Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports

Russia sets laws against Sochi scalpers

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The Russian parliament’s upper house passed a bill Wednesday calling for upwards of $30,000 fines for anyone caught scalping tickets to the Sochi Games.

Fines would start at five or ten times the face value of the ticket for individuals trying to gain profit off a small number of tickets. The heaviest fines would come into play if the scalping was done on a large scale level, or as a business.

“We as Olympic organizers have an obligation under our contract with the International Olympic Committee to prevent speculative price hikes for hotels and Olympic tickets,” organizing committee head Alexander Zhukov said at a press conference.

Zhukov added that that room prices in Sochi will also be capped during the Games, respective to certain hotel categories, so that owner’s don’t price-out fans coming to see the events.

The bill still needs to be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, which is likely to come only after he explains how the inspiration for the myth of Santa came from this one time he gave a boy a present.

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic venue progress video

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The next Olympics, the Pyeongchang Winter Games, are in 530 days.

Organizers of the first Winter Olympics in South Korea published a time-lapse video of venue construction on Thursday.

The video shows updates for the main coastal Olympic Park, including short- and long-track speed skating, figure skating and hockey arenas, the sliding center in the mountains and the Olympic Plaza, which will house the Olympic Stadium for Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

As NBC News reported, one concern is a potential lack of natural snow, which 2010 and 2014 Winter Games organizers had to deal with as well. Man-made snow is always a safety-net option.

MORE: Pyeongchang 2018 mascots unveiled

Italian track meet near earthquake canceled to focus on recovery

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An annual track and field meet in Rieti, Italy, about 40 to 50 miles from the hardest-hit areas from Wednesday’s earthquake and aftershocks that have killed at least 267 people, has been canceled in order to devote resources to recovery.

The meet was due to take place Sept. 11.

The Rieti athletics meeting has been held every year since 1971, highlighted by recent men’s world records in the 100m (Asafa Powell, 2007) and the 800m (David Rudisha, 2010).

Meet director Sandro Giovannelli said €60,000 (or about $68,000) generated from the Rieti meet the last three years would be contributed toward earthquake reconstruction efforts.

MORE: U.S. Olympic sprinter turns to bobsled