Shani Davis, Jae Su Chun

Speedskaters seek expedited investigation against coach

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Nineteen current and former U.S. speedskaters have band together and will request arbitration to expedite the dismissal of short track coach Jae Su Chun, who the team members filed a code of conduct complaint against with U.S. Speedskating (USS) and the USOC for “unchecked abuse.”

The complain alleges a number of incidents involving Chun, including shoving one skater into a wall and repeatedly hitting him, as well as throwing bottles, chairs, binders, and equipment, and calling female athletes “fat,” and “disgusting.” Chun acknowledged the allegations, but claimed he was innocent in a translated statement released Monday.

The athletes are hoping to have Chun, who was put on administrative leave Sunday, and assistants Jun Hyung Yeo and Jimmy Jang removed before the 2012-13 World Cup team is selected on Sept. 30, since World Cup points are directly related to how speedskaters qualify for the Olympics.

However Yeo wasn’t suspended and will step in as interim coach in the meantime, which apparently doesn’t satisfy the skaters’ request.

“The athletes we represent have made known that they will not represent the United States in the upcoming World Cup international competitions if made to participate on a team on which coach Jae Su and/or his two assistant coaches are members, as coaches or in any other capacity,” Edward Williams, the attorney for the skaters, said Monday.

USS communications director, Tamara Castellano, said during a Monday conference call that the governing body hopes to have the investigation done in time for the team trials on Sept. 27 in Salt Lake City.

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium