169 Russian athletes ‘approved’ for Pyeongchang: Russian Olympic official

Matthieu Reeb, Secretary General of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a file photo from Jan. 22, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 January 2018

169 Russian athletes ‘approved’ for Pyeongchang: Russian Olympic official

MOSCOW: Russian Olympics officials on Thursday said 169 Russian athletes have been approved to take part in next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics under a neutral flag.
"At the moment together with the national and international federations an application of OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) athletes was approved.
"169 athletes. Unfortunately, leading athletes were not included," vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov told a press conference.
In December, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said clean Russian competitors would be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia".
Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov on Thursday said that taking part in the Games will be the athletes' personal decision.
"169 - this is the official list and the athletes will decide themselves if they will travel (to South Korea) or not. This is the final list," Kolobkov told journalists.
Kolobkov added that Russia may organise alternative sports competitions for Russian athletes barred from the Games.
"We will be organising additional competitions in Russia with foreign athletes for all those unable to take part in the Olympics Games," Russian news agencies quoted Kolobkov as saying.
Last week the IOC said the pool of Russians who could potentially be eligible for the 2018 Games had been reduced from 500 to 389.
High profile Russian athletes, including short track speed skating star Victor An, were banned from taking part in the Games this week. An is the world's most successful short track speed skater and has been accused in the World Anti-Doping Agency-sponsored McLaren report.
The IOC banned Russia from the 2018 Olympics after the McLaren report which documented a vast Moscow-backed doping scheme in previous Games.
Russians who want to compete are being forced to pass a unique set of anti-doping tests.
Dozens of Russian athletes banned by the IOC for life for doping began an appeal against their suspension on Monday at the world's top sports court.
The week-long hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) includes appeals from 39 Russians who competed at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi but are now banned after multiple independent reports linked them to doping.


Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

  • Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players

JEDDAH: Saudi volunteers will be able to write their names into the history books by helping at the first-ever Saudi Ladies International professional golf tournament.

Competition organizers are looking to recruit hundreds of people to help with the smooth running of the four-day event from March 19-22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players, including Order of Merit winner Beth Allen, three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Carly Booth and Solheim Cup hero Azahara Munoz, as they compete for $1 million in prize money. 

The LET tournament in Saudi Arabia will mark the first time that professional female golfers have played competitively in the country, and comes hot on the heels of last month’s triumphant men’s equivalent, the Saudi International, won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Online registration is now open for the debut event’s volunteers’ program.

Volunteers will be briefed before the event and receive a tournament uniform to wear while they work.

Marshals, including traveling, static, crossing and transitional positions, will be required for the tournament. Mobile scoreboard operators and walking scorers are among other roles that will offer volunteers a unique insight into the world-class event.

Mike Oliver, event director at Golf Saudi, said: “For the first year of this event, we are offering volunteers a chance to be part of history, working at the first professional women’s golf event to be held in the country.

“Volunteers, from both Saudi Arabia and abroad, will play a key role in helping us deliver a successful inaugural tournament,” he said.

A certificate of service will be presented to volunteers at the completion of the tournament.

As a bonus, volunteers will have their photo taken with the 2020 ladies winner during the prize presentation — a moment that will be seen by a worldwide audience via live broadcasts.