IOC says no threat of Olympic suspension for Mexico

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Mexico has avoided any threat of suspension from the Olympics after the IOC found no evidence that the government was interfering in the work of sports federations.

Pere Miro, the IOC’s deputy director general of relations with the Olympic movement, said Tuesday the Mexican government has assured the International Olympic Committee that it respects the autonomy of national sports bodies and will not meddle in their leadership.

The IOC opposes political interference and says governments should respect the autonomy of the Olympic movement.

Mexican sports officials had expressed concern the country could be suspended by the IOC and miss next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro because of a conflict with the government. The sports bodies are facing financial inspections by a national government agency, which is questioning how funds are being spent.

But Miro said the IOC has determined “there is no case” of interference, adding that the government’s request for sports federations to justify their spending was perfectly legitimate.

Miro, speaking on the sidelines of an IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne, said he would report his findings to the board on Wednesday.

In late October, the IOC suspended Kuwait’s national Olympic committee over government interference, leaving the gulf country’s athletes in limbo for the Rio Games.

But Miro said Mexico was not in the same situation.

“We don’t believe there is an important problem or a conflict with the Olympic Charter or autonomy,” he said. “The government has requested to some national federations to justify the money the government has given to them. That is more than legitimate. This is completely fine.”

The only concern was not with “facts,” but with some statements by government officials suggesting that they could replace some sports federation leaders, Miro said.

“This they cannot do,” he said. “This would be interference in the autonomy.”

Alfredo Castillo, head of Mexico’s National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports, has been critical of the Olympic Charter, calling it “the best invention that has been created to avoid monitoring of how public money is spent.”

Miro said there has been an exchange of letters between the IOC and a high-level Mexican minister in charge of sports, who told the Olympic body that the government would continue questioning sports spending but would also “respect completely the autonomy.”

“The letter of the minister is very satisfactory.” Miro said. “If they act as they say, for us it’s absolutely fine.”

The IOC has asked the president of the Mexican Olympic Committee and the secretary general of the Pan American Sports Organization to mediate in case of any dispute between the government and sports bodies.

Mexico won the men’s soccer gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, beating Brazil 2-1 in the final. Mexico won a total of seven medals, including three silver and three bronze.

Miro said there has been no progress on the situation in Kuwait. If the suspension is not lifted before the Rio Games, Kuwaiti athletes will not be eligible to represent their country. In the past, the IOC has allowed athletes from suspended countries to compete as “individual athletes” under the Olympic flag.

Negotiations on government interference in Pakistan have progressed “in a very good way,” Miro said, adding that he would announce a positive result on Wednesday.

MORE: Mexico’s history at the Olympics

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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