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Senegal set to host 2022 Youth Olympics, history for Africa

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Senegal is set to become the first African nation to host an Olympic event, recommended by the IOC executive board to host the fourth Youth Olympics in 2022. IOC members are expected to confirm the decision in a host-city vote next month.

Botswana, Nigeria and Tunisia were the other candidates.

IOC president Thomas Bach said in February that the executive board wanted the 2022 Youth Olympics to be held in Africa, a recommendation confirmed by IOC membership days later.

The first Youth Olympics were held in Singapore in 2010, followed by Nanjing, China, in 2014 and Buenos Aires next month.

The Youth Winter Olympics debuted in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012, followed by Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016 and Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2020.

Senegal’s capital of Dakar would share the Games with Diamniadio and Saly.

“It is time for Africa,” Bach said in a press release. “Africa is the home of many successful and prominent Olympic athletes. Africa is a continent of youth. That is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa and to Senegal.”

Senegal owns one Olympic medal, a 400m hurdles silver from the 1988 Seoul Games earned by Amadou Dia Ba.

The closest an African bid came to getting an Olympics came in 2004, when Cape Town, South Africa, finished third behind Athens and Rome.

MORE: Egypt wants to be first African nation to host Olympics

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Athletes, anti-doping leaders issues statement on RUSADA status

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More Olympic athletes and anti-doping leaders have come out in protest of the possible reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping agency.

Members of the athletes committees from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Olympic Committee, along with a group of international anti-doping leaders and a key supporter of a Russian whistleblower, released statements Tuesday urging WADA’s executive committee not to reinstate RUSADA when it meets later this week.

Jim Swartz, a supporter of former Moscow anti-doping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, said “WADA has undermined its own moral and regulatory authority” by proposing a weakened version of the roadmap to bring RUSADA back into compliance.

The agency has been suspended for nearly three years in the wake of what investigators said was a state-sponsored doping scandal designed to win Olympic medals.

The WADA athletes’ group is led by Beckie Scott, who resigned her position on WADA’s compliance review committee after it recommended RUSADA’s reinstatement last week.

Italy’s focus for 2026 bid now on Milan, Cortina d’Ampezzo

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ROME (AP) — Italy’s three-pronged bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics has been reduced to a two-city candidacy featuring Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Following Turin’s exclusion, the Italian Olympic Committee is sending a delegation featuring Milan and Cortina representatives to meet with IOC leaders on Wednesday.

The move comes after government undersecretary and sports delegate Giancarlo Giorgetti told the Senate on Tuesday that the three-city proposal “is dead.”

Turin’s exclusion follows infighting between Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and Turin counterpart Chiara Appendino, who had been arguing over the bid’s leadership and naming rights.

Peliminary bids are due to be presented at IOC meetings in Buenos Aires next month.

“The candidacy needs to be saved, so we’re open to moving forward together,” Veneto region president Luca Zaia and Lombardy region president Attilio Fontana said in a joint statement.

“If Turin is withdrawing, which upsets us, at this point two realities remain, and they are called Veneto and Lombardy. So we are moving forward with the Lombardy-Veneto Olympics.”

Under the revised plan, hockey and speedskating — which had been slotted for venues built for the 2006 Turin Games — would be held in Milan. Alpine skiing would be held in 1956 host Cortina, while biathlon would be slated for nearby Anterselva — a regular stop on the biathlon World Cup circuit.

Three other bids remain in contention for 2026: Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; and Erzurum, Turkey.

The Japanese city of Sapporo dropped its bid on Monday following a recent earthquake.

International Olympic Committee members will pick the host in Milan in October 2019. While IOC rules have long prevented bids from the host country of an IOC session, new rules have created more leeway.

Italy is anxious to bring a bid through the entire process after two Rome candidacies were withdrawn.

Two years ago, Italy was forced to end Rome’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics because of staunch opposition from the city’s mayor. And in 2012, then-premier Mario Monti scrapped the city’s bid for the 2020 Olympics because of financial concerns.