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Rome to bid for 2024 Olympics

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is fully behind the bid. Credit: PA

Rome will enter a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Monday.

The application phase for potential candidates is set to formally open in September 2015, with a deadline of January 8 2016 and the announcement of the chosen venue set for the summer of 2017.

Following concerns over finance, Italy, which hosted the 1960 Olympics in Rome, had scrapped plans to bid for the 2020 Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Renzi told a news conference at the Italian National Olympic Committee headquarters in the capital: ''The Italian government, together with CONI, is ready to do its part for a project that isn't based on great infrastructures or big dreams, but rather great people."

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Rio de Janeiro 2016 unveil Olympics mascots

The next Olympics and Paralympics games in Brazil will be fronted by a colourful duo, after the mascots were unveiled.

One is a yellow cat-like creature, representative of all the animals in Brazil, whereas the Paralympic mascot is a fusion of Brazilian forest plants.

The mascots looking like a cheery duo. Credit: Rio 2016

Neither is named yet, with the organisation offering the public the opportunity to name them.

People can vote for their preferred names on the mascots' own website.

'Irregularities in Vanessa Mae's Olympic qualifier'

World famous Violinist Vanessa Mae finished last when she competed for Thailand in last year's Winter Olympics. Credit: PA

Four slovenian officials have been suspended for alleged 'irregularities' during violinist Vanessa Mae's Olympic qualifying ski race, the National Skiiing Association said.

Slovenian Ski Association head Jurij Zurej told news agency Reuters: "We discovered there were a number of irregularities in the competition in which Vanessa Mae qualified."

He said there was 'no indication whatsoever' that Mae or any other skier was involved and that the matter was now in the hands of local police.

Mae in her 'day job' as a violinist. Credit: PA

Mae competed for Thailand at the Games in Russia in February under her father's surname of Vanakorn, finishing a distant last of the 67 finishers in the giant slalom.

The 35-year-old had qualified for the Olympics at the very last moment after competing in four giant slaloms in Slovenia at the end of January gave her the ranking points needed to be eligible.

IOC warns Rio it risks missing deadline for 2016 Games

The International Olympic Committee has sent a clear warning to the organisers of the Rio 2016 Games that "every second counts" after visiting the Brazilian city.

With just over two years to go, the IOC said that a "constant, concerted and integrated effort is required for the successful delivery of the Games and its legacy".

It added: "Although progress is being made, each decision that is postponed and each subsequent delay will have a negative impact on delivery. Total focus and dedication are therefore required."

ITV News' Brazil correspondent Nick Ravenscroft, who was at the news conference, tweeted:

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Sports minister's comments 'discouraging'

Comments made by sports and equalities minister Helen Grant have been criticised by anti-sexism campaigners as "discouraging" at a time when female Olympians are leading the glory for Britain at the Sochi games.

Helen Grant. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates, said: "It's really the wrong approach to suggest that the only way for women to get involved in sports is to be girlie and feminine."It's actually discouraging for a minister to say this.

"With our great athletes performing fantastically at the Olympics, we still see media outlets focusing on the looks and femininity, which the comments seem to do too."

Lizzy Yarnold, 25, won the country's first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the skeleton while Jenny Jones took a bronze in snowboard slopestyle and so did the female curling team.

Team GB Winter Olympians congratulate Yarnold

Team GB's short track speed skater Jonathan Eley, ice skater Penny Coomes and short track speed skater Richard Shoebridge have tweeted:

Team GB's Christie denied silver after crash penalty

Great Britain's Elise Christie crashes in the Ladies 500m Final during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Credit: PA Wire

Short track speed skater Elise Christie missed out on a silver medal after she was disqualified in the women's 500 metres final at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 23-year-old Scot recovered from a fall to cross the line in second, but judges swiftly dropped her to fourth place after blaming her for the fall.

On her disqualification, Christie told BBC Sport: "I thought she hit me. I was not sure if it would go my way. I did not think it would be me [to be penalised] but it was. You have to respect the decision. I have not watched it back so I cannot comment."

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