LONDON BYTES

Saudi threaten to withdraw

Saudi Arabia has threatened to withdraw from the Olympics unless a female judo athlete was allowed to wear her headscarf in competition, reports IANS from London.

The Saudis said the women could compete only if they were allowed to wear appropriate Muslim clothing. On Thursday night the International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer said Wujdan Shahrkhani could not fight with a headscarf.

He said the decision was a result of safety concerns and also “according to the principles and spirit of judo”.

Belarus deny boycott rumours

Belarus has no plans to boycott the Olympics after President Alexander Lukashenko was refused entry to Britain, the Belarusian minister for sports and tourism said, reports IANS from Minsk.

Lukashenko was denied accreditation because of the flawed presidential elections of 2010, when he was accused of overseeing a brutal crackdown on opposition forces and arresting hundreds of people including presidential candidates, the British embassy in Belarus said. Lukashenko is also head of Belarus’ Olympic Committee and visited the last Olympics in Beijing,

Koreans apologise on behalf of coach

The South Korea Sailing Federation has apologised on behalf of coach Lee Jae-cheol after he was sent home from the London Olympics for drink driving, reports Reuters from Seoul.

It said Lee was pulled over by police after attending a banquet hosted by the mayor of the south coast town of Weymouth which is hosting the sailing regatta.
“The Korea Olympic Committee convened its reward and punishment committee there and decided to send Lee home as an exemplary punishment,” a statement from the federation said.


Underwear checks ruled out

Danish footballer Nicklas Bendtner’s ambush marketing stunt will not lead to a series of checks on athletes’ underwear during London 2012, a senior International Olympic Committee member insisted, reports AFP from London.

In June Bendtner was fined £80,000 by European football governing body UEFA after revealing underpants bearing the name of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power during the European Championships, held at Poland and Ukraine. There were rumours to strict checkings to prevent such incidents at London.

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