India reinstated; Kenyan government relents

IOC Reinstates India at Sochi

It is relatively quiet in sports legal news today, but there are a few articles worth mentioning. If you watched the Opening Ceremonies at Sochi, you may have noticed India’s flag – scratch that – India holding a flag that was not their country’s flag. That’s because India’s athletes marched under an International Olympic Committee (IOC) flag. In December 2012, the IOC suspended the Indian Olypmic Association violating one of its rules in electing Lalit Bhanot, “who spent 11 months in jail on corruption charges.” India became stubborn, and refused to change, despite IOC demands. Under the IOC rules, “no person convicted or charge-framed can run for a position within an organization.” Not only did the Indian Association allow Bhanot run, but he was elected. Therefore, the IOC banned the Indian Olympic Association from allowing Indian athletes to compete in the Olympics under the Indian flag.

The Indian Association voted in Narayna Ramachandran, president of the World Squash Federation, as the new president. In response, IOC uplifted the suspension yesterday, allowing India to raise its flag in the Olympic Village. Now, the three Indian athletes competing in the Winter Games may raise the Indian flag in the Olympic village, as well as walk proudly with its flag in the closing ceremonies. The decision to uplift the suspension during the Olympic Games is a first, and ends the nearly one year ban.

Kenyan Government Provides More Funds 

Switching continents, we arrive in Africa – more specifically, Kenya – a country which has appeared in the news numerous times for the administrative quagmire in which it is stuck. Yesterday, the Kenyan government extended a hand in pulling the taskforce out of its predicament by offering more funding to the taskforce in its review of doping allegations of Kenyan athletes. WADA’s renewed pressures will go a long way in helping Kenya to achieve its goal. With the additional funding provided, Sports Minister Hassan Wario believes that they will publish its final report before the end of March.

The American Distance Project, a non-profit Colorado Springs-based organization in existence since 2011, won a $25,000 grant at Running USA’s Hall of Champions Dinner & Auction last night. The grant money will help U.S. elite distance athletes compete in the biggest competitions all over the world, including the prestigious Millrose Mile set for the upcoming weekend.

Mike Rutt, anchor leg of the 4×800 meter relay team which nearly broke the world breaking performance last weekend in Boston, signed with Hoka One One yesterday. Rutt, who runs for the New Jersey / New York Track Club, was a finalist in the 2012 Indoor World Championships in the 800 meter run, as well as earning four All-American accolades when he competed for the University of Connecticut. Hoka One One, founded in 2009, designed shoes originally for ultrarunners. In 2012, Deckers Outdoor Corp. took over the brand, and now is expanding their shoe line to all types of runners.

If you are a marathoner looking to explore supplements to help your training, avoid purchasing branched-chain amino acid supplements. In the journal Amino Acids, researchers discovered that branched-chain amino acids did not lead to postponing fatigue in distance runners. Finally, do not expect to see CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi of the Cleveland Browns next season – they are stepping down.

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