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IOC to discuss awarding Olympics to both Los Angeles, Paris

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If the 2024 and 2028 Olympics are to both be awarded this summer, then June 9 is a key date.

The International Olympic Committee executive board will meet in three weeks to discuss possible changes to the Olympic host city bidding process.

The board will hear a report from four IOC vice presidents commissioned in March to look at choosing the host cities for both the 2024 and 2028 Olympics this summer.

The 15-member executive board meeting could lead to an IOC members vote in July to formally accept a 2024-2028 Olympic host city double vote in September.

Currently, only the 2024 Olympic host city is to be determined this summer, via an IOC members vote Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.

The two remaining 2024 finalists, Los Angeles and Paris, received praise from an IOC evaluation commission during visits the previous two weeks. Boston, Budapest, Hamburg and Rome previously dropped bids.

Los Angeles and Paris could both be awarded Olympics this summer, with one receiving 2024 and the other 2028. A Paris bid leader has said it would not accept the 2028 Olympics. Los Angeles repeats that it is focusing on 2024 but has not ruled out accepting 2028.

The IOC last determined two Olympic host cities at once in 1921, when the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Games were awarded, according to Olympstats.com.

Los Angeles hopes to become the first U.S. Olympic host city since Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Games and Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Games. That would end the longest U.S. drought between hosting Olympics since the 28-year gap between Los Angeles 1932 and the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Games.

If the 2024-2028 double vote happens, Los Angeles and Paris will join London as the only cities to host three Olympics. Los Angeles hosted in 1932 and 1984. Paris hosted in 1900 and 1924. One of the major selling points of Paris’ 2024 bid has been marking the centennial of its 1924 Games.

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Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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