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We know that wrestling, modern pentathlon, canoeing, taekwondo and hockey were the five sports shortlisted for the ballot to be excluded from the "core" sports. Once the field of five was announced, each sport should have been given time (14, 30, 60 days?) to prepare a submission to the IOC to argue why they should be retained as a core Olympic sport. Of course, no such right was given to them.

Cricket in the Olympics - But when?

It has been 112 years - two years longer than an Allen Stanford prison sentence - since two club sides from Great Britain and France played what, to date, has been the one and only game of cricket at the Olympic Games. We may not have to wait so long again for the sport to return to the modern Games, but there will be many hurdles to overcome first.

Rio de Janeiro gets the 2016 Olympics. And the winner is... ?

Of the four final candidate cities to host the 2016 Olympic Games, I believe the best choice won. Congratulations to the people behind the Rio 2016 bid.

I have serious problems in offering commiserations to the Chicago/USA camp, for all the effort put in. More analysis from me to come, but if you want eight minutes of comedy, watch this discussion from the CNBC Power Lunch crew as news broke that Chicago was the first city eliminated from voting:

Olympics 2016: The candidates' YHAGNIOT form guide

Later today the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will be announced. On the principle of "You've had a go now it's our turn", the winner should be Rio de Janeiro. It's not that simple, of course.

Of the four candidate cities, the first to be eliminated under the YHAGNIOT Principle would be Madrid. The Games are set for Western Europe in 2012 (London), and were last held in Spain in 1992 (Barcelona) - unless you dismiss the latter as a selfish act of Samaranch parochialism.

Axe the boycott, be there, be heard.

I'm not a supporter of sporting boycotts in most cases. The exceptions can be distilled down to two types. One, where discrimination and exclusion is inherently carried out by the host sporting body (eg. apartheid-era South Africa). And two, where the host nation is in such a repressed, run-down state that playing international sport in those surrounds would be grossly immoral (eg. Zimbabwe, North Korea).

Boycotts of the Olympic Games are almost as old as the modern Olympics themselves. Think of Irish athletes refusing to compete in the first London Games and you realise that 2008 is the centennial year of the Olympic boycott.

IOC and Coca-Cola extend partnership to 2020

The contribution of Coca-Cola to the Olympic Movement has always been the model of a true partnership.

- Jacques Rogge, 1.8.05

This just in from the media desk of the International Olympic Committee:

The International Olympic Committee and The Coca-Cola Company today announced a renewal of their partnership for an unprecedented 12 years, thereby taking what was already the longest sponsorship of the Olympic Games to a record 92 uninterrupted years. The partnership, which began in 1928, was extended during a signing ceremony on the Great Wall of China. The new agreement, which begins in 2009, will see Coca-Cola supporting the Olympic Movement over a period which covers the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the London 2012 Olympic Games, plus the Olympic Games of 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

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