Lochte wins big, in and out of the pool

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Surprise, surprise: Ryan Lochte won another race Thursday night.

Lochte and a host of his USA Swimming national teammates are at the University of Texas for the Winter National Championships, a short-course-yards meet. Lochte won the 200m IM, a race, at least in long-course competitions, he all but owned from 2009 until last summer. As you remember, Phelps beat him at the London Olympics.

Now that Phelps is the proud owner of an AARP card, the race is Lochte’s to lose once again.

Other winners included Katie Ledecky (women’s 500y freestyle), who recently took home the Golden Goggles for Breakout Performer of the Year and Female Race of the Year, Jessica Hardy (women’s 50y freestyle) and Matt Grevers (men’s 50y freestyle).

One-time Olympian (and five-time Olympic medalist) Missy Franklin took third in the women’s 200y IM.

The victory came at a good time for Lochte, who announced this morning that he had signed with entertainment and sports agency CAA (Creative Artists Agency). The company has offices across the world, including Los Angeles – where Lochte was rumored to be relocating earlier this fall. He ultimately stayed put in Gainesville, Fla. but we wonder if this new development will bring him to the west coast to train and further develop the Ryan Lochte brand. CAA’s list of athletes includes Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, soccer player David Beckham, hockey player Sidney Crosby and NFL quarterback Tony Romo.

Lochte recently appeared in GQ Magazine’s “Least Influential People of 2012” list. The magazine ripped him pretty badly so today’s news is sure to provide a boost. Warning: This slideshow contains strong language and is not for the kids.

WADA investigates report that 10,000 Chinese athletes doped

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BERLIN (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency is looking into allegations made by a German broadcaster that Chinese athletes benefited from systematic doping in the 1980s and 90s.

“The allegations were brought forward by former Chinese physician, Xue Yinxian, who is said to have looked after several national teams in China during the decades in question,” WADA said Monday.

Xue, who recently arrived in Germany and is seeking political asylum with her son, told broadcaster ARD that more than 10,000 athletes were affected, some as young as 11, and that anyone who was against doping was considered “a danger to the country. And anyone who endangered the country is now in prison.”

The 79-year-old Xue said she lost her job with the national gymnastics team after refusing to treat an athlete with doping substances before the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She said she had not felt safe in her home city of Beijing since 2012, when she first made her allegations of doping. She first started working with China’s national teams in the 1970s.

“In the 1980s and ’90s, Chinese athletes on the national teams made extensive use of doping substances,” she told ARD. “Medals were showered in doping. Gold, silver and bronze. All international medals should be withdrawn.”

WADA said it will examine “whether such a system may have prevailed beyond these decades.”

The first step, WADA said, was for its “independent intelligence and investigations team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.”

Xue, who continued to work at lower levels after being dismissed from the national team in 1988, said she was only approached afterward when athletes developed problems because of the substances they were given.

“One trainer came to me and said, ‘Doctor Xue, the boys’ breasts keep getting bigger,’” Xue said. “These boys were about 13 to 14 years old.”

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PyeongChang Olympic organizers downplay North Korea concern

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ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) — PyeongChang Olympic organizers played down concern over ongoing tensions with North Korea and also say work has been completed on all venues for the Winter Games.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang organizing committee, said the International Olympic Committee has made it very clear that the Feb. 9-25 Winter Games will go ahead as scheduled.

Speaking at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics shortly after the last rehearsal for Tuesday’s official flame-lighting ceremony, Lee said “there is no Plan B.”

Lee said South Korean officials are working closely with all relevant parties to ensure the Winter Games are safe and secure.

He said his main concern for the Olympics is the weather.

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