Tag Archives: moynihan

Why can”t the R&A see sense on women members? – Derek Lawrenson

If Augusta can see sense on women members, why can't the R&A

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 12 November 2012


Open season: R&A chief executive Peter Dawson will be under fire

Open season: R&A chief executive Peter Dawson will be under fire

Watching grown men defend the indefensible is never a comfortable experience and so it was with Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National, at the Masters this year.

One minute he was waxing lyrical about all the initiatives the club were doing to grow ‘the great game of golf.’ The next he was being skewered by a very reasonable question: ’If you’re that keen on growing the game, why haven’t you got any women or junior members’

Let’s say this about Mr Payne. Sure, he squirmed and shifted in his seat and tried to save face, like so many of his predecessors. But here’s the difference. He then went away and made sure he was never put in such a position again. A month later, the first two women members were invited to join the club and Billy Payne had put right the obvious hypocrisy.

Now we come to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. They are already bracing themselves for unfavourable headlines next year. A men-only club taking The Open to another men-only establishment in Muirfield At least over the past week they’ve had a warm-up, as one former Minister of Sport in Colin Moynihan and then present incumbent Hugh Robertson laid into them over their anachronistic stance.

Breakthrough: Augusta National, home of the Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson in April, have now admitted women members

Breakthrough: Augusta National, the world-famous home of the Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson in April, have now admitted women members

Peter Dawson, the R&A’s chief executive, believes this subject to be simply a Press obsession, that most golfers couldn’t give two hoots, and he’s at least partly right. Most golfers couldn’t care less.

But it doesn’t make the R&A’s stance right. There’s no hiding from the fact it is embarrassing for the sport to have a governing body who don’t have any women members, and that will not change until the R&A do. It’s all well and good to allow juniors to attend The Open for free but what message are you sending out if you then take the event to clubs that don’t allow juniors to join

And so next summer, like so many before it, we’ll watch grown men defend the indefensible – and pray silently for the day when the R&A finally comes up with its own Billy Payne.

Another side to the glamour game

‘Rory McIlroy leads a galaxy of stars to Hong Kong’ proclaimed the main headline on the European Tour’s website on Monday. He also leads a cavalcade of dead men walking.

No disrespect to the leading players like Rory at either the Hong Kong Open or the South African Open being played at the same time on another continent this week, but these final full-field events of the regular season are all about the men at the other end of the table.

Men like the English trio, Tommy Fleetwood, Jamie Elson and Richard Bland, all within agonising touching distance of the top 115 who keep their cards for next year but in need of a good last week to seal the deal.

Last year in Hong Kong I sat in a courtesy car with two of the fallen, Nick Dougherty and Oliver Wilson, and the devastation they were feeling at missing out was plain.

No-one would seek to minimise the pressure that McIlroy so adeptly copes with as the world’s No 1. But that is surely a nice kind of pressure. Down among those worried about keeping their jobs, the pressure exerted by a game that is supposed to be all about relaxation must be hell.

Quote of the Week

’When Luke Donald won both money lists last year we thought “how good was that” Now Rory has done it and won a second major as well at the age of 23. The sky really is the limit.’

Eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie eloquently sums the feelings of a sport regarding the extraordinary Rory McIlroy.

Remarkable talent: Life just gets better and better for Rory McIlroy

Remarkable talent: Life just gets better and better for Rory McIlroy

Challenge Tour goes East

The Middle East has become such a vital part of the regular European Tour over the past two decades it is surprising that no event is staged in the region on the Challenge Tour.

That will all change next year when the Sultanate of Oman joins the party, with the National Bank of Oman Classic becoming the penultimate event, complete with a very respectable 200,000 prize fund.

One nice thing about the tournament is that there will be a reciprocal arrangement with five other Challenge Tour events during the season whereby promising Arab National players, both amateur and professional, will have the opportunity to gain some invaluable experience.

Beljan's Miracle moment

They say the traditional closing event on the US Tour might not take place next year, which would be a great shame. ‘Where Dreams Come True,’ declares the slogan outside the gates at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and so it has proved these past two years at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

Last year, Luke Donald complemented the fireworks seen at the Disney theme parks with some of his own, as he won the final event when nothing else would do if he were to clinch the US Tour money list.

Fairytale: Charlie Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Classic

Fairytale: Charlie Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Classic

This time it was 28-year-old American Charlie Beljan making the headlines. On Friday, he was rushed to hospital after suffering a panic attack on the course that left him fearing he might die. Two days later he was in heaven all right, as he claimed his maiden victory to end all thoughts of anxiety for at least the next two years.

‘You never know what’s going to happen in this game or this game of life,’ he said. ‘You just keep plugging away.’

Keep plugging way like this, Charlie, and you might even become that rarest of creatures. A famous Beljan.

Royal and Ancient Golf Club must "get real" and allow women members, says Lord Moynihan

Royal and Ancient Golf Club must 'get real' and allow women members, says Lord Moynihan

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 8 November 2012

Lord Moynihan has told the Royal and Ancient Golf Club that it is time to 'get real' and allow women to become members.

'It should be an embedded
characteristic of 21st century sport, especially when you see the
contribution the athletes make,' said the outgoing chairman of the
British Olympic Association.

Traditions: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club

Traditions: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club

'It is remarkable that Augusta has changed, but the Royal and Ancient is still there having not entitled and allowed complete equality of opportunity for women in this country.'

The Royal and Ancient, based at St Andrews, was founded in 1754. Sportsmail revealed earlier this year that the Augusta National had lifted their ban on women.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Lord Moynihan added: 'Let's get real and let's get on with the job of providing equality of opportunity across sports, sports administration as well as sporting opportunity.'

Augusta made the decision to
admit its first two female members in August – one of whom was Condoleezza Rice,
the former US Secretary of State.

Over
the past 80 years, the home of the Masters has played host to some of
the greatest golf ever played. But it has also been a bastion of
bigotry, racism and sexism and now the last of these has gone the way of
the first two.

'This is a
joyous occasion,' said Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, raising
the question that if the membership consider it that joyous, why on
earth did it take them so long

Now pressure has fallen on the Royal and
Ancient and other men-only British clubs that host The Open, such as
Muirfield and Royal St George's, to follow suit.

Rather sensibly, Augusta has admitted
two female members rather than have one subjected to the taunt of
tokenism. South Carolina financier Darla Moore was the other new member.

ends

Lord Sebastian Coe elected BOA chairman

Coe elected unopposed as new BOA chairman after opponent Leman withdraws from contest

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 16 October 2012

Sebastian Coe will be elected unopposed to be the next British Olympic Association chairman after his only opponent withdrew from the contest.

Richard Leman, the head of British hockey, had faced an almost impossible task against Lord Coe after the success of the London 2012 Games.

It means Coe will be elected unopposed on November 7 to succeed Lord Moynihan at the helm of the BOA.

Coe looked unbeatable on the back of delivering the London Olympics and will have immense pulling power to bring in sponsors to aid the cash-strapped BOA.

New role: Lord Sebastian Coe

New role: Lord Sebastian Coe

Leman had canvassed opinion from leading figures in the British Olympic movement, most of whom advised him to withdraw gracefully.

Leman, an Olympic gold medal-winner in men's hockey at the 1988 Seoul Games, said: 'Recognising the unique circumstance in which we find ourselves in having the person who led the organisation and delivery of what is widely regarded as the most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in history standing for election as our next chair, I have decided to put my full support behind Seb Coe and his candidacy.

'The opportunities and challenges we face during the next four years are unprecedented, and from my position as a member of board of directors, I will continue to work closely with our next chair, my colleagues on the board, the national Olympic committee and our staff to meet those challenges.

Summer of success: Coe launches the Paralympic Wall at the Athletes' Village

Summer of success: Coe launches the Paralympic Wall at the Athletes' Village

'Having had the opportunity to compete for Team GB at the Olympic Games, I have always viewed my service to the BOA as an opportunity to give something back to British sport by making certain subsequent generations of athletes benefit from the same life-changing experiences I enjoyed.'

Leman is now expected to stand for a BOA vice-chairman position next year.

Moynihan, understood to have initially encouraged Leman to stand, said: 'The British Olympic Association is in the enviable position of being able to attract accomplished leaders such as Richard Leman and Seb Coe to serve on its board.

'It is with leadership of this calibre that the BOA is well-placed to build upon its recent successes and continue making an important difference for British athletes as they pursue their Olympic dreams.'

Sebastian Coe will stand to be chairman of the British Olympic Association

Olympics king Coe confirms he will stand for BOA chairman role

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UPDATED:

16:51 GMT, 10 September 2012

Sebastian Coe has confirmed he will stand to be the next chairman of the British Olympic Association.

Lord Coe, the London 2012 chairman, said he had been approached to stand as the successor to Colin Moynihan by the BOA committee appointed to draw up a list of candidates.

Coe said: 'I have been approached and I am happy for my name go to forward.'

Proud: Sebastian Coe waves to athletes during the parade on Monday

Proud: Sebastian Coe waves to athletes during the parade on Monday

Future: Lord Coe (right) could become the new chairman of the BOA

Future: Lord Coe (right) could become the new chairman of the BOA

More to follow.

London 2012 Olympics: Lord Moynihan steps down as BOA chairman

Going out on a high: Lord Moynihan to step down as BOA chairman

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UPDATED:

13:32 GMT, 13 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Lord Moynihan is stepping down as chairman of the British Olympic Association.

Moynihan, who has helped steer Team GB to 29 golds and third place in the medal table at the London 2012 Olympics, has written to the the BOA executive board, the National Olympic Committee and the BOA advisory board to confirm his decision.

He intends to stay on as chairman until an election is held in November to find a successor.

Stepping down: Lord Moynihan announced his decision on Monday

Stepping down: Lord Moynihan announced his decision on Monday

A BOA spokesman said: 'Lord Moynihan
has decided that he is going to step down as chairman of the BOA once a
successor is elected to the position later this year.'

He revealed that his priorities include a smooth handover to his successor and ensuring there is a strong sports policy so the momentum from the Games is not lost.

In his letter, Lord Moynihan wrote: 'Firstly, I want to congratulate you all on a magnificent Olympic Games and to thank you for all that you have done to ensure their success.

'The last two weeks have united and inspired the whole country and have surpassed all expectations.

'I am enormously proud to be able to say that with your help, Team GB has not only succeeded at London 2012, it has excelled.

Success story: Team GB won 65 medals

Success story: Team GB won 65 medals

'The years of hard work and preparation undertaken by everyone at the BOA have paid historic dividends through the delivery of so many outstanding personal bests by our athletes.

'After their incredible performances, securing an historic third place for Team GB in the medal table, the 541 athletes of Team GB truly deserve to be called our “greatest team ever”.

'The Prime Minister's announcement that funding for our Olympic athletes is now guaranteed for the next four years in the run-up to Rio represents the successful culmination of our campaign for secured lottery funding.

'It means that our athletes' success in Beijing 2008, now built on and furthered during London 2012, can be carried forward with renewed confidence in Rio 2016.

Legacy: Moynihan hopes for continued success at Rio 2016

Legacy: Moynihan hopes for continued success at Rio 2016

'As a result of the success of Team GB, the reputation of the BOA, its staff and volunteers is rightly at an all-time high. We now have a unique opportunity to capitalise on this success and to build a stronger and even more victorious team in the future.

'Over the last seven years, the BOA has striven to become a modern, accountable, performance-driven, highly professional, athlete-centric organisation, of which we can all be extremely proud. On a year-by year basis, the athletes have been increasingly supportive of the backing they have received from the BOA performance teams in the Olympic villages and at the venues.

'Put simply: this was a job outstandingly well done by everyone who works at the BOA, the governing bodies and the volunteers who joined the BOA team in the run-up to the Games and I am exceptionally grateful to you all.'

London 2012 Olympics: 60 per cent of athletes are using drugs, claims disgraced supplier

Games drugs slur: Chambers' doping guru claims 60 per cent of athletes are cheating

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 9 August 2012

London's Olympic Games, praised around the globe for great sport and brilliant organisation, were smeared on Wednesday by the world’s most infamous dealer in sporting drugs.

Victor Conte, jailed in the United States for his role in supplying athletes such as Dwain Chambers and Marion Jones with so-called designer drugs, told The Times that six out of 10 athletes at the Games are taking banned substances.

He offered no evidence but the slur will muddy the waters of a Games that had previously escaped doping controversy.

Claim: Victor Conte says drugs are easy to use

Claim: Victor Conte says drugs are easy to use

The 62-year-old claimed to have been given the names of three top athletes who are ‘using the Dwain Chambers protocol’, a reference to the cocktail of seven drugs he gave to the British sprinter.

Leading figures at the Games poured scorn on his claims. Lord Moynihan, chairman of the BOA, told Sportsmail: ‘Victor Conte is sadly discredited. As a frequent spokesman on behalf of the drug cheats he lacks credibility. It is time he praised clean athletes and stopped casting aspersions on those who have fought against the darker side of sport.’

Conte has made these allegations publicly on previous occasions but has failed to produce any evidence to support his claims. Choosing this moment merely keeps a man hungry for self-promotion in the public eye.

Shamed: Dwain Chambers was supplied by Conte

Shamed: Dwain Chambers was supplied by Conte

Anybody foolish enough to take the drugs that Chambers took would be caught, as he was. Yet Conte claims the drug-testing at the London Games is irrelevant. ‘It is basically propaganda to come out and say, “This is the most expensively tested Games ever and we’re doing 6,000 tests”,’ he said.

‘If you test positive at the Olympics that is more of an IQ test. Athletes won’t do that. You have to put your hook and line in the water when the fish are biting and that was nine months ago. Is it easy to use drug and benefit during Olympics Yes.’

Conte served four months in jail for his leading role in what became known as the BALCO Affair. US federal authorities discovered he was supplying many American track athletes, cyclists and baseball players with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Ultimately it resulted in the suspension not only of Jones and Chambers but of double sprint world champion Kelli White and world 100m record holder Tim Montgomery.

Flexing: Conte with bodybuilder Iris Kyle

Flexing: Conte with bodybuilder Iris Kyle

Conte, who employed chemists to create drugs unknown to testers at the time, did a deal, pleading guilty to a charge of illegal steroid distribution and money laundering to reduce his sentence to four months.

But his associates went to prison for far longer after Montgomery’s coach Trevor Graham blew the whistle on them. Graham’s own involvement was later revealed and he was sentenced to one year of house arrest and banned for life from coaching.

Among the other athletes caught up in the Balco Affair were baseball stars Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, Olympic cyclist Tammy Thomas and a host of NFL players. Bonds was later convicted of obstruction of justice.

The International Olympic Committee and the London organising committee refused yesterday to make any comment on Conte’s claim, fearing that any denial would lend him credibility.

London 2012 organisers say testing in London is stringent, with the first five to finish in every event having to provide samples, as are two more selected at random. The results of these blood and urine tests will be retained by laboratories for eight years and re-tested if new technology becomes available.

To suggest that 60 per cent of athletes take drugs would suggest that the 64million testing programme organized worldwide by the World Anti-Doping Agency has failed utterly. National and international anti-doping agencies have found no more than two per cent of those tested showing up positive for banned substances.

There is no reason to believe that performances in London have improved. No world records have been broken in track and field, and none of the records thought to have been created in the 1970s and 1980s in the worst era of doping have been challenged.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Street party will laud GB winners – Charles Sale

Street party will laud GB winners after summer of success

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UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 2 August 2012

The Team GB gold rush will come as a particular relief to those who have been planning a victory parade for the home athletes since well before the Games.

The British Olympic Association have long fixed the date of Monday, September 10 — after the Paralympics — for a London celebration that will include all the GB Olympic and Paralympic competitors.

But there has been a reluctance within the BOA to mention the victory march until their medal results started to merit such an occasion.

Magic: Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott added to Britain's gold medal tally on Thursday

Magic: Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott added to Britain's gold medal tally on Thursday

That has now happened with the momentous triumphs in cycling, rowing, shooting and canoe slalom over the last two days.

The proposed open-top bus route will go from the Guildhall in the City of London through Westminster and up The Mall before the medallists are presented on stage in front of Buckingham Palace, where the Diamond Jubilee Concert took place. The reception is likely to be held there, too.

The huge drive-past of around 1,500 athletes and officials will also include the coaches, who BOA chairman Lord Moynihan believes should receive more recognition.

Judging by the astonishing crowds that have taken to the streets for the cycling road races and the feelgood factor around Team GB success, there could be as many as two million people lining the London route to salute the team’s achievements.

Golden welcome: Britain's winners in Trafalgar square after the 2008 Beijing Games

Golden welcome: Britain's winners in Trafalgar square after the 2008 Beijing Games

Merritt receives treatment at home headquarters

Volunteer Freddie Woodward, 17-year-old son of Sir Clive, thought he had been asked by USA track and field officials if it was OK for them to ‘tweet’ in the reception lobby of Team GB house at Westfield.

Freddie allowed them in and went to fetch some water. He returned to find the Americans had set up a portable physio table and, with kit spread everywhere, were treating defending Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt. Apparently, they had asked: ‘Can we treat here’

The BOA’s hospitality towards Merritt is all the more ironic considering their battle to stop drugs offenders like him competing in the Games.

Samsung try to get their message across

Samsung are the latest electronics firm to attempt to ambush market the Olympics by handing out Union flags of differing sizes with the Korean company name on them at train and bus stations near Games venues including Eton Dorney.

Meanwhile, England Test cricket debutant James Taylor has had to strip the BT Vision stickers off his bat at Headingley after objections from Sky Sports, who are the TV rights holders.

Sky careful after Wiggins outburst

Sky Sports News had to carefully edit their tape of national hero Bradley Wiggins’s last press conference of his gold medal day because of the four-letter content.

Outburst: Bradley Wiggins didn't mince his words after his Olympic triumph

Outburst: Bradley Wiggins didn't mince his words after his Olympic triumph

Wiggins, who had started on the vodka and tonics after a fish-and-chip supper at Team GB house, was graphically describing his emotions when told he had a 27-second lead in the time trial.

‘It was s*** your pants stuff, I’m f****** going to win this,’ he said, before answering other questions in a similar vein. BOA chairman Lord Moynihan, who is likely to recommend Wiggins for a knighthood, did not seem to mind, saying on Thursday: ‘The way he performed in the press interviews was great.’ Moynihan also singled out the work done by Robin Williams, who coaches gold medal rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. So expect him to be nominated for a gong as well.

Froome zooms on…

WHIILE Bradley Wiggins has been celebrating becoming GB’s most decorated Olympian by getting ‘blind drunk’ before hoping to somehow blend in with the crowd cheering on his GB colleagues at the Velodrome, it will be cycling business as usual for fellow Brit Chris Froome.

The time trial bronze medallist and Tour de France runner-up to Wiggins travelled to France yesterday before beginning training today for the three-week Tour of Spain.

And Froome will expect Team Sky — if he stays with them — to consider prioritising him rather than Wiggins as their lead Tour de France rider if next year’s course favours him with more mountain stages and fewer time trials, at which Wiggins excels.

London 2012 Olympics: Ye Shiwen is not a drugs cheat, says Lord Coe, officials and family

Ye is not a drugs cheat! Lord Coe joins officials and family in backing Chinese sensation

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UPDATED:

18:56 GMT, 31 July 2012

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Both the Olympic and Ye Shiwen's own
family rallied around the Chinese swimming prodigy following suspicions
over her record-shattering performance in the pool.

Ye arguably has proven the sensation
of the Olympics so far after the 16-year-old won gold in the women's 400
metres individual medley on Saturday, taking five seconds off her
personal best and more than a second off the world record.

Record breaker: Ye Shiwen knocked five seconds off her personal best and broke the world record by more than a second as she stormed to gold in the 400m individual medley

Record breaker: Ye Shiwen knocked five seconds off her personal best and broke the world record by more than a second as she stormed to gold in the 400m individual medley

Beaten: Ryan Lochte, pictured, was slower than Ye over the last 50 metres of his own medley race

Beaten: Ryan Lochte, pictured, was slower than Ye over the last 50 metres of his own medley race

However, it is the fact she swam the
final 50m of the freestyle leg of the event in a faster time than men's
champion Ryan Lochte that has really raised eyebrows, with American
coach John Leonard branding her performance 'suspicious', 'disturbing'
and 'unbelievable' and making comparisons with previous doping cases.

Ye has insisted 'there is absolutely
no problem' with her dramatic improvement because the Chinese team
adhered rigorously to anti-doping policies.

Outspoken: Top US swimming coach John Leonard called the feat 'unbelievable'

Outspoken: Top US swimming coach John Leonard called the feat 'unbelievable'

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said it would be 'very unfair to judge an athlete by a sudden breakthrough'.

He told ITV News: 'What you tend to forget is probably the 10 years of work that has already gone in to get to that point.

'You need to look back through her career. I think you've got to be very careful when you make judgments like that but, yes, it is an extraordinary breakthrough.'

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan said: 'We know how on top of the game WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] are and WADA have passed her as clean. That's the end of the story.

'And it is regretable there is so much speculation out there.

'I don't like it. I think it is wrong. That athlete or, indeed, any athlete that has never tested positive is an athlete who should be supported by her federation and, indeed, everybody in the Olympic movement.

'Let us recognise that there is an extraordinary swimmer out there who deserves the recognition of her talent in these Games.'

The International Olympics Committee told Ye's critics to 'get real'.

'These are the world's best athletes competing at the very highest level,' IOC communications director Mark Adams said.

'We have seen all sorts of records broken already all over the place.'

He added: 'It is inevitably a sad result of the fact that there are people who dope and who cheat.

'But I equally think it's very sad if we can't applaud a great
performance. Let's always give the benefit of the doubt to athletes.'

Proud: Ye said her success was due to her training since she was identified as a potential champion

Proud: Ye said her success was due to her training since she was identified as a potential champion

Medal winners: Ye Shiwen shows off the gold alongside the United States' Elizabeth Beisel, left, and compatriot Li Xuanxu following the final

Medal winners: Ye Shiwen shows off the gold alongside the United States' Elizabeth Beisel, left, and compatriot Li Xuanxu following the final

Ye's father, Ye Qingsong, told Chinese news portal Tencent that he
accepted it was 'normal for people to be suspicious' but added: 'The
western media has always been arrogant, and suspicious of Chinese
people.'

Jiang Zhixue, who leads anti-doping work at China's General
Administration of Sport, told the country's state news agency Xinhua: 'I
think it is not proper to single Chinese swimmers out once they produce
good results. Some people are just biased.

'We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing.'

Jiang said China's swimming team had made breakthroughs due to scientific training and sheer hard work.

He added: 'The Chinese athletes, including the swimmers, have undergone nearly 100 drug tests since they arrived here.

'Many were also tested by the international federations and the British
anti-doping agency. I can tell you that, so far, there was not a single
positive case.'

Deputy anti-doping chief Zhao Jian claimed Leonard 'thinks too much',
pointing out China had come down hard on doping since a spate of
problems in the 1990s.

Adams insisted this morning London 2012 had 'a very, very strong drug
testing programme and we are very confident that, if there are cheats,
we will catch them, as we already have done'.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt added that the Games had 'some of the most
rigorous, if not the most rigorous, anti-doping procedures in place for
any Olympics'.

'We've been absolutely determined to make sure that this is the cleanest Olympics ever,' he told the BBC.

In a final, the first five athletes are tested compulsorily along with two others, the IOC said.

Some 1,706 tests have been carried out so far, including 1,344 urine tests and 362 blood tests, the IOC added.

Profile of Ye Shiwen

Profile of Ryan Lochte

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: Sepp Blatter "wrong" to say Gareth Bale could be banned

It's none of your business, Sepp! Moynihan slams Blatter after FIFA chief suggests Bale could be banned from playing for Spurs during Olympics

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UPDATED:

10:21 GMT, 26 July 2012

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan has criticised Sepp Blatter for suggesting Gareth Bale could be banned from playing for Tottenham during the London Olympics.

Moynihan claimed he could ‘understand’ the anger of Great Britain fans who saw Bale pull out of the Games with a back injury only for the winger to take part in a pre-season friendly for Spurs.

That was almost two days before Brtitain's opening Olympic match against Senegal on Thursday and sparked widespread criticism of the 23-year-old.

Well played, Gareth: Bale is congratulated after scoring against LA Galaxy

Well played, Gareth: Bale is congratulated after scoring against LA Galaxy

Moynihan said: 'I understand the response from some football fans who were hoping to see him play as part of Team GB. My view is different.

'I welcome the fact that he has returned from injury earlier than expected.’

He added: 'I don’t agree with Sepp Blatter’s comments about banning him. I think Sepp Blatter needs to get closer to Team GB.'

Britain’s men will kick off a day after their female counterparts got the Olympic hosts off to a successful start against New Zealand. Moynihan was at the Mansion House on Wednesday night when the result came in and said he had ‘never heard such a raucous noise’ in the building.

He added: ‘It’s lifted the whole atmosphere around Team GB in the Village.
“I think in their own right the women are going to be history makers for Team GB.’

BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt said: ‘Any athletes who weren’t in training were watching and listening to the matches.’

Colin Moynihan

Sepp Blatter

Shut it, Sepp: Lord Moynihan (left) has hit out at Blatter (right)

The situation with Bale was compared to that which saw Wayne Rooney named in England’s European Championship squad despite being suspended for two matches.

Hunt said: ‘Stuart [Pearce] made that selection based on fitness and form.
‘You can’t ever predict recovery from injury.

'Gareth, in some ways, is missing an amazing opportunity. He wasn’t fit at the time.

‘You see the comments back from the players. Their eyes have been opened to the importance of the Olympics.’

Hunt was pressed on why the BOA had demanded the medical records of injured triple-jumper Phillips Idowu and not those of Bale.

‘There’s a very simple difference,’ Hunt said. ‘Phillips is selected for the team.

‘Gareth wasn’t selected because he wasn’t available.’

He added: ‘We leave the selection down to the sports. It’s not for me to interfere with the selection process.’

London 2012 Olympics: Colin Moynihan wants spare tickets to go to troops covering G4S shortfall

Moynihan: Spare tickets for Games should go to troops drafted in to cover G4S security blunder

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UPDATED:

12:28 GMT, 21 July 2012

The head of the British Olympic Association has called for any spare tickets for the events at the London Games to go to some of the troops drafted in at short notice to cover the G4S shortfall in security staff.

Colin Moynihan, chairman of the BOA, said it would be a way of thanking the military personnel – many of whom have had to give up their leave following active service to cover the Games.

Recruits: Armed forces were drafted in due to security company G4S being unable to provide enough trained staff

Recruits: Armed forces were drafted in due to security company G4S being unable to provide enough trained staff

Moynihan told a news conference today: 'I'm not responsible for tickets but if anyone deserves to fill any empty seats it's those forces in their down time.

'It makes a lot of sense – if there are some tickets available, let's respect their tremendous contribution and say thank you.'

Reward: Colin Moynihan believes any spare tickets should go to the troops

Reward: Colin Moynihan believes any spare tickets should go to the troops

New digs: The soldiers will stay in temporary barracks in Tobacco Docks, Wapping, throughout the Games

New digs: The soldiers will stay in temporary barracks in Tobacco Docks, Wapping, throughout the Games

Moynihan said the large presence of military personnel on the Olympic Park – some 3,500 have been brought in after security contractors G4S failed to provide the necessary number of staff – had already had a positive effect on the British team.

Blunder: Nick Buckles' company G4S failed to deliver on Olympic security

Blunder: Nick Buckles' company G4S failed to deliver on Olympic security

'I have gone out of my way on behalf of the BOA and the team to go and talk to them because I really what to thank them,' added Moynihan.

'I know the sacrifices many of then have made personally to be here to support the team and the stress they are under in delivering their day jobs.

'I want to reflect that every single member of the British team is 100% grateful to them for giving up their time at short notice to make sure we have a safe and secure Games.

'These guys are so into sport and are really supporting the team, and just today some soldiers down from Chelmsford were saying “when we do get down time can we go out there and see the events”.

'If there are any spare tickets it makes eminent sense for the armed forces to have them and would be a great way to say thank you to them.'