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Richard McLaren, Artists Fox and Eylanbekov Highlight Academy’s Awards of Sport Program

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Professor Richard McLaren will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the United States Sports Academy on 11 November 2021.

United States Sports Academy |

The public is invited to attend as the United States Sports Academy hosts its annual Awards of Sport program with the awarding of an Honorary Doctorate and the unveiling of a work of sport art on its Daphne, Ala., campus, on Thursday, 11 November 2021.

The Academy will recognize sport corruption investigator, clean sport campaigner, attorney, and sport law Professor Richard McLaren, who will receive the institution’s 2021 Honorary Doctorate award during the program. In addition, the Academy will welcome its 2021 Sport Artists of the Year to campus. Prolific sports painter Brian Fox and renowned sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov will be on hand to receive the Sport Artist of the Year – Zhenliang He Culture Awards during the program.

The ceremony is free and open to the public beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 11 November 2021. The Academy’s campus is located at One Academy Drive in Daphne, Ala. A reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres will follow. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP at (251) 626-3303 or email communications@ussa.edu, but reservations are not required.

Honorary Doctorate Recipient Professor Richard McLaren

An internationally recognized expert in sports law and arbitration, Professor Richard McLaren has spent his career working at the highest levels to protect the integrity of sports.

McLaren earned the Academy’s 2021 Honorary Doctorate award because of his body of work uncovering corruption in international sport – including his leadership on the WADA Commission, which investigated allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russian sports. His 2016 McLaren Report indicated systematic state-sponsored subversion of the drug testing processes by the government of Russia before, during, and subsequent to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. McLaren’s follow up report, also in 2016, found that between 2011 and 2015, more than 1,000 Russian competitors in various sports – summer, winter, and Paralympic sports – benefitted from the program.

The report led to the suspension of Russia from all international athletic competitions by the International Association of Athletics Federations (World Athletics) and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Russian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals in Rio and in subsequent Games in PyeongChang and Tokyo.

McLaren, a law professor at Western University in Ontario, Canada, is also member of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – the international body established to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. In addition, he has also been a member of the ad Hoc Divisions of CAS at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan in 1998 and Turin Italy in 2006; the Summer Olympic Games: in Sydney, Australia 2000; in Athens, Greece, 2004; and, in Beijing, China, 2008 and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester England in 2002.

McLaren has served with distinction as an arbitrator for the National Hockey League salary arbitrations and Player/Agent disputes for the NHL Players’ Association. He was appointed Chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Doping Control to investigate allegations against certain American track and field athletes (Report July 2001) and served for six years as Chairman of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Anti-Doping Tribunal until 2006 when the ATP Doping Programme was transferred to the International Tennis Federation.

He participated in the Major League Baseball inquiry in to the use of steroids, which culminated in a Report in December of 2007. He is a member of the Anti-Doping Panel for the International Cricket Council based in Dubai and chairs the Doping Tribunal for the European Tour, which serves men’s professional golf. He is also a co-founder of Sport Solution, an athlete advocacy association funded by Athletes CAN located at the Faculty of Law, The University of Western Ontario. He is the incoming chair of the NSLI’s Board of Advisors. In 2011 he was appointed the President of the Basketball Arbitration Tribunal based in Geneva Switzerland and associated with FIBA.

Brian Fox: Sport Artist of the Year, Painter

Because of his meticulous attention to detail and uncanny ability to capture the iconic expressions of his larger-than-life subjects, nationally renowned painter Brian Fox is the United States Sports Academy’s 2021 Sport Artist of the Year, Painter.

A resident of Somerset, Mass., Fox specializes in painting the world’s greatest legends in sports and music. Fox has painted some of the biggest icons of our time, including the late Jackie Robinson, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, actor Johnny Depp, boxer Muhammad Ali, baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter and soccer superstar Pele.

Brian Fox is the Academy’s 2021 Sport Artist of the Year, Painter.

“Being recognized by a prestigious organization such as the United States Sports Academy is an incredible honor,” Fox said. “I am as humbled as I am grateful.

“Having been selected for this honor is truly one of the highlights of my career, especially given that I’m in the company of such talented artists as Stephen Holland and LeRoy Neiman—previous recipients—who have positively influenced my life’s work.”

Fox has exhibited his works in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Lexington. His art is featured in numerous galleries around the country. Over the course of a 20-year career, Fox has also been able to forge relationships with celebrities, athletes and corporations, and charitable organizations. Because of those relationships, Fox’s work can be found in many corporate and private collections, including those owned by singer Steven Tyler, NFL quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen, actor Mark Wahlberg, NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. and many others.

In addition to being honored as the official artist for the 2009 NHL Winter Classic, Fox has been selected as the official commemorative artist for Major League Baseball’s 2007- 2009 All-Star Games, as well as the official artist for the 2007 World Series held in Boston.

One highlight of Fox’s career happened when, in anticipation for the 2010 Olympics and 30th Anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice,” the artist collaborated with Olympic hero Jim Craig to create a collection of original artwork commemorating the United States hockey team’s historic victory over the Soviet Union in 1980. The first release in the series was a portrait of Craig draped in the American flag. Fox was also commissioned by a private collector to produce a one-of-a-kind collectors portrait commemorating the 30-year anniversary of “Miracle on Ice.” The portrait was signed by all members of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team, including Craig.

Fox’s work has been selected in the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles. The artist has also produced a series of original paintings exclusively for Walt Disney Parks and Cruise lines. Fox’s artwork exhibits and sells throughout the United States.

The Academy’s Awards of Sport program each year serves as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.”

The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 37th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.

Sergey Eylanbekov: Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor

Russian sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov is a repeat Sport Artist of the Year honoree, having previously won the award from the Academy in 2004.

Eylanbekov is a renowned Russian-American sculptor whose works can be found in public spaces and private collections around the world. Born in Russia in 1960, Eylanbekov studied at the prestigious Moscow Surikov Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating with honors in 1984, he participated in many important exhibitions, from which several of his sculptures were acquired by the Russian Academy of Fine Art and the Ministry of Culture for permanent display.

Sergey Eylanbekov is the Academy’s 2021 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor.

The sculptor’s statues of Dwight D. Eisenhower and a group of paratroopers were placed on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 2020 during a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. . The scene sculpted by Eylanbekov depicts a moment when Eisenhower spoke to solders with the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne division ahead of the Normandy invasion.

The Eisenhower pieces commemorate the man as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II, as 34th President of the United States, and as a Young Man. A 36-feet-long stone bas-relief serves as a backdrop for the bronze statues of general Eisenhower and the soldiers. It depicts Normandy coast on the day of the landing. The bas-relief was designed and carved by Eylanbekov and the team of stone carvers. A bas-relief represents a map of the world serves as a background for the sculpture of president Eisenhower with his advisers.

The memorial is located within a four-acre urban park on Independence Avenue, across from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and adjacent to the U.S. Department of Education.

The 36-feet-long stone bas-relief serves as a backdrop for the bronze statues of general Eisenhower and the soldiers. It depicts Normandy coast on the day of the landing. The bas-relief was designed and carved by Eylanbekov and the team of stone carvers. A bas-relief represents a map of the world serves as a background for the sculpture of president Eisenhower with his advisers.

The memorial is located within a four-acre urban park on Independence Avenue, across from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and adjacent to the U.S. Department of Education.

In 2004, his sculpture “Five Continents” officially represented the United States in the International Olympic Committee’s global Art and Sport Contest and was awarded first place. “Five Continents” was exhibited during the Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece, and is on permanent display at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Since then, Eylanbekov has won numerous other contests and completed major public commissions. He created sculptures for the Peer Gynt Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway, and the Hancock-Adams Common in Quincy, Massachusetts. Notably, his works have been exhibited at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the United States Sports Academy, and the United Nations.

Eylanbekov lives and works on Long Island, New York and in Pietrasanta, Italy. He is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society and served on its Board of Directors.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,800 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.

The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala.  For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

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