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.
There have been zero Zika virus cases stemming from the Rio Olympics, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics,” the organization said in an online update Thursday.
Earlier this summer, several athletes cited Zika concerns in skipping the Olympics.
The World Health Organization said before the Rio Games that the Olympics posed “a very low risk” of accelerating the Zika virus spread around the world.
Thousands of athletes will come to Rio for the Paralympics that run from Sept. 7-18, which is still during Brazil’s winter, lessening the Zika risk.
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University of Oregon hurdler and wide receiver Devon Allen said he “thinks” he’s turning pro in track, but also said he hasn’t really decided if his NCAA track career is finished Thursday.
“There’s not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record,” Allen said.
Allen, a University of Oregon junior, finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles on Aug. 16 after winning the Olympic Trials on July 9.
Allen can turn pro in track and field and still play football for the Ducks, so long as he keeps his track and field profits to prize money and not endorsement deals.
He’s definitely planning on playing for Oregon’s football team this season, perhaps even in the season opener Sept. 3.
As for track season next winter and spring, that’s looking unlikely. Allen noted that he has won NCAA individual and team titles.
The only missing piece is the NCAA record of 13.00 set by former world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Allen’s personal best is 13.03.
It’s clear that Allen would like to be a professional in both track and football.
“The NFL is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics,” said Allen, who caught nine passes for 94 yards last season, coming back from tearing knee ligaments in the Rose Bowl. “I kind of accomplished that Olympic dream, obviously, in four years, I want to win a gold medal, so that’s one more step to that dream. Now my next dream is to play in the NFL.”
VIDEO: Top track and field moments from Rio Olympics