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/ 27 May 2008

Blatter presses on with foreign quota plan

Fifa president Sepp Blatter will forge ahead with plans to curb the number of foreign players at soccer clubs, saying on Tuesday that the organisation should coral the world of sport into helping make it happen. The Swiss head of world soccer’s governing body insisted that Fifa would not be ”going into confrontation” with any employment laws.

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/ 23 April 2008

Olympic protest movement turns sights on to sponsors

The linked rings on every Chinese Coke bottle and the leaping athletes on each McDonald’s paper bag testify to the power the world’s biggest corporations believe this summer’s Olympics wields. But having spent huge sums, the companies sponsoring the Games are about to find themselves the targets of a new war on China’s human rights record.

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/ 21 April 2008

Tight security for Olympic torch in Malaysia

The Olympic torch set off through the Malaysian capital on Monday to rapturous cheers from Chinese supporters and tight security by police keen to avoid the disruption seen on earlier legs. More than 1 000 police and other security forces were deployed on the route from the city centre to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

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/ 11 April 2008

Anger, terror warnings cloud Olympics

China said it was outraged by a resolution by United States lawmakers urging an end to a crackdown in Tibet as a Beijing-run newspaper linked al-Qaeda to claimed plots to attack the Beijing Olympics. The condemnation came in response to a US House of Representatives resolution urging China to open dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

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/ 9 April 2008

San Francisco braced to greet Olympic torch

Thousands of protesters were expected to line the route of the latest leg of the Olympic torch’s ”Journey of Harmony” on Wednesday as officials in San Francisco braced themselves for a repetition of the tumultuous scenes in Paris and London. A broad coalition of protest groups has converged on the city.

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/ 6 April 2008

Protesters disrupt Olympic torch relay in London

Anti-China protesters draped in Tibetan flags disrupted the Olympic torch relay through London on Sunday, billed as a journey of harmony and peace. Scores of Chinese officials in blue suits and British police on foot and bicycles guarded the celebrities and athletes carrying the torch, but demonstrators repeatedly broke through their security cordon.

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/ 1 April 2008

Open the internet during Games, Beijing told

The internet must be open during the Beijing Olympics. That was the message a top-ranking International Olympic Committee (IOC) official delivered on Tuesday to Beijing organisers during the last official sessions between IOC inspectors and the host Chinese before the Games begin in just more than four months.

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/ 28 March 2008

Olympic torch’s unflattering glare

As a small group of pro-Tibet demonstrators briefly disrupted the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic torch in Athens this week, they were underlining a central truth concerning the world’s greatest sporting festival: it tends to hold up a mirror to the face of its hosts and the result is not always flattering.

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/ 24 March 2008

Olympics torch lit amid protest

Pro-Tibet demonstrators tried to hijack the Beijing Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia on Monday. In a globally televised ceremony to mark the start of a five-month torch relay, the actress Maria Nafpliotou, playing the high priestess, used a break in the clouds to light the torch in front of the Temple of Hera.

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/ 3 March 2008

No second chance in Olympic IT race

A marathon contest longer and more complex than any race at the Olympic Games is unfolding behind the windowless facade of Digital Beijing. This secretive, slate-black tower complex that looks like a row of computer chips stands close by the two most famous Olympic venues — the National Aquatics Centre, known as the Water Cube, and the National Stadium, or Bird’s Nest.

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/ 22 February 2008

The Olympic prisoners

POINT: The Olympic Games have their anthem, their rings, their heroes and their sponsors. And now, with the Beijing 2008 Games, they have their prisoners. The Chinese government is not just building fine stadiums, it is also arresting those who dare to condemn the countless human rights violations taking place in China.

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/ 15 February 2008

AfriForum fumes over Stofile attack

Sport Minister Makhenkesi Stofile’s attack against former Springbok rugby players is an attempt to distract attention from the government’s ”transgression of international sports regulations”, AfriForum said on Friday. Stofile on Thursday sharply criticised AfriForum after a group of former Springbok rugby players called for an end to ”racial discrimination in rugby”.

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/ 14 February 2008

China faces Games crisis over Darfur

China was facing a major international crisis linked to the Olympics on Thursday amid mounting pressure over its role in Darfur after United States filmmaker Steven Spielberg severed his links to the Games. So far neither the Foreign Ministry nor the Olympic organising committee has responded to the decision by Spielberg.

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/ 11 February 2008

Beijing backs gag order following uproar in UK

Beijing Olympic organisers said on Monday they backed a ban on political protests by athletes attending this year’s Games, amid an uproar over an effort to silence British athletes. Following widespread anger, the British Olympic Association backed down on Sunday on its plan to prevent British competitors from commenting on ”politically sensitive issues”.

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/ 4 February 2008

Beijing pollution worries some Olympic athletes

Tyson Gay has heard stories that some athletes may wear face masks at the Beijing Olympics, hoping to fend off fumes in one of the world’s most polluted capitals. ”I hear a lot of people saying, ‘You’ll have to wear a mask, you’ll have to do this or that,”’ the 100m and 200m world champion said on Monday.

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/ 23 December 2007

Balco ledgers outline Jones’ drug use

Ledgers gathered in the Balco steroid investigation outline the detailed doping programme of disgraced sprinter Marion Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday. The newspaper cited court documents filed by prosecutors in New York in support of their case against Jones, who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.