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December 14, 2013 - 11:29pm

IOC to spend $20M to fight doping

LONDON — The International Olympic Committee is putting up $20 million to fight doping and match-fixing — considered the two biggest threats to the credibility of the games.

New IOC President Thomas Bach announced the funding projects Saturday following an unprecedented four-day “brainstorming session” with his executive board in the Swiss resort of Montreux that focused on key issues for the future of the Olympics.

Bach, who was elected in September to succeed Jacques Rogge as president, has moved quickly to set his own course for the IOC and push what he calls the “Olympic Agenda 2020.”

He said the board agreed to create a $10 million fund to pay for research into developing new and improved techniques for catching drug cheats. The IOC is asking national governments to contribute the same amount to the World Anti-Doping Agency for its own research projects.

Also, the IOC is setting up a $10 million fund “to protect the clean athlete from any kind of manipulation or related corruption,” a reference to match-fixing and illegal betting.

US sweeps 2-man bobsled for first time

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Steven Holcomb won another World Cup 2-man bobsled race on Saturday, leading a U.S. sweep of the medals and adding to the dominating start of the Olympic season by American sliders.

It’s the first time U.S. sleds have gone 1-2-3 in a 2-man World Cup race.

Holcomb and Chris Fogt finished two runs in 1 minute, 50.19 seconds. Nick Cunningham and Johnny Quinn were second in 1:50.74, and Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley were third in 1:50.85.

Holcomb has won all six World Cup men’s bobsled races this season, four of them coming in 2-man. He extended his lead in the World Cup 2-man standings to 136 points over Cunningham.

South African wins Mandela tournament

DURBAN, South Africa — Dawie van der Walt shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to win the Nelson Mandela Championship by two shots, giving the tournament a South African victory in a week when the country bids farewell to its former president.

Van der Walt finished with a three-round total of 15-under 195 in the rain-shortened event. It was his second European Tour victory.

England’s Matthew Baldwin and Spain’s Jorge Campillo shot 68 to tie for second.

Even before the rain disrupted the first two days, organizers had changed the schedule to ensure the tournament didn’t run over into Sunday out of respect for the state funeral of Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid leader who died last week.

Kuchar, English lead by 4 at Templeton

NAPLES, Fla. — Matt Kuchar and Harris English took a four-stroke lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout, playing the back nine in 9-under 27 in the better-ball round for a 12-under 60.

Kuchar and English were 20 under the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort’s Tiburon course. They opened with a 64 on Friday in modified alternate-shot play. The team event ends today with a scramble.

Garcia widens gap in Thailand

CHONBURI, Thailand — Spain’s Sergio Garcia opened a four-stroke lead in the Asian Tour’s Thailand Golf Championship, birdieing the final two holes for his second straight 7-under 65.

Garcia had an 18-under 198 total at Amata Spring. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and with India’s Anirban Lahiri were tied for second. Stenson shot 65, and Lahiri 67.

Workers strike at World Cup stadium

CURITIBA, Brazil — Officials say workers went on strike over late pay at one of the stadiums in Brazil suffering the longest delays in advance of the World Cup.

Curitiba Mayor Gustavo Fruet said Saturday about one-third of the stadium’s 1,200 workers took part in the strike that lasted up to three days this week. He said protesting workers blocked a city avenue for about an hour Friday.

Fruet said the strike at the Arena da Baixada was sparked by a “delay of the payment” workers were entitled to.

The deadline for Curitiba’s stadium has already been pushed back to mid-February because of construction delays that officials said resulted from belated financing.

Arsenal’s big loss throws title race open

MANCHESTER, England — Arsenal felt the full force of Manchester City’s rampant attack to slump to a 6-3 loss in the Premier League on Saturday, cutting its lead to two points and throwing the title race wide open.

Chelsea pounced on Arsenal’s implosion at Etihad Stadium by edging past Crystal Palace 2-1 at home to provisionally move into second place.

By wire sources

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