Thursday, 14 July 2016

ALL EYES ON RIO: Official Team Jamaica squad revealed + Will Zik-V spoil the show? + Nesta Carter receives SDF financial aid

MISSION, MEDALS: With just over three weeks to go before the eyes of the world turn to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for this summer’s keenly anticipated Olympics, Jamaica’s 63-member delegation was announced at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Monday. Of that number, 44 are athletes (led by defending champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce), who will vie for medals in athletics, swimming, field events and gymnastics. But what will become of Jason Morgan’s bid to represent the country at the Games? Will the shot-put champion’s shocking omission be overruled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ahead of their departure? We’ll just have to wait and see how this one plays out.

CARTER ON HOLD: Meanwhile, relay gold medallist Nesta Carter won’t be going to Rio this summer, as he will have to attend a hearing into his doping case in Lausanne, Switzerland. But there’s some good news for him. According to reports, the embattled sprinter is to receive some financial aid to help cover his legal fees. The Social Development Foundation (SDF) has signed off on £20,000 (J$3.3 million) to be dispatched to his attorneys to aid in the fight against the doping charges. Carter’s troubles, a positive test for a banned substance, stems from his participation in the Beijing Olympics in China in 2008.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Will the dreaded Zika Virus put a damper on the spectacle of the Rio Games? Not if local officials in Brazil have a say in the matter. “Over the past few weeks, rumours of the possibility of an outbreak of tropical disease during the Games has circulated. We can assure you, as has the World Health Organization, that the risk of Zik-V infection during the Games is practically non-existent. Historically, an extremely low incidence of disease transmitted by the aedes aegypti has been recorded during the winter season in the southern hemisphere,” says Brazil’s interim president Michel Temer. “Brazil is ready to receive all of the visitors who will be enjoying the pleasure of watching the world’s elite international sports athletes compete, and surely we will have a great deal to show the five billion viewers around the world who will be watching the Games as well. Brazil awaits you with open arms.”

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