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Why a three-time Olympic Champion will miss the Tokyo Games

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China’s three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang has had an eight-year doping ban reduced to four years and three months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

But the ban, backdated to 28 February 2020, means the swimmer will miss this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.

A new Court panel held the latest hearing after a Swiss Federal Tribunal ruling.

The 29-year-old missed a doping test in September 2018 and as a result, was given an eight-year ban for his second offence.

In January of 2019, Sun Yang was cleared of wrongdoing by Fina, the swimming federation, however, an appeal put forward by the World Anti-Doping Agency to the Court of Arbitration for Sport made the overruled that decision.  

Switzerland’s highest court set the ruling aside and the case was once again heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport however with a different panel in place.

Sun had told an appeal hearing in November 2019 that he missed the doping test because testers failed to prove their identity when they arrived at his home.

He also denied a vial containing his blood samples was smashed with a hammer.

Sun’s first offence saw him serve a three-month suspension in 2014 for taking the prohibited stimulant; Trimetazidine.

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Sport

How did Tokyo make it to the opening ceremony?

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They are the Olympic Games that many people thought wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – happen.

However, after a turbulent journey, the Tokyo Games are finally here.

After being put on hold by a pandemic, the most unique Olympic Games in history will officially begin today. Final preparations are taking place, ahead of the opening ceremony.

Shrouded in uncertainty, and marred by controversy and a cost blowout, the lead up to the games has also seen calls for them to be cancelled or delayed again.

“We had doubts every day. We deliberated. We discussed. There were sleepless nights,” according to IOC President Thomas Bach.

However, he claims says cancellation was never an option.

“The IOC never abandons the athletes.”

Thomas bach

But what about the host nation – where most people are opposed to the Games going ahead?

“Japan had an enormous positive output to olympics but that shifted after pandemic started,” Barbara Holthus, the editor of Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics, tells Ticker News.

Still, organisers have repeatedly resisted calls to pull the pin.

Simon Denyer is The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tokyo. He says there’s “indifference and in some cases outright hostility to these games happening here”.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has promised to deliver a “safe and secure” event.

Do Japanese people actually believe that will happen?

Well, according to a recent poll, two-thirds of the population do not.

Some health experts have even expressed concerns that the Olympics could become a COVID-19 super-spreader event. 

Sports economist Simon Chadwick wants organisers to embrace simple and clear messaging.

“Whether they like it or not, the organisers have got to strip this right back to some basic essentials and they need to make sure this is about safety, security, trust and respect”, he told Ticker News.

Just a month ago it was decided up to 10,000 fans would be allowed into venues.

That decision was reversed – with all spectators banned.

“There’s fences around venues, streets are closed off, it’s really separated from the population. There isn’t any sense of excitement I can discern in the city about the olympics,” according to Simon Chadwick.

The jam-packed Games will feature 339 medal events across 42 venues with more than 11,000 athletes expected to compete.

Former Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett hopes once the sports spectacle begins, the magic of the Games will return.

“A lot of people are inspired about what a human being can do and hopefully that inspiration, gives inspiration back to community across the world,” he told Ticker News.

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Business

Why businesses should be tapping into the world of eSports

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Gaming has run a parallel race with tech businesses for years now with many industries embracing the competitive advantages.

CARLOS ALIMURUNG EXPLAINS THE PERKS OF MOBILE GAMING

It’s no secret that eSports is an area that many gamers imagined thriving since the early days of couch multiplayer – Businesses are now witnessing the momentum first-hand with companies such as ONE eSports acting as a vanguard to this new era.

CEO of ONE eSports, Carlos Alimurung was able to shine some light on the industry looking to explain the benefits for players, sponsors, and streamers.

Mobile gaming, whilst often considered “beneath” many traditional gamers have seen exponential growth with the power of smartphones and mobile devices increasing significantly, and eSports teams have noticed the potential of the games on offer and the convenience with which the platforms contain.

Celebrating the narrative of content creators and players within the industry is another area boasted by ONE eSports as they encourage and promote the players, seeing them as no different to athletes seen on a field, court, or even the Olympics. Though as Carlos explains “eSports doesn’t need the Olympics” – A wonderful expression of confidence for a passionate group of gamers desiring to be taken seriously.

Balancing a traditionally male-dominated industry can be a challenging task for a lot of big businesses which look to make a difference.

Articles outlining the struggles of female employees within game development are rife and deeply troubling, with major developers coming under fire for their response to the traumatic experiences inflicted upon women in the gaming industry.

INCLUSION IS PART OF THEIR INDUSTRY MISSION

They seek to enable and uplift players, streamers, and content creators of all genders to succeed – a breath of fresh air in an otherwise tainted space.

The numbers of female players look to increase with nearly 47% of gamers already being female there is plenty of room to see growth within eSports. (It doesn’t matter what gender you are when you’re on the business end of a no-scope trick shot in the arena!)

carlos alimurung gives insight into the business branding within esports

With brands like Netflix looking to get involved in the gaming industry, it is no longer a question of how but when other major companies will look to plug in and play.

Brands will also need to get smart about how their marketing will be presented to a younger more active audience (without hitting players over the head with it) Games like the basketball simulator: NBA 2K21 integrated unskippible advertising during loading screens which saw fans upset with being force-fed content onto their screens.

And whilst some could argue this made the game more authentic as advertising of course coats the sporting space, there are definitely more clever ways to do this… the spectacle of an esports arena for instance and the opportunities available have untapped potential, again the key is to be clever with the integration of marketing to Gen Z.

EXPANDING REACH

eSport will continue to expand its traditional reach from North America and Southeast Asia through onto Australian shores the question again, is not how but when this will occur as many Aussie gamers go without representation and limited faculty on home soil.

With the pandemic and vaccine rollout yet to play out in full there is a great opportunity to expand the digital market and competitive gaming space worldwide.

For the full chat with Carlos and more gaming goodness check out the rest of Ticker Gaming

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Global Politics

Tokyo Olympics faces PR disaster, forced to fire show director

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Tokyo Japan olympic games

As the Tokyo games kicks off, the event is facing a PR disaster

The Tokyo Olympics has faced a major PR disaster when they were forced to fire the director of the opening ceremony after a decade-old video emerged of him joking about the Holocaust.

The scandal is the latest blow to the delayed tournament, which are taking place under unprecedented circumstances in Tokyo.

The games, held without spectators are against the wishes of much of the Japanese public as COVID-19 cases rise in the capital city.

“We have discovered that Kentaro Kobayashi in the past made fun of a painful part of history, so he has today been removed,”

Olympics chief Seiko Hashimoto said.

A video posted onto social media showed the now-former opening ceremony director when he was working as a comedian years ago, making jokes about the Holocaust.

Japan’s Mainichi newspaper said the video dated to 1998

“Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of six million Jews,”

it cited the center’s Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper as saying.

With the director fired at the last moment, it is unclear how the opening ceremony would be handled on Friday.

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