star in Olympic circles, dies at 51
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of basketball's world governing body who was seen as a potential IOC president, has died at the Youth Olympics. He was 51.
Baumann "unexpectedly succumbed to a heart attack" in Buenos Aires despite getting immediate medical help, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said Sunday in a statement.
Boys rescued from Thai cave play friendly match in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The 12 boys and soccer coach from Thailand who were found in a partially flooded cave once again found themselves capturing the media's attention on Sunday.
The team played a friendly match against the prestigious River Plate youth soccer team of Argentina — which was somewhat of a dream come true for the young Thais who want to become professional soccer players.
Sapporo expected to drop out of 2026 Winter Olympic bid race
TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese city of Sapporo is expected to stop pursuing the 2026 Winter Olympics, leaving four possible candidates as the IOC struggles to find hosts — particularly for the Winter Games.
A city official said Deputy Mayor Takatohsi Machida and Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda will meet International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Monday.
Senegal to be 1st African Olympic host at 2022 Youth Games
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Senegal is set to be the first African host of any Olympic Games.
The IOC says its executive board picked Senegal in a four-nation hosting contest for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.
The recommendation is a formality to be approved by International Olympic Committee members. They meet from Oct. 8-9 ahead of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Senegal project is in "Dakar; the new city of Diamniadio; and the coastal resort of Saly," the IOC says.
Indonesia announces surprise bid for 2032 Olympics
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia will bid to host the 2032 Olympics following the success of the Asian Games held there over the past two weeks, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said in a surprise announcement Saturday that highlights the rising ambition of the giant but long underperforming Southeast Asian nation.
Jokowi, who is campaigning for a second term, made the announcement at a meeting in Bogor with the presidents of the International Olympic Committee and the Asian Olympic Committee.
Bach: No Olympic future for esports until ‘violence’ removed
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach isn't certain if, or when, esports might be incorporated into the Olympic Games.
But he was clear in an interview with The Associated Press at the Asian Games on Saturday about the need to meet some conditions before being considered.
IOC disappointed UN won’t grant North Korea sports exemption
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach says he is disappointed the United Nations will not allow sports equipment to be sent to North Korea.
The International Olympic Committee's request was rejected by the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee.
Bach says "this makes it more difficult for the IOC to accomplish its mission to bring athletes from all over the world together to promote understanding and friendship regardless of political background or any other differences."
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Despite two possible bidders dropping out in recent weeks, IOC President Thomas Bach says the Olympic body is satisfied with the 2026 Winter Games hosting race.
Austrian Olympic officials withdrew a project centered on Graz this month, and voters in Switzerland rejected Sion's planned bid last month.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Irena Szewinska, a Polish sprinter who dominated women's athletics for two decades, winning seven Olympic medals, and who later became a member of the International Olympic Committee, has died at 72.
Szewinska's husband and former coach, Janusz Szewinski, said his wife died shortly before midnight Friday in a Warsaw hospital after a battle with cancer.
The Polish news agency PAP on Saturday described Szewinska as the most famous athlete in Polish sports history.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Boxing still risks being kicked out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid concerns over the sport's governing body, the IOC said on Thursday.
The International Boxing Association, known as AIBA, has been in financial turmoil, faced claims of fixed bouts at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, and now has an interim president linked to organized crime.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee will appeal to Switzerland's supreme court against rulings which cleared some Russian athletes of doping sanctions from the Sochi Games.
The Olympic body is "not satisfied at all" by the verdicts and written explanations from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Thursday after an executive board meeting.
NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian Olympic Association says it will bid for three major sporting events — the 2026 Youth Olympics, the 2030 Asian Games and the 2032 Summer Olympics.
The bidding process for the 2026 Youth Olympics is likely to start in 2020. Thailand has also expressed interest in hosting the event.
Addressing a press conference Thursday with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, IOA President Narindra Batra says he expects fierce competition from other bidders.
IOC President Meets With NKorea’s Kim Jong Un
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Friday and said the North Korean leader is committed to having his country participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.
Bach told an Associated Press Television crew that the two had a 30-minute formal meeting followed by 45 minutes of casual discussions while watching a football match Friday afternoon at Pyongyang's May Day Stadium.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach arrived in North Korea on Thursday after playing a key role in allowing it to participate in last month's Pyeongchang Olympic Games in South Korea.
Bach was met at Pyongyang's international airport by North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il Guk and Jang Ung, the country's Olympic committee member.
The day after: Pyeongchang breathes, bids Olympics farewell
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — From volunteers to support staff to the joint Korea women's hockey team, people from many cultures bid farewell to each other and to the 2018 Winter Olympics on Monday as a swath of the eastern Korean Peninsula readied itself for something novel: relative normalcy.
Seven years after a successful Olympic bid that changed its people and its landscape forever, Pyeongchang exhaled.
Bach: Russian doping scandal didn’t stain Winter Olympics
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The massive, state-linked Russian doping scandal didn't stain the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, IOC President Thomas Bach said Sunday.
It was, however, the subject of the vast majority of the questions Bach fielded as the IOC tried to shake the stigma of Russian cheating that has plagued the last three Olympics — Sochi, Rio de Janeiro and now Pyeongchang.
The IOC doesn't want it to touch Tokyo's Summer Olympics in 2½ years.
Bach critic expelled from Olympics after security run-in
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — An IOC member expelled from the Pyeongchang Olympics over a run-in with a security guard is also one of the only members openly critical of President Thomas Bach's move to allow Russian athletes to compete at the games.
Column: Another Olympic city faces a financial calamity
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The glittering new venues not far from the South Korean coast were clearly the place to be on Monday.
Bach on Koreas: ‘Now it’s for politics to take over’
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — President Thomas Bach believes the IOC has done its part in getting North Korea and South Korea together at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Maybe it's time for a new Olympic truce.
Not the biennial declaration that'll be heard again Friday when Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, gives his speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Games in South Korea.
Olympic Games in Africa? A door long shut could be opening
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Other than Antarctica, only one continent on the planet has never hosted an Olympic Games: Africa. Finally, though, that could be about to change.
But there'll be a step to take before that happens: hosting the much smaller Youth Olympic Games in 2022.
IOC President Thomas Bach says a "mini-Olympic event" will be held on the continent, though a specific country has not been selected. The move could signal the possibility of an eventual Olympics in Africa.
Pyeongchang Games set to open with Russians still in doubt
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open in two days, but the issue of which Russians are in — and which are out — is dominating the agenda of IOC President Thomas Bach.
As Bach presides Wednesday over meetings with roughly 100 IOC members, the Court of Arbitration for Sport — sport's top legal body — is expected to decide appeals by 32 Russian athletes seeking spots in the Games.
Contentious IOC meetings kick off with Olympics set to open
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach called it "a lively and spirited debate."
That's an understatement.
With the Winter Olympics set to open in only three days, Bach faced a barrage of criticism — and entrenched support — from roughly 100 International Olympic Committee members on Tuesday over the decision to exclude many Russian athletes from the Pyeongchang Games.
IOC opens 2 days of meeting on eve of Pyeongchang Olympics
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is sure to face questioning with roughly 100 IOC members gathered in frigid South Korea for the start of two days of meetings that will lead up to the opening Friday of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
ICAS’s Coates responds to Bach over IOC concerns
SYDNEY (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it will "thoroughly examine" concerns raised by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach over the court's decision to overturn lifetime doping bans on 28 Russian athletes.
In a statement Monday the president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, Australian John Coates, acknowledged Bach's concerns which will likely lead the IOC to appeal the court's decision.
IOC chief calls CAS ruling ‘extremely disappointing’
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has strongly criticized the midweek ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that lifted Olympic doping bans for 28 Russian athletes, calling it "extremely disappointing and surprising."
"The IOC, we would never have expected this," Bach said Sunday in Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics start Friday. "We feel that this decision shows the urgent need for reforms in the internal structure of CAS."
An Olympic first: Vatican delegation to attend IOC Session
VATICAN CITY (AP) — In an Olympic first, the Vatican has been invited to attend an IOC session next week ahead of the Pyeongchang Games in an observer role.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Friday that Monsignor Melchor Sanchez De Toca Y Alameda of the Pontifical Council for Culture will lead the delegation to the session, a series of meetings where Olympic policies are decided.
Viktor Ahn wants IOC to explain why he can’t go to Olympics
MOSCOW (AP) — Six-time Olympic gold medalist Viktor Ahn wants to know why he has been barred from next month's Pyeongchang Games.
Ahn is a short-track speed skater who was born in South Korea but switched allegiance to Russia ahead of the 2014 Sochi Games. Russian officials say the International Olympic Committee has refused to grant Ahn an invitation amid its vetting of the country's athletes for possible doping links.
Bach wants to avoid post-Olympic Russian doping cases
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Seeking to avoid "negative surprises" about past doping by Russian athletes after they compete at the Pyeongchang Olympics, IOC President Thomas Bach explained Wednesday why invitation rules must be strict.
Bach told reporters in a conference call that only clean athletes with "not the slightest doubt or suspicion" about them should go to the games that open Feb. 9. It is the first Winter Games since the doping-tainted Sochi Olympics in 2014.
IOC says North Korea to have 22 athletes in 5 Olympic sports
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A Korean unity deal for the Pyeongchang Olympics will bring 22 North Korean athletes across the border to South Korea, where they will march as one under a unification flag at the opening ceremony and compete together in one sport.
In the most symbolic agreement approved Saturday, 12 North Korean women's hockey players will join their neighbors in a united roster playing in special uniforms with a Korean song as their anthem.