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POC brass in limbo at Olympic conclave

/ 05:10 AM November 29, 2018

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas is currently in Tokyo to attend the meeting of the powerful Association of National Olympic Committees (Anoc).

But his mind must be drifting to a local issue crying for resolution: the squabbles among leaders of a number of national sports associations (NSAs).

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Of course Vargas is eager to stop the internecine wars that have caused confusion and disarray among athletes under these NSAS, says Ed Picson, the POC communications chief.

That’s why the boss according to Picson “has espoused the formation of an arbitration mechanism … making sure the members of the mediation committee [to be formed] are outsiders, meaning non-POC and non-NSA officials.”

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“The idea is to minimize conflict within and among members,” Picson said. “He (Vargas) wants professional arbiters to handle the problem.”

Among those being eyed to lead the arbitration committee is the father and son tandem of Erik and Mike Ingles, both international lawyers, reported Inquirer Sports reporter June Navarro.

Current leadership squabbles bedevil the tennis, weightlifting, karate and volleyball NSAs.

Vargas, POC chair Abraham Tolentino and secretary general Patrick Gregorio flew to Japan for the Anoc elections.

But the polls scheduled yesterday have been thrown into chaos when Anoc head Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah temporarily stepped aside amid an ongoing legal case in Switzerland.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had taken note of the Sheik’s decision to “temporarily suspend himself from his role and responsibilities within … Anoc.’”

The Kuwaiti sheik had also suspended himself from his 26-year IOC membership and his work chairing an Olympic panel that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars to athletes and sports bodies.

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With the Sheik in a pickle at the Anoc conclave, Picson said he was “not sure what will be discussed or decided at the conference.”

Donnie Nietes’ best laid plans have gone awry, it seems.

Until the dubious draw with compatriot Aston Palicte in Los Angeles recently, the super flyweight champion, who has remained undefeated in 14 years, was on track to face marquee superflys like Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales.

But Chocolatito himself, a former four-division world champion, suffered a knee injury during training and has withdrawn from his Dec. 8 main event fight with Pedro Guevara.

More on Nietes’ future and his stalled quest for a fourth world title next time.

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TAGS: Association of National Olympic Committees (Anoc), NATIONAL sports associations (NSAs), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), president Ricky Vargas
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