International Olympic Committee members Octavian Morariu and Patrick Baumann have been confirmed on the Olympic sevens discussion panel which will meet at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Rugby Conference and Exhibition next month.

Others on the panel include former Argentina international Gus Pichot, who also serves on the IRB Council, the IRB's head of competitions and performance, Mark Egan, and Women's Rugby World Cup 2014-winning centre Rachael Burford for England.

The "Higher, Faster, Stronger" panel will be moderated by BBC World journalist and broadcaster David Eades.

Former international player Morariu stood down as President of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee earlier this year after ten years in charge, following a spell as President of the Romanian Rugby Federation from 2001 to 2003.

In July 2012, he was elected as President of the European Rugby Association and last year became only the fourth Romanian to be elected as a member of the IOC.

Baumann, secretary general of the International Basketball Federation, will join the panel to provide insight and advice on what it takes to be a successful Olympic sport ahead of rugby sevens debut at Rio 2016.

The Swiss has been an IOC member since 2007 and is currently leading Lausanne's bid for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

"Rio 2016 is less than two years away and we must make sure that we make the most of the fantastic opportunity we have to showcase rugby sevens to the world," said IRB chief executive Brett Gosper.

"The 'Olympic Rugby Sevens - Faster, Higher, Stronger' panel is the perfect platform to debate the challenges and opportunities as the momentum builds towards this vital moment for our sport.

"With one month to go to the IRB Conference and Exhibition we are delighted with the growing list of high-calibre speakers and partners.

"It's going to be a fascinating conference that offers valuable insights into the issues that really matter to the Rugby family and the wider sporting community."

The inaugural World Rugby Conference and Exhibition took place in the IRB's home city of Dublin, Ireland last year.

Next month's event is due to take place at the Hilton London Metropole on November 17 and 18.

As well as discussions on rugby sevens Olympic Games debut, other items on the agenda will include a discussion panel on the Rugby World Cup which will feature the likes of England 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans and head of Rugby World Cup Limited Alan Gilpin.

The IRB will also rebrand to become World Rugby which will become the new title for the sport's governing body on November 19.


Shamil Tarpischev is to be asked by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his position after Serena Williams today accused him of being "sexist" and "racist" following remarks he made about her and sister Venus.

Tarpischev, President of the Russian Tennis Federation, called the American siblings the "Williams brothers" on a Russian television chat show earlier this month.

It led to him being fined $25,000 (£15,500/€20,000) by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour and suspended for a year.

Tarpischev has been a member of the IOC since 1994 and is currently part of its Entourage Commission, which deals with matters concerning the relationship between athletes, coaches, managers, sponsors and all other stakeholders that support athletes.

In a statement yesterday, Tarpischev called the Williams sisters, who have 25 Grand Slam titles between them, "outstanding athletes" but claimed the comment was "taken out of context" and was made "without malicious intent".

The IOC will now seek further clarification of the situation before deciding whether to take any action themselves, which potentially could include referring Tarpischev to its Ethics Commission.

"We take note of Mr Tarpishev's apology and the sanctions imposed by the WTA," an IOC spokesman told insidethegames.

"The IOC will first contact Mr Tarpishev to ask for his position before considering any next step."

Serena Williams, the world number one, today commended the WTA on its swift action in dealing with Shamil Tarpischev.

"Well, I think the WTA did a really great job in taking initiative and immediately taking actions," Williams, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic gold medals, said ahead of the WTA Finals in Singapore.

"His comments, I thought, were very insensitive,

"I thought they were extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time, and I thought they were in a way bullying.

"I just wasn't very happy with his comments and I think a lot of people are unhappy as well."


Coach of the successful Trinidad and Tobago men’s hockey team at the FIH World League First Round Raphael Govia was very pleased with the team’s performance in Jamaica but added the squad must focus on their finishing going into other tournaments. T&T won the tournament and qualified for the second round of the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World League in Chula Vista, California, USA, next February.
Govia, a former national player, said: “I was a bit worried going into this (1st round FIH) tournament as I saw a few areas of goal scoring that I needed to sharpen up on.” The QPCC coach added that the boys were a bit rusty after the Commonwealth Games as they came back home to a mossy closed Tacarigua facility, where all their trainings take place. and he only had five to six sessions with the boys prior to our departure to Jamaica.
“I worked hard on finishing and the awareness in front of goal, as I recognised this was the area most critical in need of sharpening up,” Govia said. Govia said the surface in Jamaica did not give the T&T team the edge and in fact the uneven surface compromised T&T’s game.
“So our boys had to re-adjust to these conditions, as we are more accustomed to the faster consistent watered type pitches. We had a tough start versus Dominican Republic with 21 circle penetrations scoring none,” Govia analysed He said T&T rallied to win the match and prepared better for the ensuing games.
Midfielder Akim Touissant, who was moved to forward, played a significant role in getting the goals needed to advance while skipper Darren Cowie, Otis Oconnor and Aidan de Gannes kept the T&T defence locked.
In the middle, Solomon Eccles controlled the engine room and dictated our passes to our attackers, Shaquille Daniel was one of the hardest workers on the pitch while up front Kiel Murray and Tariq Marcano kept their opposing players busy. T& T’s Tournament MVP and highest Goal getter Akim Touissant also caused defences real problems.
“For sure as a team we must pay attention to our attacking skills and turn our many opportunities going forward into goals,” Govia said. Looking forward to CAC, the T&T team will depend heavily on the senior players connections with our younger ones.
“It’s very important for us that if we are to medal in this competition we have our full force of players as we will have the Cubans to deal with then Mexico.World League Round 2 will be another tough task ahead-- as the competition will be tough against teams on the circuit regularly with much higher rankings, The T&T hockey men outfit also has an assignment at the Pan Am Games in Canada next year.


Steve Stoute has been re-elected chairman of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) at its General Assembly held at the Hilton Hotel in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Stoute retained his position after Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, had also contested the role.

Under the CANOC constitution, the chairman is elected once the seven Board members are elected.

Stoute's position is set to be reviewed after he has completed half of his four-year term.

It was the first time Stoute had faced a challenger since he took over as the founding chairman of CANOC, which was officially formed 11 years ago to represent the 26 National Olympic Committees based in the Caribbean.

CANOC has developed significantly as an organisation in that period of time and last year was awarded the Caribbean broadcast rights for Rio 2016 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

It plans to use any profit from the deal to help develop sport in the region.

The 72-year-old Stoute, President of the Barbados Olympic Association, took Lewis' challenge as a growing sign of CANOC's growing maturity and influence.

(From left to right) Angel Morales, Alfred Emmanuel, Brian Lewis, Steve Stoute, Donald McLean, Keith Joseph and Alphonso Bridgewater were elected as the new Executive of CANOC during the General Assembly at the Hilton Hotel in Bridgetown ©BOA(From left to right) Angel Morales, Alfred Emmanuel, Brian Lewis, Steve Stoute, Donald McLean, Keith Joseph and Alphonso Bridgewater were elected as the new Executive of CANOC during the General Assembly at the Hilton Hotel in Bridgetown  ©BOA

"We have reached the stage where it looks as if we will receive IOC recognition, PASO (Pan American Sports Organization) recognition and with the acquisition of the 2016 television rights, we are the only region in the world to have acquired Olympic television rights," he told The Barbados Advocate.

"This should provide revenues and enhance the profile of the organisation.

"So it is now something that other people will be interested in, and that is a healthy sign."

Lewis was, however, elected onto the CANOC Board for the first time, along with Alphonso Bridgewater from St Kitts and Nevis.

The rest of the Board is Alfred Emmanuel from St Lucia, Keith Joseph from St Vincent and The Grenadines, Donald McLean from the Cayman Islands and Angel Morales from the Virgin Islands.

"After some robust discussion we arrived at a consensus position that was acceptable to all seven members," said Lewis.

"We all gave our word to honour what we agreed."

The meeting, which was proceeded by an Olympic Solidarity Regional Workshop, was also addressed by IOC President Thomas Bach via a video link.


Justin Gatlin, whose nomination as one of the 10 male contenders for this year's World Athlete of the Year award has aroused strong criticism given his doping record, has not made it through to the final shortlist.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced today that the three men still in contention for the award, due to be made at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco on November 21, are Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto of Kenya and Renaud Lavillenie of France.

Gatlin, who returned to the sport in 2010 after a four-year doping ban - following a two-year ban imposed in 2001 but reduced on appeal - was unbeaten over 100 and 200 metres this season, during which he won the IAAF's Diamond Race trophy for the shorter sprint.

He also finished the season with the fastest 100 and 200m times, respectively 9.77sec and 19.68.

The IAAF insisted it had no choice but to allow Gatlin's nomination, which was made by an international panel of athletics experts including representatives from all six continental IAAF areas.

A spokesman said: "Gatlin, as an eligible athlete who has had a great season is, logically, also eligible for consideration for the Athlete of the Year contest in the absence of any bylaw to prevent that happening."

But German discus thrower Robert Harting withdrew his name from the Athlete of the Year shortlist in protest of Gatlin's nomination, while IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe admitted he had "big problems" with the 2004 Olympic 100m champion being on the list.

There has also been criticism of the decision on social media.

This week Gatlin's manager, Renaldo Nehemiah, announced that the sprinter had been obliged to close his social media accounts because an "anonymous hacker" had posted an abusive reply to a Norwegian student who had posted a picture of himself "giving the finger" to a televisio image of Gatlin, with the accompanying comment "Druggers are not welcome!"

Now, however, potential embarrassment has been spared through the most recent round of judging which occurred through an email poll involving the World Athletics Family - comprising IAAF and International Athletics Foundation Council members, IAAF national member federations, IAAF Committee and Commission members, IAAF meeting directors, IAAF athlete ambassadors, athletes' representatives, top athletes, members of the international press, IAAF staff members and the IAAF's official partners.

Since this Award was first given in 1988, when the male and female recipients were Carl Lewis and Florence Griffith-Joyner, no athlete who had served a ban for a serious doping offence at the time of voting has won the title.

Gatlin's US compatriot LaShawn Merritt, the world and 2008 Olympic 400m champion who returned to the sport in 2011 after serving a doping ban reduced from two years to 21 months, was also among the 10 male nominations.

Of the three contenders for the male award, Barshim won the IAAF World Indoor high jump title and became the second best jumper ever behind world record holder Javier Sotomayor when he achieved 2.43m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels.

Lavillenie retained his European pole vault title, having begun his year by eclipsing Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old world record of 6.15m with an effort of 6.16 in the Ukrainian's home city of Donetsk.

Kimetto set a marathon world record of 2 hours 2min 57sec in Berlin last month.

The three women finalists are Valerie Adams of New Zealand, Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.

Adams was the Diamond Race winner at shot, remaining unbeaten in the season and taking the IAAF World Indoor and Commonwealth titles.

Dibaba began the year by breaking world indoor records at 1500 and 3,000m, and setting a world best at two miles, before taking the IAAF World Indoor 3,000m title and winning at the Continental Cup.

Schippers switched from heptathlon with dramatic effect as she won the European 100 and 200m titles and the Continental Cup 200m, setting five national records in the season.


International cricket has been plunged into crisis by a row over pay between the West Indies players and their board that has led to the abrupt termination of their tour of India. There are now doubts over the West Indies team’s next series in South Africa, their participation in the World Cup early next year, and even their future in Test cricket – which would have a direct impact on England, who are due to play a three‑match series in the Caribbean next spring.

India have already warned that they may consider withdrawing from a scheduled tour of West Indies in 2016, a move that would have crippling financial implications on a board who are dangerously reliant, like most of the rest of the cricketing world, on Indian television revenue. That would be in addition to any legal action they take against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for this abandonment, which has been estimated to cost India up to £31m in sponsorship and broadcasting rights.

That all adds up to a grave challenge for the International Cricket Council, which was so controversially reshaped in February to give the big three of India, England and Australia more power. But they have yet to make any public comment.

Relations between the West Indies players and their board have rarely been anything other than tense, with the latest flare-up over appearance money focusing on Wavell Hinds, an unremarkable former opener who is now the president and chief executive of the West Indies Players’ Association.

The players, led by the one-day captain, Dwayne Bravo, are said to be angry that Hinds accepted the terms offered by the WICB without consultation. That led to the dramatic announcement during the fourth match of their one-day series against India in Dharamsala on Friday that the squad would be heading straight home, without playing a scheduled Twenty20 international and three Tests. India are understood to be especially annoyed by an apparent assumption by the WICB that they would make up the shortfall.

Relations between the WICB and the Board of Control for Cricket in India had previously seemed cordial, evidenced by West Indies stepping in at short notice to provide the opposition for Sachin Tendulkar’s Test farewell in a hastily arranged series last year.

But Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, could not have been clearer in warning of the potential consequences now. “It will be very difficult to play West Indies in bilateral series in future,” he told Reuters. “They have to demonstrate the willingness that such situations never happen again. I would say that India’s next tour of West Indies is highly unlikely to go ahead in the current situation. Whatever the dispute, they should have honoured the bilateral agreement. We have suffered huge losses and the ICC is our parent body and we are going to ask them to ensure that this never happens in the future.”

Some of the greats of West Indies cricket will now be involved in the attempts to plot a course out of the mess. Richie Richardson is now the team manager and sent the email to the BCCI confirming the players’ decision, and Clive Lloyd was recently appointed chairman of selectors. Lloyd began the process of damage limitation in India, apologising and describing the decision of the players as “a mistake”. “We have great affection and love for Indian people and I hope that this will not affect our future relations,” the chairman of selectors said. “I hope the damage is not irreparable.” The WICB is to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday.