1- I understand that they are trying to prevent numerous inquiries but the IOC is a 6 billion dollar business and they don't need the money. There are many sports that have successfully restricted the abuse of unneccessary challenges (such as football, basketball, etc...) without the transfer of money. This is so sketchy I don't even know what to say. What if a particularly poor country wants to challenge a rule? Too bad...they can't even get an inquiry unless they hand some cash over. This can't be justified on ANY level.
2- Speaking of money, I love how the IOC is fighting the athletes so hard over the rule banning sponsors immediately before and during the games. Many athletes are leading the charge and saying--why cant we wear clothes and get compensated by these huge corporations that will pay us just for wearing a Nike check on our tee-shirts? The lady leading the campaign, Sonya Richards-Ross, has made the issue very clear and has been quite honest (this is a nice change for the games) by sharing that while she is very fortunate (she's married to a NFL star as well) and doesn't have to worry about financial considerations, many athletes at the games work 2-3 jobs in addition to their relentless schedules just to get by. Should there be some standards and limitations regarding the amount of sponsorship influence and pull--absolutely. But, again, the blanket rule goes too far and ends up hurting many athletes (particularly from countries or sports that may not be as wealthy, commercially oriented or popular). Why shouldn't those who have done the work and finally get an opportunity to shine on a GLOBAL stage get the same opportunities as those athletes coming from the huge "commercial" countries? Even if they didn't wear specific branding during the actual events they should at least be able to wear gear and be photographed in the days leading up to the events.
3- FIG-- this is a failure of epic proportions and their missteps and judgements are so GLARING that Im surprised the gymnastics community hasn't organized a protest (I know that is scary and difficult but these folks are out of control). If an entire panel of judges can't identify that a specific dismount is at least significantly more difficult and scored substantially higher then we have a problem. Further, awarding medals and subsequently taking them away based on complaints is unacceptable. If you aren't sure of the results and you have incompetent judges then you need to take the time to fix the problem before shattering the dreams and expectations of numerous athletes. Also, if every coach can challenge the scores then maybe we should have a second panel reviewing video playback for EVERY performance in the future--you can't have it both ways because Im sure there are plenty of gymnasts who could argue that their routines were scored incorrectly--what happened to their "rights" to reviews and changes?
4- I've said a lot about the 2 gymnasts per country rule so I wont lay out another rant, but, in essence: this is the freaking OLYMPICS--the top 24 gymnasts in the world should be competing for the highest honor, not whomever the FIG deems worthy by essence of where they were born.