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deal w O via the NFL Players Inc. licensing- unit. "Since partnering in 2013, and have helped nearly 1,000 players connect with hundreds of brands to share campaigns, reaching more than 1 billion fans worldwide."

• The has named Shenzhen, as the host city for 2019-2028, a deal that includes the building of a 12K-seat venue, and doubling the prize money to $14M for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams.

• Overwatch League said that its first week of competition drew more than 10 million viewers via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV. Opening day had an average audience per minute of 408,000.

• Coca-Cola, International Speedway Corp. and Nascar have signed an extension to their partnerships under which Coca-Cola, would "continue its deep-rooted history in the sport by engaging racing fans across Nascar’s three national series and 12 ISC-operated race tracks" and events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400. Coca-Cola-sponsored drivers include Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Coca-Cola said it "has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years," and became an official partner with Nascar in 1998.

• NBC Olympics will debut Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota, a live, daily figure skating show airing nightly (7 PM ET) on NBCSN beginning Feb. 10 and continuing through Feb. 24. Live Olympic figure skating competition will follow the show in primetime. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present a digital-exclusive version of Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota immediately following prime-time coverage beginning Feb. 8.

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Top NBA All-Star Game Votes (To Date)
Eastern Conference
1.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2.  LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3.  Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
4.  Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
5. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
6.  DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
7.  Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
8.  Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
9.  Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
10. John Wall (WAS) 175,990
Western Conference
1. Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2. Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
3. James Harden (HOU) 602,040
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
5. Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
6. DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
7. Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
8. Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
9. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
10. Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise (8 PM ET)

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1. Dallas Cowboys
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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Tuesday
Dec052017

IOC Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Games, But FIFA Says No Impact On World Cup

By Barry Janoff

December 5, 2017: Calling it an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport,” the  International Olympic Committee Tuesday (Dec. 5) banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but left the door open for athletes from Russia to compete “under strict conditions.”

The IOC’s Executive Board said that it made the decision “after studying and discussing the findings of the Commission led by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, addressing the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia.”

(Editor's Note: In response to his nation being banned by the IOC from competing in the 2018 Olympics but allowing athletes from the nation to compete under strict regulations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Dec. 6 in a statement that the government would not prevent Russian athletes from competing at the 2018 Winter Games. “It will be up to each individual Russian sportsperson to decide if they participate in the February Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as neutral competitors.”)

The report specified by the IOC also addressed in particular the “manipulation at the anti-doping laboratory at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, which targeted the Olympic Games directly.”

According to the IOC, “Over 17 months of extensive work, the Schmid Commission gathered evidence and information and held hearings with all the main actors. Due process, to which every individual and every organization is entitled, was followed. This opportunity was not available to the IOC prior to the Olympic Games Rio 2016.”

This summer, Russia will play host to the FIFA World Cup. Its national soccer team is part of Group A with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay.

"FIFA has taken note of the decision made by the IOC regarding the participation of Russian athletes at the upcoming Winter Olympics," according to a statement from FIFA.

”(The IOC) decision has no impact on the preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as we continue to work to deliver the best possible event."

For the IOC, the conclusions of the Schmid Report, “on both factual and legal aspects, confirmed the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, through the 'Disappearing Positive Methodology' and during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility, resulting from the failure to respect the respective obligations of the various entities involved,” according to the IOC.

"This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement. “The IOC EB, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes.

“This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency),” said Bach.

The IOC said it would invite individual Russian athletes “under strict conditions” to the Games in PyeongChang, adhering to specific guidelines that it laid out.

“These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)” according to the IOC. “They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony” rather than their national anthem should any of these invited athletes win a medal.”

The Schmid Commission itself recommended to the IOC Executive Board that it “take the appropriate measures that should be strong enough to effectively sanction the existence of a systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, as well as the legal responsibility of the various entities involved (i.e., including uniform, flag and anthem) while protecting the rights of the individual Russian clean athletes.”

“As the exclusive U.S. media rights holder through 2032, we believe in clean competition and strong actions to ensure it.,” NBCUniversal said in a statement. “Therefore, we fully support today’s IOC decision, which levels significant sanctions against the guilty, but also provides a path for clean athletes to compete in PyeongChang.”

According to Scott Blackmun, CEO for the U.S. Olympic Committee, “The IOC took a strong and principled decision. There were no perfect options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again. Now it is time to look ahead to PyeongChang."

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