James Magnussen

Australian swimmers apologize for “stupid” actions

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The six members of the Australian men’s 4x100m swim relay, which finished fourth despite being favored to take gold, will face an integrity panel after admitting they used banned sleeping pills during an initiation before the London Games.

The men admitted to the incident after it was reported in a review commissioned by Swimming Australia, which detailed how “toxic incidents” and a “lack of collective leadership” might have led to the team’s worst showing in two decades.

London silver medalist James Magnussen and teammates Eamon Sullivan, Matthew Targett, Tommaso D’Orsogna, and Cameron McEvoy said they took Stilnox, which was prescribed to Sullivan and Targett before it was banned by the AOC for containing zolpidem, after a bonding night out to the movies and dinner.

The group also admitted to “childish behavior,” including prank calls and knocking on teammates’ doors.

“We decided to continue in what we felt was a harmless activity and tradition,” they said. “We acknowledge that our actions on the night were stupid.”

Even though the drug is not on the World Anti-doping’s list of banned substances, the swimmers could face sanctions, fines, removal of funding, and the possibility of not being selected for future events, such as worlds and the Rio Games.

2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be in San Jose

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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.

It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.

The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.

San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.

Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.

The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.

Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America

Fiji Olympic rugby coach given 3 acres of land, special name

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Gold medalists Ro Dakuwaqa of Fiji and Fiji head coach Ben Ryan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.

Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.

Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.

MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal