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Australia to bid for 2032 Olympics

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia’s Queensland state will bid to host to the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters Monday.

Palaszczuk said her cabinet had given its approval to advancing a bid and Australia prime minister Scott Morrison said his government was on board. Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese said his Labour party also backs the bid.

Australia hosted the Olympics twice before in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Queensland’s capital is Brisbane.

“Cabinet has this morning given the go-ahead to moving to the next level,” Palaszczuk said.

She said Queensland had a potential advantage over other bidders because 80 percent of the venues were already in place. The Gabba ground, famous as an international cricket venue, could host the Opening Ceremony of the Games, which take place from July 23 to Aug. 8.

“That means we do not need to build huge stadiums we will not need into the future,” Palaszczuk said.

“In terms of the Opening Ceremony, we have not discounted the use of the Gabba. We believe we could put on quite a show at the Gabba.”

Estimates released in May put the cost of hosting the games at $3.6 billion. But financial consultants KPMG estimated the Games could return $4.9 billion in benefits to Queensland.

Olympic cost estimates are notoriously low and usually soar three or four times over estimates. Economic benefits are also unclear and often small, if they exist at all.

The Australian Olympic Committee welcomed the announcement Monday.

“We know the business community recognizes the economic benefits that will flow, but it is vitally important that the community is kept fully informed,” John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee, said.

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Does Lance Armstrong believe doping contributed to cancer?

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Lance Armstrong said on Sunday’s ESPN film “Lance” that he didn’t know whether he got testicular cancer because of his doping in the early-to-mid 1990s.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “And I don’t want to say no because I don’t think that’s right, either. I don’t know if it’s yes or no, but I certainly wouldn’t say no. The only thing I will tell you is the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season [before being diagnosed with moderate to advanced cancer in October 1996]. So just in my head, I’m like ‘growth, growing, hormones and cells.’ Like, if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it, too, would grow?”

Armstrong was asked a similar question by Oprah Winfrey in his January 2013 doping confession.

“Do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?” Winfrey asked.

“I don’t think so,” Armstrong said then. “I’m not a doctor, I’ve never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally, but I don’t believe so.”

That was not the first time doping and cancer were part of the same conversation.

Teammate Frankie Andreu and then-fiancee Betsy said that Armstrong told a doctor on Oct. 27, 1996, at Indiana University Hospital that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs; EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Armstrong said he probably began doping at age 21, in 1992 or 1993.

“I remember when we were on a training ride in 2002, Lance told me that [Michele] Ferrari [the infamous doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs] had been paranoid that he had helped cause the cancer and became more conservative after that,” former teammate Floyd Landis said in 2011, according to Sports Illustrated.

TIMELINE: Lance Armstrong’s rise and fall

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Cortina requests to postpone Alpine skiing worlds from 2021 to 2022

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The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year’s world Alpine skiing championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup Finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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