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IOC touches down in Madrid for evaluation

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy seemed pretty confident in Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, as IOC’s evaluation commission arrived in the country’s captial Monday for a four-day inspection of the potential host city.

Prime Minster Rajoy reminded everyone that while people might be scared of the economic situation plaguing Spain, including Europe’s worst unemployment numbers, Madrid is accustomed to hosting large events and “has a great advantage: 80 percent of the sports facilities needed to hold an Olympic Games are already built.”

The Spanish Olympic Committee believes they bring the most “realistic” bid the table, with an estimated Games budget of less than $2 billion, which is half of Tokyo’s $4.5 billion, and nowhere near Istanbul’s $19 billion.

The SOC also has strong support from its citizens, as a new poll shows that 83 percent of Madrid, and 76 percent of Spain, believe the Games will have a positive impact on the country’s current situation.

Evaluators will spend the next four days looking at already standing venues, as well as finances and security to see if Spain has what it takes to host their first Olympics since the Barcelona Games in 1992.

No Zika cases from Olympics, WHO says

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 12:  An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the Maracana Stadium (B) on November 12, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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There have been zero Zika virus cases stemming from the Rio Olympics, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics,” the organization said in an online update Thursday.

Earlier this summer, several athletes cited Zika concerns in skipping the Olympics.

The World Health Organization said before the Rio Games that the Olympics posed “a very low risk” of accelerating the Zika virus spread around the world.

Thousands of athletes will come to Rio for the Paralympics that run from Sept. 7-18, which is still during Brazil’s winter, lessening the Zika risk.

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Devon Allen weighs turning pro in track and field

Devon Allen
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University of Oregon hurdler and wide receiver Devon Allen said he “thinks” he’s turning pro in track, but also said he hasn’t really decided if his NCAA track career is finished Thursday.

“There’s not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record,” Allen said.

Allen, a University of Oregon junior, finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles on Aug. 16 after winning the Olympic Trials on July 9.

Allen can turn pro in track and field and still play football for the Ducks, so long as he keeps his track and field profits to prize money and not endorsement deals.

He’s definitely planning on playing for Oregon’s football team this season, perhaps even in the season opener Sept. 3.

As for track season next winter and spring, that’s looking unlikely. Allen noted that he has won NCAA individual and team titles.

The only missing piece is the NCAA record of 13.00 set by former world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Allen’s personal best is 13.03.

It’s clear that Allen would like to be a professional in both track and football.

“The NFL is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics,” said Allen, who caught nine passes for 94 yards last season, coming back from tearing knee ligaments in the Rose Bowl. “I kind of accomplished that Olympic dream, obviously, in four years, I want to win a gold medal, so that’s one more step to that dream. Now my next dream is to play in the NFL.”

VIDEO: Top track and field moments from Rio Olympics