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USOC looks at bids for 2024, 2026

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For the USOC, It’s time to get serious about bringing the Olympics back to American soil.

The USOC held a meeting Thursday regarding the 2024 and 2026 Games, and said it will start exploring which Olympics they’ll prepare to go all-in on, and which city will get its support.

“We’re going to view 2013 as more informational, if you will,” CEO Scott Blackmun told the Associated Press. “We’ll be smarter at the end of the year than we are in the beginning. But we don’t expect to make substantive announcements in 2013.”

Los Angeles, Dallas, and Tulsa have all expressed strong interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Games, with New York, San Francisco, and Chicago also seemingly interested after recent failed bids.

Salt Lake City, which in 2002 was the last city to host an American Olympics, wants another winter go ’round in 2026, and could do it at a low cost since it already has most of the necessary venues and infrastructure in place, but Reno/Tahoe and Denver also want to host.

Whichever city gets the go-ahead, the USOC would like to make the domestic battle in-expensive. Chicago spent roughly $10 million in the lead up to being the first city eliminated as host of the 2016 Games.

“We definitely recognize that we want to have a more cost-effective process this time around than we’ve had in the past. It needs to be a little more informal, a little less expensive.”

MLB Players Association head says ‘continuing dialogue’ about 2020 Olympics

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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says it will be difficult for big leaguers to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball returns to Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 — in the middle of baseball’s season.

“There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved,” Tony Clark said Thursday at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp.

In 2008, players on major league 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The U.S. roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg, now with the Washington Nationals.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don’t know,” Clark said. “One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see. We haven’t had that kind of substantive sit down yet.”

Many players are preparing for the fourth edition of World Baseball Classic, an international tournament launched in 2006 that is co-owned by Major League Baseball and the union. Clark hopes to see a fifth edition in 2021.

“I see no reason at this point why it wouldn’t,” he said. “I’m hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we’re in now.”

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MORE: Some 2020 Olympic baseball games set 150 miles from Tokyo

Lance Armstrong’s $100 million trial set for November

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 20:  Lance Armstrong (C) heads out with cyclists on December 20, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The disgraced Tour de France rider is in New Zealand to film a commercial, and put out a call on social media for local riders to join him on a ride along the Auckland Waterfront.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.

The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.

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