Sanctions amended for littering cyclists - federation focus

Also: TF adds two Davis Cup venues for 2021; Americas Olympic baseball qualifier set; no North America on IBSF calendar

(ATR) The sanctions against cyclists who throw bottles and waste outside dedicated zones during men’s and women’s road races are being amended.

The Professional Cycling Council (PCC) had initially approved the sanctions in February as part of a series of rider safety measures implemented by the ICU in consultation with teams, riders and organizers.

The PCC, meeting by video conference on April 14, remains firmly in support of the safety plan but has now come out in favor of some adjustments to the rules.

Throwing bottles and waste outside dedicated zones provided by the organizer for this purpose remains forbidden. However, the riders will now be allowed to get rid of their bottles and waste by giving them to team assistants positioned on the roadside, in charge of feeding, and to the following vehicles of teams and the organizers.

The sanctions for throwing bottles to the public or outside dedicated zones have been eased a bit.

At a one-day race, the first infringement will now be punished by a fine and a deduction of UCI points (respectively 100 to 500 Swiss francs and five to 25 points depending on the class of event), with a second infringement resulting in the disqualification of the offending rider. Previously, the regulation stipulated a fine, deduction of UCI points and immediate disqualification from the first violation.

At stage races, the first infringement will be punished by a fine and a deduction of UCI points (respectively 100 to 500 Swiss francs and five to 25 points depending on the class of event). The second infringement will result in a time penalty of one minute and the third will mean disqualification. Previously, the regulation stipulated a fine, deduction of UCI points and a 30-second time penalty for the first infringement, a two minute time penalty for the second infringement and disqualification for the third.

The new measures will likely come into force on April 17, though the UCI Management Committee must still give its formal approval.

ITF Adds Two Davis Cup Venues for 2021

Two former Winter Olympic host cities will join Madrid in co-hosting the 2021 Davis Cup.

The International Tennis Federation revealed this week that Innsbruck, Austria and Turin, Italy were chosen to each stage two groups and one quarterfinal as part of the 18-team tournament that runs from November 25 to December 5.

Madrid, which hosted the inaugural edition of the revamped tournament in 2019, will handle two groups, two quarterfinals, both semifinals and the final this time around.

The decision to add two more cities was made in January and "aimed at providing a better schedule for players while bringing the competition to new audiences and improving the experience for fans," according to Kris Dent, ITF Senior Executive Director, Professional Tennis.

The federation said the three hard court venues are of similar playing conditions. Each venue will host its national team at the group stage.

Madrid Arena in the Spanish capital will host Group A (Spain, Russian Tennis Federation, Ecuador) and Group B (Canada, Kazakhstan, Sweden).

Olympia-Halle in Innsbruck will be the venue for Group C (France, Great Britain, Czech Republic) and Group F (Serbia, Germany, Austria).

Pala Alpitour Arena in Turin has Group D (Croatia, Australia, Hungary) and Group E (USA, Italy, Colombia).

Americas Olympic Baseball Qualifier Finally Set

The cities and venues for the Tokyo 2020 qualifying baseball tournament for the Americas have been finalized.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced this week that USA Baseball will host the eight-team event in two venues in South Florida – Clover Park in St. Lucie County and The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach.

The tournament, originally scheduled for Arizona in March 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic.

The USA, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua are in Group A with Cuba, Venezuela, Canada and Colombia in Group B.

The winner of the tournament will earn an Olympic place in Tokyo, joining Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Israel.

The second- and third-place teams will qualify for the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier scheduled from June 16 to 20 in Taiwan. The winner of that tourney will take the sixth and final place at Tokyo 2020.

No North America Stop on IBSF Calendar

For the second straight season, North America will not be hosting any Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Cup Series events.

The preliminary sports calendar for the 2021/2022 season, released this week by the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF), has events scheduled only in Europe.

The IBSF said the decision was based on the uncertainty that remains in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the need for member federations to be able to properly plan for a season that must end by the Beijing 2022 qualification deadline of January 16, 2022.

The federation cited the fact that keeping the circuit in Europe for the 2020/2021 season had allowed for quick reactions to any changes around the pandemic on short notice, and that doing the same again this coming season "gives everyone involved more flexibility in case needed".

The North American tracks will return to the World Cup calendar for the 2022/2023 season.

Federation Focus is presented by the International Weightlifting Federation. Click here for more on the IWF.

Written by Gerard Farek

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