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Paris Olympic Medals Headed In Big Numbers To United States And China In One Forecast

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According to one estimate released Friday, six months before the Games begin on July 26, the United States is expected to lead the medals tables for the 2024 Paris Olympics in terms of total and gold medal count.

Nielsen’s Gracenote Sports, which provides statistical analysis to sports leagues worldwide, made the forecast. It also monitors key Olympic-related competitions leading up to the Games.

Forecasting is tougher this time, as most Russian and Belarussian athletes are expected to be barred due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over two years ago. Some will be permitted to compete under an International Olympic Committee decision issued late last year.

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Paris Olympic Medals Headed In Big Numbers To United States And China In One Forecast

“Almost all Russian and Belarussian competitors have been absent from international competitions since February 2022,” Simon Gleave, Gracenote’s head of analysis, told the Associated Press. “Any who take part in Paris 2024” will make forecasting tough.

Gracenote predicts the United States will win 37 gold medals and 129 total. China is a close second with 35 gold medals but still well below the overall total of 85. The following eight have projected gold and overall medals: Britain (17-64), Japan (17-56), France (26-53), Australia (15-48), Italy (13-47), Germany (10-39), the Netherlands (16-35), and South Korea (7-23).

Gracenote named Tokyo’s top ten medal-winning countries in 2021, but in a different order. Gracenote identified the top five countries, in no particular order, and eight of the top ten, in Beijing 2022. It also correctly projected that Norway would set a new record for the most medals won in a single Winter Olympics.

It will be up to dozens of regulatory bodies to determine and enforce individual Russian and Belarussian athletes’ neutral status. They must determine whether athletes have not actively supported the conflict and are not under contract with military or state security agencies.

Russia sent 335 athletes to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, winning 20 gold medals out of 71, but only a few dozen are expected to participate individually in Paris. Russia is still forbidden from participating in team sports.

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Paris Olympic Medals Headed In Big Numbers To United States And China In One Forecast

Athletes and Ukrainian officials, notably President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have repeatedly requested the IOC to exclude Russia and Belarus from the Olympics because of the war they began.

World Athletics has adopted the harshest approach against Russian athletes, banning them from international tournaments since the invasion began in February 2022.

Following the steroid-laced 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia and its athletes have faced requests to be barred from competing in Paris for the sixth time. This was Thomas Bach’s first time as IOC president. In Paris, eligible Russian and Belarussian athletes will compete as Individual Neutral Athletes (AIN).

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Paris Olympic Medals Headed In Big Numbers To United States And China In One Forecast

The IOC and Bach also advocated for Russia’s exclusion from sports when the war began days after the Beijing Winter Games closing ceremony but softened their stance as qualifying events for Paris approached last year.

SOURCE – (AP)

Sports

Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

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NEW ORLEANS — Miami’s Jimmy Butler was one of four players tossed after a scuffle early in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s 106-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

“I don’t think I should have gotten thrown out of the game,” Butler said, stressing that he was attempting to keep Pelicans player Naji Marshall away from Kevin Love when he placed his hand on Marshall’s throat.

Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and two Pelicans, Marshall and Jose Alvarado, were dismissed when fisticuffs broke out with 11:19 remaining and Miami leading 84-81.

The altercation erupted when Pelicans star player Zion Williamson stole the ball from Butler, and Love grabbed Williamson to prevent an uncontested layup.

As Love whistled for a foul, Williamson fell to the ground, and Marshall raced in to protest how he was fouled.

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“I wasn’t tripping about K-Love because he actually protected me on my fall,” Williamson told ESPN. “All of a sudden I see Butler kind of lunging towards Naji, so I’m trying to get there like, ‘Yo, relax, like what’s going on?'” Williamson stated.

However, Williamson stated that the intensity demonstrated throughout the standoff is “hard not to love.”

“It’s people competing — people riding for their teammates,” he stated.

Butler suggested that Williamson failed, saying Williamson “knew he shouldn’t have done that.”

“Then (Marshall) came and put his hands on K-Love, and that’s how it escalated,” Butler said.

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

Butler confronted Marshall, and they briefly held each other by the neck while teammates and coaches gathered around them.

“It was just, I think, a misunderstanding of the play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I believe Zion stumbled on the play when K-Love grabbed him, and it appeared worse than it was. And then everyone overreacted.

“I believe they misinterpreted that K-Love threw Williams down. On K-Love’s best day, I doubt he could knock him down.”

After it looked like officials had successfully separated the teams, Bryant and Alvarado continued arguing near the scorers’ table and exchanging blows as a fresh scrum built around them.

Emotions rose in the stands as well.

As Alvarado and Bryant scuffled, a fan wearing a Pelicans jersey began hurling objects at Miami players, prompting security to remove him. Soon later, a supporter wearing a Heat jersey was led out.

Officials watched videos of the altercations for several minutes before settling on the four ejections. Love was given a common foul.

Marshall and Alvarado, both popular reserves known for their aggressive play, received a standing ovation as they exited the court. Marshall and Alvarado exited the arena without speaking to the media.

The NBA may impose penalties, including fines or suspensions, in response to the altercation. However, Spoelstra stated that the energy on the court that resulted in the melee is “what competitors want.” This is what the supporters desire. It’s what everyone desires, and it occasionally boils over, regrettably.”

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“We’ll just see what happens in the league,” Spoelstra stated. “Everybody’s intentions were right at first but you get a bunch of competitive people out there and it kind of boiled over.”

Butler said he wouldn’t be shocked if some of the heat from Friday’s game spills over to the team’s next matchup in Miami on March 22.

“We’ll beat them the next time, too,” Butler added. “We are just a better squad.

“Our team is so ready for anything that anybody’s thrown at us,” he said. “We’re playing some amazing basketball together. It doesn’t matter who we’re up against right now. “It is that time of year.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024: MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

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Major League Baseball players have encountered an unexpected issue ahead of the new season: a defective outfit.

Players and spectators have previously expressed issues about the new jerseys worn this season, and on Thursday, as spring training games began, MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) executive director Tony Clark expressed concern over the pants.

“A lot of the rhetoric is confirmation that the trousers are see-through,” Clark stated, according to ESPN. “It’s been a continuing conversation, with each day bringing something new that appears to make less sense than you’d like.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“Universal concern,” Clark remarked, “is the pant.”

The jerseys for the new uniforms, designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics, have already received criticism from fans for seeming cheap, lightweight, and having an unappealing appearance. Meanwhile, a Baltimore Orioles player described the new jerseys as “a knockoff” from TJ Maxx.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve landed in a place where the uniforms are the topic of discussion,” Clark said.

According to a news release, Nike collaborated with over 300 athletes to create a more breathable, lightweight, and stretchy jersey.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

The corporation has yet to react to CNN’s prior request for comment on criticism of the uniforms, and Fanatics has declined to comment.

Players wore them during last season’s All-Star Game, and Nike and MLB reported that they were favourably received.

“They’re designed to be performance wear rather than what’s traditionally worn, so they’ll be different,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said of the uniforms.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“I think after people wear them a little bit, they’re going to be really popular.”

This year’s Opening Day is set for March 28, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play two regular-season games in Seoul on March 20 and 21, marking the first MLB games in South Korea.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The Russian Olympic Committee has lost its appeal against the IOC’s suspension.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Friday that it had denied the ROC’s appeal against the October suspension. The IOC protested the ROC’s incorporation of four sports bodies representing eastern Ukrainian regions, calling it a “breach of the Olympic Charter.”

The IOC already forbade Russia from entering competitors for the Paris Olympics under its flag, and the suspension did not deter the IOC’s efforts to have Russians compete as neutral athletes without national emblems.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

The IOC executive council’s suspension “did not violate the principles of legality, equality, predictability, or proportionality,” according to CAS.

The ROC stated that the CAS verdict, which has yet to be published in full, “practically copied out the IOC’s arguments” and overlooked the Russian case. The ROC has the right to file an appeal with the Swiss Supreme Court, but it has yet to state whether it would do so.

“This CAS ruling is yet more evidence that civil and sports discrimination directed against Russians has reached an unprecedented scale in the run-up to the Games in Paris,” the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) stated in a statement.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

According to the ROC, CAS “confirmed that the Olympic team of Russia, Russian athletes and officials will not take part in the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris, just as it excluded any possible cooperation by the ROC with athletes who the IOC recognises as meeting the criteria of so-called neutrality.”

The IOC stated Friday it was “pleased” with the CAS’s decision that its suspension of the ROC was legal.

The decision by the ROC to incorporate the sports bodies for the four Ukrainian regions “constitutes a breach of the Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the (National Olympic Committee) of Ukraine, as recognised by the IOCin accordance with the Olympic Charter,” the IOC stated.

The suspension in October ended the ROC’s right to receive IOC funds, but it did not affect the many Russians competing in international sports as neutral competitors to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympics as part of an IOC-supported effort.

According to prior IOC statements, they would compete in the Paris Games as Individual Neutral Athletes.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

The IOC has already stated that it will ban “athletes who actively support the war” in Ukraine, but it does not require Russian athletes to speak out against it. According to the IOC, the suspension eliminates the need to speak with the ROC when deciding which athletes to select.

The ROC stated on Friday that the neutral athlete protocol included “humiliating criteria” and that athletes who agreed to them risked breaking Russian law.

A similar Individual Neutral Athlete arrangement applies to athletes from Russia’s ally Belarus, although the NOC is not suspended. The IOC stated that it will discuss athlete selection for Paris with the Belarusian NOC.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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