FIFA Inspects Brazil; IOC Mediates in Panama; Gold Medal Swap at Paralympics

(ATR) FIFA secretary general wraps up latest World Cup inspection tour ... IOC to mediate dispute within Panama NOC ... LOCOG arranges medal ceremony re-do after wrong results in women's discus ... More inside this Olympic Newsdesk ...

Gold Medal Swap

Every medal in the women’s combined class F35/35 discuss event at the 2012 Paralympics must be re-awarded, LOCOG says.

Originally, Mariia Pomazan of Ukraine was declared the winner on Friday. However, Qing Wu of China, the initial silver medalist, now is the gold medalist, swapping spots with Pomazan. Also affected – initial bronze medalist Jiongyu Bao of China. She slides down to fourth with Australian Katherine Proudfoot the bronze medalist.

Perhaps most embarrassing for LOCOG – the medals ceremony already took place. A new, correct medal ceremony is scheduled for Saturday.

A statement from LOCOG says the results came following "the use of incorrect data" stemming from a points system calculating the winner.

"All combined class field events use the Raza System – a points scoring system where final positions are determined by points rather than distance," LOCOG said. "It uses a statistical model based on population of each class, level of impairment and performance."

The men’s F42/44 shot put event also used erroneous data, but LOCOG said the medal standings were not impacted.

LOCOG apologized to the affected athletes.

FIFA Wraps Up Brazil Inspection

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says Brazil 2014 is "on the right track" after his latest inspection of host cities for the upcoming World Cup.

"There is not a single stadium that’s code red for 2014, not one in a critical situation," he told reporters Thursday following an executive meeting of the Local Organizing Committee in Rio de Janeiro.

"That could change at any time," he added, "but at this stage of the preparations there are no stadiums that are code red."

Despite repeated assurances from both the LOC and Brazilian government, stadia construction and transport infrastructure works remain FIFA’s top concern with the 2013 Confederations Cup looming in less than 10 months for six of the 12 cities hosting World Cup matches come 2014.

Thursday’s assessment from Valcke, however, represents a significant departure from his infamous "kick in the arse" quip to Brazil six months back. Aimed at speeding up work for the World Cup, the quip quickly backfired, leading Dilma Rousseff’s administration to turn its back on him until an apology from the FIFA No. 2 as well as peace talks with President Sepp Blatter.

"We're on the right track," Valcke said after stops in Manaus and Cuiaba this week with Ronaldo, a member of the LOC board, and Luis Fernandes, executive secretary of the ministry of sport, in tow.

Valcke has promised to visit all 12 host cities for Brazil 2014 by the end of this year. After tours of Brasilia, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife and Salvador in the first six months of 2012, he now has Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba left to inspect.

For more coverage of this week's tour, visit World Football INSIDER.

IOC to "Mediate" Dispute in Panama

The IOC has agreed to help the Panama Olympic Committee resolve a long-standing dispute within the NOC.

In 2007, a dispute among Panamanian sports officials led to the creation of a separate Panama Olympic Committee. One of the committeeswas backed by the national sports federations. That group seems willing to work with the current and recognized Panama Olympic Committee to end their dispute.

A letter from the federations seen by Around the Rings dated Aug. 7 says they have asked the IOC to "mediate" the impasse with the hopes of resolving the situation.

Andrew Mitchell, a spokesperson for the IOC, tells ATR the IOC will do just that.

"In view of the NOC elective General Assembly by year-end and due to the long-standing conflict within the NOC between several National Federations, the IOC has decided to provide assistance to the NOC to ensure that these elections are organized in the best possible conditions and that all recognized National Federations are represented at this GA," he said.

The POC held its General Assembly on Aug. 24. An update on their website makes no mention of the development with the federations. Calls to the POC for comment were not returned.

Olympic Fever

Watch for some big names to show up for the 31st Olympin Collectors Club Memorabilia Festival.

The event is set for Sept. 28 to 30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Atlanta. Tables are still available for vendors; a banquet, reception and auction are on the schedule. Admission is free.

To book a table or to check updates, visit

Written by Ed Hula III.

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