U.S., Russia aim to get wrestling reinstated

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Reps from both the U.S. and Russia are preparing for battle after the IOC recommended the expulsion of wrestling from the Olympics in a vote last week.

USA Wrestling announced Monday that is has created the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling, which will be headed by former world champ Bill Scherr. The group will work with FILA and the IOC in an attempt to restore the sports Olympic status in time for the 2020 Games, and plans “mobilize and energize” American support for the sport and their cause.

Meanwhile Mikhail Mamiashvili, Russia’s representative in the sports governing body, has vowed to overturn the decision made by the IOC:

“We will look for a compromise and ways to convince the members of the International Olympic Committee that this sport, which was part of the ancient games and is loved by hundreds of millions of people across the globe, should remain.”

Mamiashvili helped oust former FILA head Raphael Martinetti of Switzerland, who received a vote of no confidence this weekend after he was accused of negligence for failing to prevent the sport’s expulsion.

While the decision isn’t expected to be overturned, both countries carry some weight in the discussion, since Russia has won the most wrestling medals in every Olympics since it first competed as an independent nation in 1996. And since the United States is, you know, the United States.

IOC expects decisions on Russian doping cases next month

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Investigators at the International Olympic Committee expect to have “a number” of doping cases involving Russians at the Sochi Olympics resolved by the end of November, but they have no plans to dictate the eligibility of these athletes for next year’s Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The leader of an IOC delegation in charge of reviewing 28 cases involving athletes at Sochi wrote to the head of the IOC Athletes Commission this week to update the timeline of cases stemming from a report detailing a Russian doping scheme at the 2014 Olympics and beforehand.

Denis Oswald said that of the cases his committee is reviewing, priority has been given to those involving athletes looking to compete in PyeongChang. Top priority goes to six cross-country skiers whose provisional suspensions expire Oct. 31.

Oswald also said his committee would rule on these athletes’ results for Sochi, but will not determine their eligibility for PyeongChang, instead handing over evidence to their respective sports federations to decide.

The IOC also appointed a task force to look at the Russian doping scandal as a whole, the results of which could have wider repercussions on the country’s eligibility at next year’s Olympics.

In a separate letter sent to worldwide sports leaders, IOC President Thomas Bach said only that the Schmid Commission is continuing its evaluation and that “I hope that the IOC Executive Board will still be able to take a decision this year because none of us want this serious issue to overshadow” the upcoming Olympics.

The updates come amid a growing chorus of calls for a timely decision and for Russia’s ouster from PyeongChang.

The IOC commissions are operating off information from the McLaren Report, the first part of which was released in July 2016.

In explaining the timeline, Oswald wrote that because the Russian scheme involved exchanging dirty urine samples with clean ones, it took time to adopt methods to verify that samples had been tampered with — in part by finding evidence of scratch marks on collection bottles that had been opened and re-sealed.

“The task has not been easy in both establishing a methodology in an area in which there are no established protocols,” he wrote, “and then moving through the necessary scientific analysis of each individual sample in a way which would withstand legal challenge.”

MORE: USOC boss calls for immediate action on Russian doping

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Two-time Olympian becomes first woman to lead U.S. national swim team

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Two-time Olympian Lindsay Mintenko has been picked to lead the U.S. national swimming team. She is the first woman to hold the title.

USA Swimming made the announcement Wednesday.

Mintenko replaces Frank Busch, who retired Oct. 1 as managing director. She has been a member of the national team staff since 2006.

During her swimming career, Mintenko won gold medals as a U.S. team captain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics 800m freestyle relay and added a silver in 2004 on the 400m freestyle relay.

USA Swimming also announced an organizational restructuring that will place all technical divisions, including the national team, under the oversight of chief operating officer Mike Unger.

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