Yet another Olympic athlete could see her medal stripped after she was caught doping, but Russia’s Darya Pishchalnikova is facing a much more severe penalty for this, her second offense: a lifetime ban.
Russian’s Anti-doping Agency executive director Nikita Kamayev said Thursday that the 2011 world champ and London silver medalist was being investigated by WADA after she recently tested positive for anabolic steroids.
“An athlete who commits a second offence involving [anabolic steroids] could face from eight years to a life ban,” Kamayev told the Russian media. “As for the Olympic silver medal, it depends when her suspension would start if she was found guilty this time.”
The 27-year-old has had quite the controversial career, having served a suspension of nearly three years after she and six other female Russian athletes were found guilty of manipulating samples before the 2008 Games.
Pishchalnikova was also stripped of her 2009 world silver medal and had all her results from May 2007 to the end of her suspension in April of 2011 expunged by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
All that adds up to the likelihood of a lifetime ban if found guilty, but Pishchalnikova maintains her innocence and has exercised her right to have her B sample analyzed as part of the investigation.
If found guilty she’d join Belarusian shot put gold medalist Nadzeya Ostapchuk and Uzbekistani bronze medal wrestler Soslan Tigiev on the list of London athletes who’ve lost their medals due to doping.
Los Angeles Lakers point guard José Calderón retired from Spain’s national team after playing in his fourth Olympics in Rio.
Calderón, 34, earned silver medals in 2008 and 2012 and bronze in 2016 for Spain, which lost to the U.S. in the medal rounds at each of the last three Olympics.
Calderón is one of five Spaniards to play in the last four Olympic tournaments, along with Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes.
Calderón came off the bench in Rio and played 25 minutes total in five of the team’s eight games. He’s entering his 12th season in the NBA.
Gasol, who will be 40 years old come Tokyo 2020, has not determined when he will end his international career.
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Helen Maroulis nervously stood to the side of Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh as he introduced the Olympic gold medalist to his players, in full pads and ready to take the field, in their locker room Saturday.
“When you beat a legend, you become a legend,” Harbaugh told the team and Maroulis. “You’re a legend, so our guys want to hear about it.”
Maroulis, who beat three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida to become the first U.S. Olympic women’s wrestling champion, then stepped up. Wearing a Ravens jersey — “No. 16 Maroulis” — she addressed the team.
“I was incredibly nervous,” Maroulis said later. “I just speak from the heart.”
Her full speech before the Ravens-Lions preseason game Saturday:
“A lot of people asked if I knew I was going to win before the finals. And, no, I don’t ever know if I’m going to win before a match. And I’ve always said, I’m not called to be a Magic 8-Ball. I’m called to be a wrestler. So my job isn’t to predict the future. My job is to step out there and give everything that I have. Just through studying opponents and studying people’s mindsets and trying to figure out what was going to work for me, I just realized that you have to give everything you have, and you have to sacrifice everything that needs to be sacrificed, but you can’t take anything with you into a match that’s going to guarantee you a win. Like all the hard work, everything, that doesn’t promise you a win. You still have to step out there as if you’re wrestling for your life, or you’re fighting for your life. Did I know I was going to beat her? No. But I always say, Christ is in me. I am enough. I didn’t need to be perfect that day. I didn’t need to be the fastest. I just needed to be enough. And on that day I was enough to win.”
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