A plan to require Australian athletes to sign a declaration revealing past use of performance-enhancing drugs, proposed Nov. 2 by Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates, was accepted by the AOC executive board Friday and will go into effect for the 2014 Games.
The measure, which comes in response to the backlash against Lance Armstrong, will force Aussie athletes to state they have “no doping history.”
Those caught lying will face up to seven years of jail time. Those who don’t sign simply won’t be selected.
“What I don’t want is for the AOC to have egg on its face like cycling has,” AOC President John Coates told the AP when he proposed the measure earlier this month.
The AOC still isn’t sure what substances will land on the banned list, but Coates claimed there may be some “wriggle room” for doping cases with mitigating circumstances. He also explained that recreational drugs like marijuana won’t be part of the pledge. It will be strictly performance based.
“An athlete could be available for a games after serving a two-year suspension,” Coates said of the penalties. “However, we talked about it and we will not accept onto the team in any official or coaching position anyone who may have, as an athlete, violated an anti-doping rule and served such a sanction.”
Apparently Coates got the idea from the British Sky cycling team, who was also reacting to the Lance Armstrong news. No other Olympic committees have talked about similar declarations, but we imagine all the top world teams like the U.S., Great Britain, and Russia won’t be far behind.
Basketball reporter Craig Sager will miss the Rio Games as he returns to a cancer center to continue his battle against acute myeloid leukemia, NBC announced in a statement Thursday.
Sager was set to cover his fifth straight Olympics for NBC, but instead needs to undergo a third bone marrow transplant at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He resumed receiving chemotherapy on Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle, with the goal being to force the disease into remission so the transplant can be performed next month.
“We’ve known since February we would have to have the third transplant,” Sager told the Chronicle. “We tried to delay it until after the Olympics, but (the disease) is very aggressive, and there is a sense of urgency to do it now.”
Sager was diagnosed in 2014, went into remission after a bone marrow transplant, was told the cancer came back in March 2015, underwent a second transplant last year, and then found out in February he was no longer in remission.
“My body isn’t getting stronger, so they want to do it while I’m strong enough,” Sager said. “Third transplants are kind of rare, so hopefully we will get it done and I’ll be ready in time for (NBA) opening night.”
MORE: Marv Albert to call Olympic basketball for first time since 1996
NBC Olympics, Facebook and Instagram will team up to provide video highlights and interviews on social media daily during the Rio Olympics.
An on-site “Social Command Center” in Rio will capture Facebook Live content, including interviews with athletes and NBC Olympics commentators.
A daily two-minute recap video will be produced for Facebook, while Instagram will have a daily slow-motion video around an inspiring moment.
Instagram will also feature NBC Olympics commentators and athletes on its own account, @instagram, along with highlights of NBC videos through its Search & Explore video channels.
More on the NBC Olympics, Facebook and Instagram partnerships is here.
MORE: Complete U.S. Olympic team roster