Federations Roundup - U.S. Speedskating Coaches Resign; Judo, U.N. Partner

(ATR) Short track coach Jae Su Chun, assistant Jun Hyung Yeo announce resignations, accept suspensions through Sochi 2014 ... IJF signs cooperation agreement with United Nations ... IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition opens ... Softball develops in Iran ... More inside this Federations Roundup ...

U.S. Speedskating Coaches Resign

Short track coach Jae Su Chun and top assistant Jun Hyung Yeo will resign from U.S. Speedskating and accept suspensions through Sochi 2014, according to National Public Radio.

Chun, who was placed on administrative leave last month, faced allegations of physical abuse – among them calling female skaters "fat" and "disgusting" – and other charges contained in a grievance filed Aug. 30 by 14 current and five former members of the U.S. squad.

Yeo was suspended last week when he and Chun admitted they were aware of Olympic bronze medalist Simon Cho’s sabotage of a Canadian rival at the 2011 World Team Championships in Warsaw but did not report the incident.

Cho, who now faces disciplinary proceedings from U.S. Speedskating, said he tampered with Olivier Jean’s skate upon orders from Chun, though New York law firm White & Case’s pro bono investigation on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee concluded there is insufficient evidence to prove the charge.

Thursday’s resignations by Chun and Yeo clear the way for a Nov. 1 arbitration hearing to be cancelled and for a dozen U.S. athletes to take the ice next week in Calgary for the first World Cup of the season. Some had refused to skate if Chun were kept as their coach.

Judo, U.N. Partner

Sport for social change is the focus of the International Judo Federation’s new partnership with the United Nations.

Signed today on the sidelines of the IJF’s ongoing Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, the initial two-year agreement seeks to leverage the power of judo in post-conflict societies.

"The United Nations has long recognized the key role that sport federations can play in contributing to human progress and achieving the Millennium Development Goals," said Wilfried Lemke, the UN’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace . "I am glad that today we can formalize the efficient collaboration we have had with the IJF over the past years and I look forward to more meaningful projects together."

IJF president Marius Vizer added: "Judo is much more than a sport; it is a philosophy, an art of life and an outstanding education tool. At IJF, we are entirely aware of that potential and are committed to harnessing it to the fullest, in close cooperation with the United Nations and their dedicated entity, the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace."

The cooperation between the UN and IJF will manifest itself mostly through the work of a Judo for Peace Commission and the IJF’s continued participation in UNOSDP’s Youth Leadership Camps.

IAAF Exhibit Spans Millennia

A vase from the 5th century BC and a volunteer’s uniform from the 2012 Olympics are among the items included in the IAAF’s Centenary Historic Exhibition, opening Saturday.

Billed as the greatest collection of athletics memorabilia ever assembled, it’s part of the federation’s year-long centenary celebrations.

The exhibit will be open to the public for six weeks from Saturday to Nov. 25 at the Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic and Sports Museum in Barcelona before closing on the weekend of the IAAF Centenary Gala.

Other artifacts include a coin from Olympia in 256 BC as well as and the bib numbers of Ethiopian gold medalists Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba from the Games in London.

Softball Develops in Iran

President Don Porter tells Around the Rings the International Softball Federation is working to bring opportunities to Muslim women in Iran and elsewhere.

"The Iran activities show a definite increase in interest and opportunities to participate in Muslim countries," he says, "including other Middle East countries where female participation is not encouraged."

Porter’s comments follow the 6th Iran Women’s Softball National Championships, held in Kerman and won by Khorasan Razavi.

Softball – together in a joint bid with baseball – is one of seven sports bidding for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics, the decision to come at the 2013 IOC Session scheduled for September in Buenos Aires.

Written by Matthew Grayson

20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.