Olympic Briefs - Austrians Face Trial for Olympic Doping, Belgium, Gambia NOC News

(ATR) 10 Austrians indicted for the Turin Olympics doping scandal...Elections for NOCs in Belgium and Gambia.

A trial later this year could be ahead for 10 Austrians indicted in Italy over charges stemming from the blood doping scandal at the Turin Olympics.

Leading the list of those charges is Austrian Ski Federation chief president Peter Schroecksnadel and nine coaches and athletes. All except Schroecksnadel have been previously banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC as a result of the Turin debacle.

They include infamous coach Walter Mayer, Markus Gandler –the ASF’s biathlon sports director, two other officials and five athletes.

The case grew out of a raid by Italian police during the Turin Olympics at private housing used by Austrian athletes. Among the evidence seized were materials that could be used for blood doping.

The IOC sanctioned athletes and coaches implicated in the sacandal and fined the Austrian Olympic Committee $1 million, a fine paid by the Austrian Ski Federation.

A lawyer for one of the accused said the trial “seems politically motivated."

Army Officer Sworn In as Gambian NOC President

Lang Tombong Tamba, one of the top brass in the Gambian Army,was sworn in as president of the Gambian National Olympic Committee Saturday.

Tamba said in his acceptance speech that developing sport was his top priority.

“I pledge to serve the people of the Gambia with humility, dignity and a steadfast resolve to accelerate and improve sports, and ensure a better and brighter future for all ouwng r people, particularly the youths who are the most active in sports and the epicenter of our nation," he was quoted by local media.

The GNOC treasurer reported on Saturday the committee had a surplus of $8,900 at the end of the 2008 account, compared to a deficit of $13,276 at the end of 2007.

Beckers Re-elected as Belgian NOC President

Pierre-Olivier Beckers was re-elected as chairman of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (COIB) on Friday. Beckers received all 95votes possible at the General Assembly in his bid.

Philippe Rogge, the son of IOC president Jacques Rogge, was reelected to the COIB board.

The most noteworthy new edition to the COIB executive board is Jean-Michel Saive. Saive competed in six consecutive Olympics from 1988 to 2008. He was also at one point, the top ranked male table tennis player in the world.

…Briefs

…The 13th Games of the Small States of Europe wrapped up its week-long run with its closing ceremony in Nicosia, Cyprus. Over 1,000 athletes from host Cyprus, Andorra, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta and San Marino competed in the Games. Cyprus led the medal county with 139 medals, while Iceland was second (81) and Luxembourg third (62). The Small States Games will be held in Liechtenstein in 2011.

…The Prefontaine Classic, one of the top athletics meets in the U.S., held its 35th edition at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. on Sunday. Americans Sanya Richards and Reese Hoffa set world-best marks in their events for this year. Richards won the women’s 400 with a time of 49.85, while Hoffa was the winner of the men’s shot put (71-feet-10-inches).

Media Watch

Chicago started its congressional lobbying effort for support of the Games—should Chicago win its bid.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-olympics-lobbying-07-jun07,0,142847.story

Written by Ed Hula III.