John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

FILA apologizes to IOC about recent protests

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Acting world wrestling chief Nenad Lalovic met with IOC president Jacques Rogge Thursday to discuss wrestling’s aim to get back in the Olympics.

Lalovic said Rogge detailed the tough task ahead of the sport, which was eliminated from the Games in a vote last month, but can earn its spot back through two IOC votes later this year. But now wrestling faces seven other prospective sports all vying to fill 2020’s one vacancy on the schedule.

Lalovic also apologized for the recent protests by three Olympic medalists who have returned their awards, and another that is on a hunger strike.

“I strongly believe it is not good for wrestling,” he said.

New FILA official Aleksandr Karelin – a three-time Olympic Greco-Roman champ – scolded the recent protesters on FILA’s website, posting that the governing body “would like to request each of you to redirect your passions. We appreciate your tenacity and understand that complacency is not in your DNA.

“Nonetheless, returning your gold medal is counterproductive. Before the practice escalates, we urge you to keep your Olympic medals and celebrate your achievement.”

We assume they’ll follow suit, because of his stature in the community and also because of his actual stature as a man. But seriously, he could probably still beat a lot of them up.

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium