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.
We already knew Katie Ledecky can beat the boys in practice, even an Olympic champion.
One of the many takeaways from this week’s Sports Illustrated profile of Ledecky is that she has beaten 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte in practice.
Ledecky and Lochte may rep different swim clubs — Ledecky in Washington, D.C., and Lochte in Charlotte — but they both take trips to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for altitude training.
“She swims like a guy,” Lochte said after training with Ledecky in Colorado Springs in March, according to SI. “I’ve never seen a female swimmer like that. … Her times are becoming good for a guy. She’s beating me now, and I’m like, What’s going on?”
When Ledecky broke the women’s 1500m freestyle world record for the third time at the August 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, her time of 15:28.36 was .01 faster than Lochte’s 1500m free time at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials (one of the rare instances Lochte swam a 1500m free).
Ledecky has since re-broken the women’s 1500m free world record twice more, bringing it down to 15:25.48.
“I trained with her in Colorado once, and she made me look like I was stopping,” Lochte reportedly told media on his 31st birthday, Aug. 3 at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia. “She flew by me.”
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Athens Olympic softball champion Jennie Finch will manage the Bridgeport Bluefish, an independent minor-league baseball team on Sunday and, reportedly, become the first woman to manage a men’s pro baseball team.
Finch, a pitcher, retired from softball in 2010, two years after her sport’s Olympic farewell in Beijing, where she and the U.S. took silver behind Japan.
Finch has been an advocate for softball’s return to the Olympics, which could happen in Tokyo 2020.
The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide in August if baseball and softball, among four other sports, will be added for the Tokyo Games.
Finch, who is married to former MLB pitcher Casey Daigle, is also known for having struck out Albert Pujols.
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