Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk believes skateboarding will be added to Olympics

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Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk won’t be around to compete, but he’s been involved in discussions and seems confident skateboarding will become an Olympic sport.

“I don’t know if it’s too definite or not, but I have heard it’s very likely going to be in the 2020 Games,” Hawk told Larry King in an interview aired last week.

The problem with that is the International Olympic Committee set its sport program for the 2020 Olympics last year, keeping wrestling over adding baseball/softball or squash. But the opportunity moving forward remains.

“Under the leadership of the IOC president Thomas Bach the composition of the program, together with a number of other themes, is being discussed as part of a wider reflection on the future of the Olympic movement and its activities,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said, according to ESPN.com. “Key decisions are expected to be made by the end of 2014.”

It’s been reported that baseball/softball could still be added for 2020, if the Olympic Charter is amended. Currently, a rule mandates Olympic sports must be on the Olympic program at the IOC session that elects that Games’ host city. In 2013, the 2020 Olympics were awarded to Tokyo.

But changes could be made.

“If the opportunity exists to make such adjustments to the Olympic Games less than seven years before, I would be in favor,” Bach said in February, according to the Los Angeles Times. “If the IOC, the international federations and the organizing committee agree, the seven-year rule need not apply.”

Hawk would be 52 years old come 2020 and conceded he would be too old to compete. But that’s not dampening his drive.

“If you look at the success of snowboarding in the Winter Games and how that’s brought a more youthful edge to the Olympics in general, they don’t have that with the Summer Games,” Hawk said. “They don’t have anything that’s drawing in a younger viewership.

“To be honest, I think they need skateboarding more than we need them because skateboarding’s popularity is solidified, for the most part, in a lot of countries.”

Could surfing get into the Olympics?

WADA investigates report that 10,000 Chinese athletes doped

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BERLIN (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency is looking into allegations made by a German broadcaster that Chinese athletes benefited from systematic doping in the 1980s and 90s.

“The allegations were brought forward by former Chinese physician, Xue Yinxian, who is said to have looked after several national teams in China during the decades in question,” WADA said Monday.

Xue, who recently arrived in Germany and is seeking political asylum with her son, told broadcaster ARD that more than 10,000 athletes were affected, some as young as 11, and that anyone who was against doping was considered “a danger to the country. And anyone who endangered the country is now in prison.”

The 79-year-old Xue said she lost her job with the national gymnastics team after refusing to treat an athlete with doping substances before the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She said she had not felt safe in her home city of Beijing since 2012, when she first made her allegations of doping. She first started working with China’s national teams in the 1970s.

“In the 1980s and ’90s, Chinese athletes on the national teams made extensive use of doping substances,” she told ARD. “Medals were showered in doping. Gold, silver and bronze. All international medals should be withdrawn.”

WADA said it will examine “whether such a system may have prevailed beyond these decades.”

The first step, WADA said, was for its “independent intelligence and investigations team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.”

Xue, who continued to work at lower levels after being dismissed from the national team in 1988, said she was only approached afterward when athletes developed problems because of the substances they were given.

“One trainer came to me and said, ‘Doctor Xue, the boys’ breasts keep getting bigger,’” Xue said. “These boys were about 13 to 14 years old.”

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PyeongChang Olympic organizers downplay North Korea concern

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ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) — PyeongChang Olympic organizers played down concern over ongoing tensions with North Korea and also say work has been completed on all venues for the Winter Games.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang organizing committee, said the International Olympic Committee has made it very clear that the Feb. 9-25 Winter Games will go ahead as scheduled.

Speaking at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics shortly after the last rehearsal for Tuesday’s official flame-lighting ceremony, Lee said “there is no Plan B.”

Lee said South Korean officials are working closely with all relevant parties to ensure the Winter Games are safe and secure.

He said his main concern for the Olympics is the weather.

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