La Punta for Pan Ams Bid; Russian FA Appeals UEFA Punishment

(ATR) Argentina chooses bid city for 2019 Pan American Games ... Russia's football federation to appeal sanctions from Euro 2012 fan attacks ... Lance Armstrong faces new doping charges ... More inside ...

La Punta for Pan American Bid

La Punta is Argentina’s bid city for the 2019 Pan American Games.

The decision for the central Argentine city in the province of San Luis came following a vote by the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA). The vote was 30-20 over the other potential bid city, Rosario.

"La Punta is San Luis, and it is Argentina," provincial governor Claudio Poggi said following the decision. "We will work together with everyone."

COA president Gerardo Werthein said the Games would leave a legacy for the city, Argentina and "all of America."

So far, Bogota, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Miami; San Juan and Santiago, Chile have all expressed interest in bidding for the Games.

A decision from the Pan American Sports Organization is expected by early 2014.

Turkey Celebrates National Olympic Day

Cities throughout Turkey celebrated National Olympic Day on Sunday, including 2020 bid city Istanbul.

"Anyone who has been to a sports event in Turkey before will know that our people love their sport," Istanbul 2020 bid leader Hasan Arat said. "During the National Olympic Day celebrations, that enthusiasm gripped the entire nation."

Participants in the festivities also took part in an Olympic Day race and each received a certificate signed by IOC president Jacques Rogge and National Olympic Committee of Turkey president Uğur Erdener.

Russian FA Appeals UEFA Punishment

Russia's football federation is to appeal UEFA sanctions handed down after its fans attacked stewards following the nation's Euro 2012 match against Czech Republic.

UEFA fined the Russian FA $150,000 following the hooliganism at the stadium in Wroclaw, Poland last Friday. European football's governing body also said Russia would lose six points in its Euro 2016 qualification campaign if there was a further outbreak of violence from its fans at the Poland/Ukraine tournament.

Russian FA president Sergei Fursenko confirmed that an appeal would be filed to UEFA.

Further punishment may come after 180 Polish and Russian fans were arrested following violent clashes between the supporters outside Warsaw's National Stadium on Tuesday night.

In a statement posted on its website, the RFU warned any fans identified as being involved in the violence after Russia's 1-1 draw with Poland would be punished.

"The Russian Football Union firmly opposes violence in the stadiums as well as abroad. We ask that all Russian fans show restraint and to follow the rules of conduct set by UEFA," said a statement on the federation's website.

Armstrong Faces Doping Charges

The US Anti-Doping Agency brought formal charges against Lance Armstrong, accusing the cyclist of blood doping.

USADA confirmed that a written notice of the charges was delivered to Armstrong, three former United States Postal Service cycling team doctors,and two team officials.

Armstrong, a three-time Olympian with a bronze medal, is barred from all competition as a resultof the investigation, including an Ironman Triathlon which he was set to compete in later this month.

In a statement released Wednesday, the athlete lambasted USADA for reviving "discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years".

"These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation," Armstrong said. "These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity."

If true, the new set of accusations could cost Armstrong his seven Tour de France titles.

USADA’s accusations include charges that Armstrong used and distributed endurance-boosting drugs, blood transfusions, testosterone and masking agents from 1998 to 2005.Riders "with firsthand knowledge" are supposedly set to testify against the champion cyclist.

A hearing has not yet been announced. A statement issued by USADA says the agency will not comment on the evidence at this time, but notes it "only initiates matters supported by the evidence."

UN: Somali NOC Prevents Failed State

The United Nations envoy to Somalia said as long as the Somalia Olympic Committee continued to exist, the country was not a failed state.

"I sometimes hear the international media calling Somalia ‘a failed state’," Augustine Mahiga said. "I actually hate when I hear that word, because Somalia is not a failed state as long as sporting organizations are still on duty."

A "failed state" is one that is unable to meet basic needs for a sovereign state.

Mahiga made the comments at a Thursday meeting with SOC officials, including the new president Duran Ahmed Farah.

"I really praise you for the good job you are doing, you raised Somali flag over international sports gatherings – I say to you keep up flying the flag and we are on your side."

Farah underscored sport’s importance to Somalia and asked for U.N. assistance with sport.

"Somalia descended into chaos in January 1991 and all governmental infrastructures were totally destroyed," Farah was quoted by local media. "But Somali Olympic Committee and its member federations have been the nation’s flag carriers and without Somali sport still functioning, Somalia could have cut from the rest of the world.

"We have so far implemented many sports for peace programs which yielded positive results by disarming hundreds of former child soldiers and rehabilitating an uncountable number of street boys and drug addicts who are now playing for different sports clubs, while some of them are members of national teams of different sport like football, handball or basketball."

Both sides agreed to meet later in the month.

Written by Hannah Reid, Ed Hula III and Mark Bisson.

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