Princess Anne was not quite in her infamous "Naff 'orf" mode when she chided the media at the annual general meeting of the British Olympic Association, over which she presides, but she made sure we got the message. "Please get your facts right," she said icily. The BOA have had a rather bad press of late and HRH is not alone in coming out fighting. Colin Moynihan, who threw a mean punch as an amateur bantamweight boxer, is now very much "hands on", adopting a far more aggressive role as chairman after the organisation's recent gaffes by overturning the proposed "gagging" clause in athletes' contracts and throwing out any idea of them using smog masks in Beijing. Moreover, he warns Dwain Chambers that if the sprinter contests his life Olympic ban in court, it will be a fight to the finish "whatever the cost". That, of course could be considerable – for both parties – but Moynihan, well connected in top legal circles, says he will hire the best possible lawyers. "I've been in sport 28 years and I am determined there will be no room for cheats in our teams for Beijing or London."
Seeing red over Ken's middle-of-the-nightmare
Ken Livingstone's dream of a car-free Olympics in 2012 has been rudely dashed by the International Olympic Committee, who clearly do not relish sweating with the punters on the bendy buses or packed tubes. They are insisting on 3,000 chauffeur-driven limos for VIPs, officials and sponsors. Meanwhile, the 20,000 fight fans fretting in the two-and-a-half-hour jam exiting the O2 Arena (an Olympic venue, incidentally, where no public transport was available in the early hours) last weekend might suggest London's mayor should be charged for causing congestion.
Boxing becomes the new rock 'n' roll
David Haye walked the five miles to his south London home rather than endure the traffic chaos around the O2 Arena after his brief and brutal despatch of Enzo Maccarinelli. Presumably he needed to break sweat. While Maccarinelli was caught cold, the boxing world has caught Haye fever. A sport on a roll loves a big winner almost as much as it does a game loser. Some 20,000 paid to watch Haye. When Ricky Hatton has his Manchester City homecoming against the moderate Juan Lazcano on 24 May it should be no sweat, too, for the Hitman before a crowd of 55,000. "Over 42,000 tickets went on the first day," said the promoter, Frank Maloney. "Demand was faster than for a Rolling Stones gig."
Author McNab puts Hitler's Games on stage
Tom McNab, who in his time has been coach to Britain's Olympic athletics and bobsleigh teams, and written a best-selling novel ('Flanagan's Run') has turned sporting playwright. A stage reading of his radio play '1936', about the Berlin Olympics, will be held at the Trestle Theatre,St Albans, on Wednesday in aid of Grove House, a local hospice. It is a dramatic account of how Hitler cynically politicised the most infamous of Games which, says McNab, 74, has parallels with some of the ethical issues now bedevilling the upcoming Olympics in Beijing.
No more queuing for pies if you play your cards right
Football these days finds many ways of relieving fans of their money. One of the least painful goes on trial at today's Manchester City-Spurs game when MasterCard pilot a one-touch cashless payment system that can be used for everything from ticketsto programmes and, they claim, cuts queuing for pies.Reuse content