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FIFA President Sepp Blatter has sat atop soccer's ruling body for five terms and faces a tough vote Friday to keep his position. (Associated Press)

FIFA scandal highlights culture of corruption in World Cup, Olympics bidding

- The Washington Times

Soccer's World Cup is big business for host countries, and the game's organizational structure does little to prevent graft, mismanagement and cost overruns, according to experts who say that driving factors such as tourism, global exposure and long-term infrastructure are chief motivators for some countries to fight -- not always fairly -- for the right to host.

Columnist Thom Loverro returns to The Washington Times sports section after a nearly four-year absence. (The Washington Times)

The Times' Thom Loverro named D.C.'s top sportswriter

- The Washington Times

Washington Times sports columnist Thom Loverro has been named District of Columbia Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, a membership organization consisting of 800 sportscasters and sportswriters from across the nation.

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. points into the crowd after she set a new world record in her women's 1500m freestyle final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Ledecky won the race setting a new world record of 15 minutes, 28.36 seconds.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Katie Ledecky star of show at USA Swimming awards banquet

- Associated Press

The 17-year-old from Maryland earned five gold medals at last summer's Pan Pacific championships at freestyle distances ranging from 200 to 1,500 meters, setting world records on consecutive nights.