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Analysis and Comment (15)

Koreas North (red) and South battle it out. Koreas North (red) and South battle it out. EPA/Jeon Heon-Kyun

North Korea uses sports to show off — and reach out

North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un has now been in power for more than two years. He has largely stuck to the ideological principles that his father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather, Kim Il-sung, had introduced…
In April 2011, men’s and women’s ski halfpipe events were approved to be included in the Sochi Winter Games. In April 2011, men’s and women’s ski halfpipe events were approved to be included in the Sochi Winter Games. couloir/Flickr

Everyone’s a winner with new events at the Winter Games

As the Sochi Winter Games have now come to a close, it is possible to reflect on the unprecedented addition of 12 new winter sports events to the program. These new events – all of which have been added…
Don’t make a fuss: the Ukrainian women’s ski relay team celebrate their win at Sochi. Don’t make a fuss: the Ukrainian women’s ski relay team celebrate their win at Sochi. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

IOC rules at Sochi go too far with ban on black armbands

During the Sochi Games, much has been written about “ambush marketing”, and its applications at, and around, the Olympics. At Sochi2014, there have already been many examples of non-sponsors exploiting…
How many times can lead shot kill? How many times can lead shot kill? Lamiot

Olympic Committee must ban lead shot in shooting events

Despite the environment being, according to the Olympic Charter, the “third dimension of Olympism”, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has yet to act on the enormous tonnage of lead shot scattered…
Russian biathlete Olga Medvedtseva was the only athlete to test positive to a banned substance in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. Russian biathlete Olga Medvedtseva was the only athlete to test positive to a banned substance in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. EPA/Gero Breloer

Higher, faster … cleaner? Doping and the Winter Olympics

A quick look at Wikipedia shows that Winter Olympians test positive for doping at a far lower rate than their Summer Olympic counterparts. The past two Summer Olympics (London and Beijing) saw 34 drug…
Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards 1988. Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards 1988. PA Archive

Winter Olympic oddities are the real heroes at Sochi

When we think of heroes of the summer Olympics, we tend to remember the great achievements: those who broke records and won clutches of medals, people like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. But at the winter…
What’s changed since the ACC report was handed down? What’s changed since the ACC report was handed down? Flickr/ hitthatswitch

One year on – the real doping scandals of 2013

A year after the “darkest day in Australian sport” the catastrophic bang has led to an all too predictable whimper. The days after the Australian Crime Commission’s report Organised Crime and Drugs in…
Faster, Higher, Stronger … Safer? Faster, Higher, Stronger … Safer?

Keeping Sochi secure is Putin’s most serious challenge

One thing dominates the Sochi Olympics as nothing else: the towering summits of the Caucasus mountains. To begin with, it may strike a first-time visitor as strange that this seaside resort is to host…
This ‘skating palace’ was a snip at $98m. This ‘skating palace’ was a snip at $98m. Atos International

Olympic-style mega-events reach new frontiers, at a cost

There is a tendency – almost a law of nature – that governs the way the costs of large-scale international events such as the football World Cup and Olympic Games far outstrip the initial forecasts of…
The former 100m world record holder tested positive for a banned stimulant last June. The former 100m world record holder tested positive for a banned stimulant last June. Matt Slocum/AP

Asafa Powell may be guilty of doping but he’s also a victim

As Asafa Powell faces the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, we already know his defence – that he was given a supplement called Epiphany D1 by his former physiotherapist, Chris Xuereb, without his…
International protests against Russia’s anti-gay laws are the latest in a long history of attempts to boycott international sporting events. International protests against Russia’s anti-gay laws are the latest in a long history of attempts to boycott international sporting events. EPA/Gideon Markowicz

Mixing politics and play: Russian protests and sporting boycotts

The mantra that “sport and politics don’t mix” was always false and misleading, but in the age of Twitter it’s absurd. Calling for boycotts of high-profile sporting events is an established political tactic…
He has a point, you know. He has a point, you know. Anthony Devlin/PA

Academics should stand with Fry against anti-gay Russia

Stephen Fry’s viral open letter calling for “an absolute ban” on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi over Russia’s controversial new anti-homosexuality laws was a clarion call for activists. But it should…
The fallout from corruption allegations during India’s Commonwealth Games continues with new IOC ban. The fallout from corruption allegations during India’s Commonwealth Games continues with new IOC ban. EPA/Anindito Mukherjee

A lost reputation: India banned from Olympics over corruption

The International Olympic Committee’s drastic step of suspending the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for alleged breaches of the Olympic Code and corrupt election processes has already sent reverberations…
Welcome to Part four of Liam Lenten’s Some Sports Economics. Welcome to Part four of Liam Lenten’s Some Sports Economics.

The economics of comparative advantage and Usain Bolt (VIDEO)

Welcome to Some Sports Economics, a six-part video series explaining economic concepts through sport, by La Trobe University senior lecturer, Liam Lenten. In the fourth part of this series, Liam explains…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (2)

The most efficient swimming stroke

The ‘deep-catch’ stroke, which pulls through water like a boat paddle, is the most efficient swimming stroke. High-precision…