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Entries in IOC (3)

Wednesday
Feb132013

International Olympic Committee Drops Wrestling from 2020 Games

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/GettyImages(LAUSANNE, Switzerland) -- The International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that it would be dropping freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, beginning with the 2020 Summer Games.

The reason for the decision was not made clear by the IOC, whose 15-member executive board ousted wrestling from Olympic competition via secret ballot.

However, there is plenty of speculation regarding what was behind the controversial decision to exclude one of the most traditional Olympic sports.

For some time, the IOC has talked of reducing the size of the Summer Games as well as making it appear more relevant to a younger audience.  Olympic-style wrestling is not a well-publicized sport in the U.S., which is dwarfed by the more entertainment-driven professional wrestling.

Mike Moyer, executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, says the move will hurt Team USA.  Moyer says wrestling has been one of the top medal count sports for the U.S. over the past several Olympics, and the IOC decision will definitely cost America some medals.

There is the possibility that the IOC could reinstate wrestling when it votes in May to add another athletic event, but the chances of that are one in seven. Seven other sports -- including baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu -- are up for the slot.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul252012

Europe’s Last Dictator Barred from London Olympics

NIKOLAI PETROV/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Who is blocking Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko from attending the London Olympics? That’s what the head of Russia’s Olympic Committee wants to know after the man dubbed Europe’s Last Dictator did not receive permission to travel there for the games.

“The organizing committee in London did not give accreditation to National Olympic Committee President Alexander Lukashenko. Isn’t sports outside politics?” Alexander Zhukov wrote on his Twitter account, according to Russian news reports.

RIA Novosti reports that the International Olympic Committee and London organizers both denied barring Lukashenko from attending.

However, now the British Embassy in Minsk, Belarus’ capital, has confirmed that Lukashenko was denied permission to enter the country because he is one of several Belarusian officials banned from entering the European Union, part of the sanctions against them for human rights abuses.

“President Alexander Lukashenko is on the list of persons prohibited from entering the EU. This prohibition will continue to operate during the Olympic Games,” a spokesman for the embassy told Russia’s Interfax news agency, adding that the decision will not change.

So far Belarusian officials have offered no comment.

The sanctions on Lukashenko and other Belarusian officials were imposed after authorities cracked down on a protest movement last year.

Lukashenko reportedly dispatched his country’s Olympic team to London with a goal to win 25 medals, including 5 golds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug032011

Security Firm Uncovers International Cyber Siege

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Major companies and organizations have been under a sustained international cyber attack for several years, according to a report released Wednesday by McAfee.

Investigators for the security firm say the intruders have been in operation for five years and targeted sensitive data from U.S. military, corporate, and other systems.

The cyber spying investigation dubbed "Operation Shady Rat" uncovered a number of groups under siege from the hacking effort, including the United Nations, natural gas companies, a Florida real estate company, the government of Taiwan, and International Olympic Committee.

McAfee officials say 49 of the 72 organizations affected by the cyber attack were based in the U.S.

“We’re facing a massive transfer of wealth in the form of intellectual property that is unprecedented in history,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s vice president of threat research. “Even we were surprised by the enormous diversity of the victim organizations and were taken aback by the audacity of the perpetrators.”

Alperovitch also stirred speculation as to who might be responsible for the attack in saying McAfee believes one "state actor" was behind the intrusion because, "there is likely no commercial benefit to be earned from such hacks." Vanity Fair, which broke a story on the cyber siege, reports security experts the magazine consulted all pointed fingers at China.

McAfee says it became aware of the breach of security in March and released the 14-page report after working with the targeted organizations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio