IOC inquiry into torture in Iraq
Lausanne: The IOC is investigating allegations that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s eldest son — who heads his country’s Olympic association — tortured and jailed athletes, an official said on Monday.
“We’ve received the complaint and we’re dealing with it,” IOC Ethics Commission official Paquerette Girard Zappelli said.
She said she could not comment further while the inquiry was under way.
In December, the London-based human rights group Indict demanded that the IOC expel the Iraqi national Olympic committee from its ranks.
Citing witness statements by exiled Iraqi athletes and United Nations reports, Indict claimed Saddam’s son, Uday, once made a group of track athletes crawl on newly poured asphalt while they were beaten, and ordered that some be thrown off a bridge.
The group also alleged Uday ran a special prison for sportsmen who offended him.
ITF’s new rating system
Melbourne: Aiming to help tennis players around the world find good matches, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) started a new rating system on Monday.
The system of ratings from 1 (beginner) to 10 (professional tour level) was adopted immediately by Australia. The ITF said it expected that very soon, the vast majority of players worldwide would have an International Tennis Number (ITN) rating.It said fewer than 20 nations now have rating systems, and these would remain alongside the ITN system.
“It will help to increase participation throughout the world by helping social or competitive level players to match their skills with others of a similar ability,” said ITF president Ricci Bitti. Ratings can be revised based on results in competition, the ITF said.
Rio De Janeiro: Veteran striker Romario was injured warming up as the new-look Brazilian season made a lukewarm start at the weekend.
The 36-year-old, who signed a new one-year contract last week with Fluminense, pulled out of his side’s opening home game in the Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) season against Olaria after feeling a pain in his right leg during pre-match exercises.
England’s push bears fruit
London: England have forced the International Badminton Federation (IBF) into an extraordinary general meeting over the sport’s scoring system which they say discriminates against women.
In doubles matches, women now play the best of three, first to 11 (3x11) as opposed to the men’s 3x15.
Officials will defy the IBF by using the traditional way at the English national meet starting on January 31. It voted to revert to the old 3x15 in the men’s singles and doubles, but made the women’s singles and women’s and mixed doubles 3x11.
Zagreb: Injury-stricken former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic said on Sunday he hoped to compete in the 2004 Athens Olympics and to carry the Croatian flag once again.The 31-year-old , who has not competed in over a year after undergoing shoulder surgery in May 2002, told the daily Vjesnik, competing in Athens had become a goal for him.
Dhaka: Former coach Gordon Greenidge has joined the Bangladesh team’s tour of Namibia ahead of the cricket World Cup, an official said on Monday. “Greenidge has already joined the team in Namibia to help coach Mohsin Kamal as a consultant, but only for a short period,” an official said.
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