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Istanbul businesses back the 2020 bid

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Seven of Turkey’s largest companies are offering to sponsor the country in its bid to host the 2020 Summer Games in Istanbul with upwards of $20 million in funding, the largest private backing of a sporting event in the country’s history.

Istanbul is going up against Madrid and Tokyo, the presumed favorite to host the Olympics, in an IOC vote this September in Buenos Aires. It is Istanbul’s fifth time making it to the finals of the bidding process, with recent failures in 2000 and 2008.

“Turkey is one of the most fertile economic environments in Eurasia, and these seven companies typify the innovation, drive and tireless pursuit of excellence that have got us here,” Hasan Arat said.

“Our new National Sponsors bring with them an enormous amount of expertise and experience across a wide range of sectors and their input will be crucial as the campaign progresses. This is the most powerful alliance between the sports community, the business community and every level of government we have ever had.”

The deal was signed during a special dinner hosted by Suat Kiliç, Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, following a meeting held last week at the Prime Minister’s office.

Equestrian horses begin boarding airplanes for Rio Olympics

Olympic horse travel
FEI
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The first group of horses set to compete in the Rio Olympic equestrian events boarded a Boeing 777-F and departed from London’s Stansted Airport on Friday.

In all, 34 horses from 10 nations were part of the first of nine shipments delivering more than 200 horses to Rio. That’s nearly 20 tons of horses on Friday’s shipment alone.

Horses will also depart from Liege, Belgium, and Miami ahead of the Olympic competition.

More information on horse travel to Rio is available here from the International Equestrian Federation.

MORE: Complete U.S. Olympic team roster

Olympic horse travel

Entire Russian weightlifting team banned from Olympics

Weightlifting
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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The International Weightlifting Federation has banned the Russian federation and all its weightlifters from the Rio Olympics.

The IWF said Friday the multiple cases of doping by Russian weightlifters have “seriously damaged” the integrity of the sport. The eight Russian Olympic spots have been offered to other countries.

The IWF said the doping results produced by Russian weightlifters are “extremely shocking and disappointing.”

Russia, China, North Korea and Kazakhstan are the world’s top four weightlifting nations.

MORE: U.S. Olympic weightlifting team complete