Talks about pro players participating in Sochi among the NHL, IIHF, and IOC are slow and going as the sides try to negotiate a way for the NHL to be compensated for the disruption that a two-week break causes in their season, not to mention the risk of injury to its players.
The NHL is asking for additional video rights and other considerations, but the IOC is trying to avoid setting a precedent that they might possibly have to extend to other leagues, most notably the NBA, which has begrudgingly allowed its players to participate in the Summer Games since 1992.
Basically the NHL is asking for the right to show Olympic video across all its platforms, including the NHL Network, NHL.com, and even arena Jumbotrons. It seems like a small concession, but use of video, like Sidney Crosby winning his gold in Vancouver, typically comes at a high premium for all involved leagues and the IOC doesn’t want to forfeit that.
Of course, the NHL might also be asking for additional financial compensation or increased prerequisites for participating, according to the New York Times, but IIHF President Rene Fasel said those requests are basically null and void because “We do not have the money, and it is very easy.” Well then.
Former IOC Vice President Dick Pound previously said it would be “cosmically stupid for the NHL not to participate” since the Olympics exposure for the NHL was so monumental during the last four Winter Olympics due to great games between historic rivals like the U.S and Canada. And even though it may take time, TSN’s Bob McKenzie called it “all but a forgone conclusion.” Let’s just hope he’s right.
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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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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