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AIBA lifts ban on USA Boxing

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On Friday the AIBA, amateur boxing’s international governing body, lifted a three-month ban that was imposed on USA Boxing just last week.

The suspension, which would have canceled all competitions and clinics until January, came after controversial comments belonging to former president Hal Adonis appeared in the New Yorker magazine back in June.

Among those comments published were references to the number of gay women in boxing and connections between sexual abuse and success on the amateur circuit, including that “when kids call me up, I say: ‘Let me ask you an honest question: have your parents ever hit you?’ If they say no, I say: ‘I don’t think you belong in boxing.’”

USA Boxing was also in jeopardy of decertification after the board retained Adonis as a member. He’s since been removed and president Charles Butler pleaded with the AIBA not to punish its 37,000 members for comments of the ex-president, saying that those types of remarks were “foreign to our membership.”

“Our members have dedicated their lives to helping the young men and women of our country get off the streets and change their lives for the better,” Butler continued in a letter to AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo. “Many of these young men and women have become great American Olympic and world champions who are ambassadors for boxing worldwide.”

The AIBA complied with USA Boxing’s request, which means the U.S. will be able to field a team for the Youth World Championships in Armenia next month, but President Wu refused to lift the two-year ban on Adonis.

Damian Lillard added as U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist

Damian Lillard
AP
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Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was added to the list of 30 finalists to make the 12-man U.S. roster for the Olympics, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

Lillard, 25 and a two-time All-Star, did not attend an August camp deemed mandatory for Olympic consideration, but called USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and expressed desire for the Rio Games.

“Both [coach] Mike [Krzyzewski] and I feel like Damian is playing at a very high level and that he should be added to our list of Olympic finalists,” Colangelo said in a press release. “Damian has been a member of the USA National Team since 2014, and he participated in National Team training camps in 2013 and 2014, so he does have equity in USA Basketball, which is always important to me.”

USA Basketball has not said when the final 12-man Olympic team will be named. In 2012, it named its Olympic roster three weeks before the London Games.

The 2012 Olympic roster included three point guards — Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams. Paul and Westbrook are finalists for the 2016 team, but Williams is not.

Other potential first-time Olympic point guards competing with Lillard include NBA MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star John Wall and past All-Star Kyrie Irving.

MORE: Tony Parker updates Olympic qualifying, Rio status

Bob Costas to host Rio Olympic primetime coverage

Bob Costas
AP
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Bob Costas will be the Olympic primetime host for a record 11th time in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Costas, the primetime host at every Olympics on NBC since Barcelona 1992, also served as NBC’s late-night host at Seoul 1988.

“The Olympics are a unique television event,” Costas said in an NBC press release. “They involve classic sports coverage, of course, but also many elements of storytelling and travelogue aspects that are not as much a part of the typical sports broadcast. In a way, the Olympics are a three-week mini-series which, if done well, should bring viewers not only memorable athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.”

NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said “there is no one better than” Costas for the role.

“For a quarter-century, Bob has been NBC’s pilot of primetime at the Olympics, and over that span, the scope of our coverage has constantly evolved, with Rio set to become the most live event in U.S. television history,” Bell said in a press release. “Given his vast experience and uncanny expertise, simply put there is no one better than Bob to tell the stories of the athletes, take our viewers inside the world’s biggest sports event, and introduce them to one of the most spectacular cities on the planet.”

Jim McKay hosted Olympic primetime coverage eight times for ABC.

WATCH: NBC Olympics promo video