MONACO (AP):The global association of Olympic athletes says it’s unfair that all Russia’s track and field athletes have been banned from international competition because of allegations of state-sponsored doping.The World Olympians Association (WOA) calls for an “urgent solution” that allows athletes who have not been involved in doping to be able to compete.The WOA issued a statement yesterday saying clean athletes should “have their rights and their reputations protected and honoured”.Russia’s athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF following a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel that detailed widespread doping. The sanction could keep Russian track and field athletes out of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.The WOA suggests that athletes from suspended countries who have clean doping records could undergo “extraordinary testing sessions” clearing them to compete.The WOA has ties to Russia through its patron, Prince Albert of Monaco, who has vacationed in the past with Russian President Vladimir Putin. WOA president Joel Bouzou is an adviser to Prince Albert and received a Russian state medal in 2012.
Long-time sponsor FLOW Foundation increased its sponsorship package to 28 high schools, colleges and university teams heading to the upcoming Penn Relays, which will be held at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States. Four million and 30 thousand dollars ($4,030,000) has been shelled out by the telecoms giant, who has added four additional schools to its numbers, marking a 16 per cent increase in sponsorship. FLOW, which previously operated under the name LIME, returned for the 23rd consecutive year as the sponsor of local teams heading to the world renowned relays carnival which will be staged from April 28-30. Errol Miller, executive chairman of the FLOW Foundation, described the contribution as “the high point of our activities”. “We have been supporting the teams going off to the Penn Relays long before everyone of these high schoolers were born,” he joked, adding that amid inflation, FLOW continues to give young Jamaicans a platform through sports. “I want to encourage you on two thing. One, it’s about being good ambassadors for Jamaica. There are a lot of negatives out there about Jamaica, but as the governor general said, there is nothing wrong with Jamaica than what is right that Jamaica can’t fix; and you are the people, the standard bearers as our young people going out there to represent Jamaica,” charged Miller. Albert Corcho, principal of many-time ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ Championship winners Calabar High, issued thanks on behalf of the athletes, whom he described as “stakeholders”. “I am so happy as I speak Mr Miller. On behalf of the entire school population, I think as principals, we all know how hard it is to fund these trips that you can’t budget for,” said Corcho. “The ministry (education) will tell you that you cannot put a Penn Relays trip in your budget. They will not approve the budget, so we have to find creative ways, and I think what FLOW has done in the last 23 years has come on board in a very big way to help the schools to offset this huge cost,” he observed. The schools benefiting this year are: Ardenne High, Calabar High, Camperdown High, Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), Cornwall College, Edwin Allen High, Excelsior High, Herbert Morrison Technical, Holmwood Technical, Hydel High, Immaculate Conception, Jamaica College, Kingston College, Munro College, Papine High, Spalding High, St Catherine High, St Elizabeth Technical High School, St Jago High, Greater Portmore High, Petersfield High, Green Island High, Bellefield High, The Queen’s School and Vere Technical. High schools sponsored for the first time by the foundation are Greater Portmore, Petersfield, Green Island and Bellefield. Tertiary institutions also supported are the University of Technology, G.C. Foster College and the University of the West Indies, who were assisted by the Foundation for the first time. PLATFORM THROUGH SPORTS