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Written by Admin    Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:47    PDF Print
Sender Hoping to Compete Saturday
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Though an injury petition was filed Thursday on behalf of national champion U.S. champion David Sender, he plans to compete if possible in Saturday's finals.

Sender suffered a sprained ankle Wednesday afternoon, when he landed awkwardly on a mat and rolled an ankle when trying to still a vibrating high bar.

"He's frustrated," said Thom Glielmi, Sender's coach at Stanford. "He does not like this process (injury petition). He definitely is an athlete that wants to be on the floor."

Sender won the U.S. Championships in Houston in May after Paul Hamm broke a bone in his hand the first day. Sender also finished the competition with a healthy lead in the "10 Points" system, which rewards high event placements.

If Sender is unable to compete Saturday, 100 percent of his scores from Houston will count for his total.

"He's a proven athlete, but it's definitely not good for him not to compete," Glielmi said.

IG Online Related Items
Sender's Olympic Chances Jeopardized by Odd Injury (June 18, 2008)
Sender Wins U.S. Championships (May 24, 2008)

Written by Admin    Thursday, 19 June 2008 09:12    PDF Print
Ageless Chusovitina Turns 33
Preparing for her fifth Olympic Games, Oksana Chusovitina marked her 33rd birthday Thursday.

"I feel perfectly, like I'm still 18 years old!" she told IG this week.

A German citizen since 2006, Chusovitina defines "veteran" like no other gymnast today. Many of her competitors were not yet born when she won her first world championships gold medal in 1991.

Today a mother to a 9-year-old son, Chusovitina presses on with impressive results. In 2008 she won the vault title at the European Championships, and the all-around title at the German national championships.

"I continue training because I really love gymnastics and I still have a zeal for it," she said.

Under coach Svetlana Kuznetsova, Chusovitina made her world debut at the 1991 World Championships in Indianapolis. Originally the alternate to the Soviet team, she moved into the lineup when teammate Yelena Grudneva was injured.

Chusovitina delivered the goods in competition in Indianapolis, helping her team win the gold medal and winning the silver medal on vault and tying for the floor exercise gold.

In Indianapolis she also added three new moves to the Code of Points: the hop full and full-out on uneven bars and a layout full-out on floor exercise. She still competes all three elements today.

Following a team gold medal with the Unified team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Chusovitina began competing for her native Uzbekistan. From 1993 to 2005 she won five medals on vault for her native country, and finished 10th in the all-around at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

She married Uzbek wrestler Bakhodir Kurpanov in 1997. She missed the 1997 and 1999 Worlds after suffering a torn Achilles, and becoming a mother to Alisher.

In the fall of 2002, Alisher was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Facing a lack of medical resources in Uzbekistan, she brought Alisher to Germany to seek treatment at the University of Cologne. Fundraisers and donations from gymnastics fans helped the family pay for the treatment.

She accepted an offer to compete for the Germany team in 2003, but had to wait an additional three years for citizenship. Chusovitina, who now trains with Shanna Polyakova in Cologne, said Alisher is healthy and happy today.

"Alisher is doing well," she said. "He is in second grade, and he does gymnastics too — he really loves it!"

With the Olympics in Beijing less than two months away, she had no extravagant plans to celebrate her 33rd, she said Wednesday.

"My plans are the same as always — preparing for the Olympics so I can show everything I can do!" she said.

Written by Admin    Wednesday, 18 June 2008 22:04    PDF Print
Sender's Olympic Chances Jeopardized by Odd Injury
U.S. champion David Sender is helped off the mat after spraining his ankle Wednesday in Philadelphia
U.S. national champion David Sender suffered a sprained ankle Wednesday in podium training for the Olympic Trials — but not while doing gymnastics.

After finishing his turn on high bar at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center, the Stanford senior jumped up to the bar to stop it from vibrating. When he landed, his foot rolled off the mat.

"It's one of those things you do every day in the gym," said Dennis McIntyre, U.S. men's program director. "It's really unfortunate."

Sender left the competition area in a wheelchair. X-rays were negative for a fracture, and an MRI on Thursday revealed no tears.

"His sprain is being treated aggressively. They will make a decision on his competing in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on a day-by-day basis," USA Gymnastics announced to the media Thursday morning.

If Sender is unable to compete in Philadelphia, he will petition to the U.S. Olympic team, which is scheduled to be announced Sunday.

Reigning Olympic champion Paul Hamm broke his hand at the U.S. Championships in Houston and has petitioned to the team.

Sender won the national title last month in Houston, defeating Jonathan Horton and Joseph Hagerty by a few tenths in the final event.

Results from the Olympic Trials and U.S. Championships will be combined to determine results, with the trials weighted 60 percent to 40 percent for the championships. The top two gymnasts will secure automatic berths to the team, provided they are also in the top three on three events.

Sender's status as national champion does not guarantee him a spot on the team, and he was looking to the trials as a fresh start, he said in Houston.

"It's the Olympics and anybody can make it," he told IG. "We have a really, really deep team. It's really up to consistency and whatever kind of team they put together, where you fit in with their strengths. I'm looking at it as a clean slate and going out there and making the best showing I can."

Written by Admin    Monday, 16 June 2008 22:32    PDF Print
FIG Delays Irina Viner Verdict
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
The FIG delayed a decision in its case against Russian rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner, who met with the federation's Disciplinary Commission on Sunday in Lausanne.

Irina Alexandrova Viner

• Head coach, Russian rhythmic gymnastics team
• Vice president, Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation
• Vice president, International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Rhythmic Technical Committee
• Doctor of Education Sciences

Born: July 30, 1948, in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR. Daughter of artist Alexander Yefimovich Viner and doctor Zoya Zinovevna Viner.


1959: Began rhythmic gymnastics at 11 years old, training with Lilia Petrova and Eleanora Sumarokova.
1969: Graduated from the Uzbek Institute of Physical Culture and began coaching at the Olympic Reserve School of Tashkent.
1972-1992: Head coach of the Tashkent rhythmic team, and then the national team of Uzbekistan.
1992: Moved to Moscow and became head coach of the Olympic Training Center.
2001: Named head coach of the Russian national team; awarded the Russian Order of Merit.
2003: Honored by the International Olympic Committee for outstanding contribution to the development of women in sports.

Famous Pupils: Vera Shatalina, Venus Zaripova, Yelena Kholodova, Marina Nikolayeva, Amina Zaripova, Yana Batyrshina, Natalia Lipkovskaya, Yulia Barsukova, Alina Kabayeva, Olga Kapranova

Family Married to oligarch Alisher Usmanov, steel and energy billionaire. One son, Anton Viner, owner of the spa chain "Sun and City."

Source: RIA

Without releasing details, the FIG announced Tuesday that further information will be published on July 10, or earlier if a decision is reached.

Prior to Sunday's hearing, FIG Secretary General André Gueisbuhler stated that a decision was likely for Monday, although he said there was a possibility the commission might require additional documentation from Viner.

The FIG stated Tuesday, however, that the three-member commission has completed its duty in the case against Viner, a member of its own Rhythmic Technical Committee.

"In compliance with current procedures, the Disciplinary Commission has finalised its report concerning their investigations and the hearing," the FIG stated. "This report is sent to the FIG Presidential Commission which will take a decision in due time."

Viner said she felt confident following the hearing in Lausanne.

"They explained what they had against me," she said. "I explained my position and I think they accepted it. I hope so. I'll describe everything in detail when a decision is made."

Viner's Ukrainian rival, Irina Deryugina, received an eight-year ban in April after the FIG found her guilty of numerous breaches in its Code of Discipline, including tarnishing the image of the sport and attempting to influence competition results.

According to reports, the FIG accused Viner of similar conduct.

Viner's most famous gymnast, reigning Olympic champion Alina Kabayeva, offered support for her coach.

"Listen, it's complete nonsense," Kabayeva told the media. "I am hearing about these accusations for the first time. She loves her gymnasts, what she does. She's full of love for it and love for our country Russia. And all the results which Russian rhythmic gymnastics has today are thanks to Irina Viner."

The news of the hearing has piqued interest in Russia, where Viner is one of the most famous women in sports. In addition to coaching numerous world and Olympic champions, Viner is married to billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

The Viner hearings should not distract the Russian team from its Olympic preparation, Kabayeva said.

"The girls should not pay attention to this at all," Kabayeva said. "Irina Alexandrovna has correctly decided to not wait for an answer [in Lausanne] but returned to Russia and told us the Olympic Games lie ahead.... It is necessary to train, to get into form and come out on top. We need to wish them success to win the Olympics. Russia has good chances, good gymnasts, and they simply need to relax."

IG Online Related Items
Viner Faces Disciplinary Commission, Possible Sanctions (June 14, 2008)
FIG Suspends Deryugina till 2016 (April 22, 2008)

Written by Admin    Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:55    PDF Print
Viner Faces Disciplinary Commission, Possible Sanctions
Irina Viner

Russian rhythmic coach Irina Viner will face the FIG Disciplinary Commission in Lausanne on Sunday, two months after the FIG sanctioned her Ukrainian rival, Irina Deryugina.

As with Deryugina, the FIG has not released details of why it summoned Viner, whose decorated pupils include reigning Olympic champion Alina Kabayeva.

"I'm absolutely innocent and I and my lawyers are going to prove that all accusations against me are groundless," Viner said.

In April, the FIG banned Deryugina from participating in any international event for eight years after finding her guilty of numerous violations, including discrediting the image of gymnastics and attempting to influence the results of competitions. Deryugina's appeal will be heard June 30 by the FIG Appeal Tribunal in Geneva.

Viner, a member of the FIG's Rhythmic Technical Committee and one of the most famous women in Russian sports, could face similar charges.

A decision is expected Monday, said FIG Secretary General André Gueisbuhler, who explained the disciplinary process to the Russian press.

"The business with Irina Viner is the only thing on the agenda for tomorrow's session of the FIG Disciplinary Commission," Gueisbuhler said. "The structure of the commission includes three people: the president and two laymen. Neither I nor FIG President Bruno Grandi will be present at the session. We have familiarized ourselves with all the documents in advance, and rendering a decision is strictly the business of the commission. In the beginning of the session the charges will be given to Irina Viner and her lawyer. Then jointly the commission will render its verdict. However, it is possible, that any decision on tomorrow's session will not be accepted. Probably, members of the commission will ask Viner for any additional documents, or, explanations will be necessary for the Russians. Our basic principle, however, is that each session of the disciplinary commission should come to an end with a decision. In any case, the decision on the Viner matter will not be any earlier than June 16th."

Viner, a native of Uzbekistan, moved to Moscow in the early 1990s. Her Russian gymnasts have dominated the sport, with numerous stars including Olympic champions Kabayeva and Yulia Barsukova, and world and European champions Amina Zaripova, Yana Batyrchina, Natalia Lipkovskaya and Olga Kapranova. She also trains top gymnasts from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Viner is married to oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a steel and gas billionaire whose net worth Forbes estimated at $5.5 billion in 2007. The controversial Usmanov, who owns a majority stake in British football club Arsenal, was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of extortion in 1980. He spent six years in a labor camp and was pardoned in 2000 by the Uzbek Supreme Court.

IG Online Related Items
FIG Suspends Deryugina till 2016 (April 22, 2008)


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