Members of the U.S. wrestling team shook hands and took pictures with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at an awards ceremony on Friday, after they finished third in a tournament in Tehran.
The American and Iranian wrestling teams, which were in Iran’s capital to compete in a freestyle wrestling World Cup event, are fighting “arm-in-arm” for the survival of their sport after it was recommended to be removed from the 2020 Olympics schedule by the IOC in a vote last week during an executive board meeting.
The cooperation between the nations is being compared to the famous “Ping-pong Diplomacy” of the early-1970s, when U.S. and Chinese players competed against one another in friendly tournaments that many believe paved the way for then President Nixon to visit Beijing.
The U.S. and Iran have had poor diplomatic relations since 1979 Islamic Revolution, when protestors stormed the American embassy and held 52 people hostage for 444 days.
Iran ended up finishing first in the team event Friday, beating Russia in the finals, while Americans Jordan Burroughs, Obenson Blanc, Joseph Kennedy, Harold Metcalf, John Askren, Tervel Dlagnev, and James Bergman scored a 6-1 record against Belarus to take the bronze.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Olympic Committee says eight of the country’s athletes have registered positive in doping retests for the 2012 London Games.
The brief statement from the ROC on Saturday did not give names or what disciplines the athletes were in, but said they came from three different sports.
It said further information would not be released until so-called “B samples” were tested that would confirm or contradict the retests.
U.S. Olympic track and field hopefuls compete in the biggest meet before the Olympic Trials at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
The premier annual international meet in the U.S., hosted at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, takes place five weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials at the same venue.
The Pre Classic fields on Saturday include U.S. Olympic champions Justin Gatlin (100m), Dawn Harper-Nelson (100m hurdles), Aries Merritt (110m hurdles), LaShawn Merritt (400m) and Sanya Richards-Ross (400m).
International stars such as two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Olympic 400m champion Kirani James of Grenada also dot the entry lists.
A full preview with start lists and highlight events to watch is here.
NBCSN will air live coverage Saturday from 3:30-5 p.m. ET. NBC will air live coverage from 5-6 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Live Extra will stream all 2 1/2 hours.
LIVE STREAM: Prefontaine Classic — 3:30-6 p.m. ET