Olympics Day 14 - Athletics

London 1500m champ tests positive for banned substance

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Turkey’s lone female gold medalist from the London Games, 1500m champ Asli Cakir Alptekin, is one of eight athletes who the World Anti-doping agency says has tested positive for banned, albeit yet unnamed, substances.

The IAAF is calling for the Turkish Athletics Federation to punish Alptekin, possibly with a lifetime ban, since she already served a two-year suspension for doping back in 2004.

That previous ban, plus the fact that Alptekin went from failing to even make the 1500m finals at the 2011 world championships to being the best runner at her distance in mere months was, not surprisingly, considered pretty suspicious.

In fact, British 1500m runner Lisa Dobriskey, who finished tenth, told the Mirror: “I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this but I don’t believe I’m competing on a level playing field,” likely hinting at Alptekin.

If Alptekin is stripped of her medal, her countrywoman Gamze Bulut would actually move up from silver to gold. But given their affiliation, she might have to prove her innocence before accepting the award.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain finished third to win her country’s first ever medal. Of course, her countryman Rashid Ramzi won the men’s 1500m in Beijing before being stripped of his gold for doping.

I’m just going to stop typing now.

Jim Craig: Minor changes, but no hesitation, in second ‘Miracle’ sale

Jim Craig
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It has been 300 days since Jim Craig first announced he would sell a bundle of his “Miracle on Ice” memorabilia, including his gold medal, for $5.7 million.

They didn’t sell last year. So he took most of the items in the original bundle and is splitting them up in an auction that runs though June 17.

On Tuesday, Craig said he had no thoughts about keeping the most precious items in the 10 months in between sales.

“We wanted to sell an entire collection to a person that would have the financial means to be able to display it, hopefully that everybody would be able to come and enjoy it like they have the last 35 years,” Craig said. “It’s a lot better than being tucked in a closet.”

There are a few items from the original bundle that Craig decided not to auction this time around — a 1980 Sports Illustrated Sportsmen of the Year trophy, two watches that he gave to his kids and an Olympic ring.

VIDEO: Which Miracle item is toughest for Craig to sell?

Christie Rampone not at fitness level to compete for Olympic spot

Christie Rampone
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Christie Rampone, the 40-year-old captain of the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup team, has yet to return to full fitness after December knee surgery and pulled out of a U.S. camp ahead of two pre-Olympic friendlies in June.

Her bid for a fifth Olympics, and to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player of all time, is in danger.

The camp begins Friday. The friendlies against rival Japan (which failed to qualify for Rio) are June 2 and June 5.

“I don’t feel 100 percent healthy enough to train and compete at that level,” Rampone said in a press release Tuesday. “I’ve been able to manage myself and contribute to Sky Blue [her club team] this season, which I will continue to do, but I also have an understanding of the level of fitness and health needed to push for an Olympic roster spot, and I know I’m not there right now. It’s not the right choice for myself or the team to put myself in that environment.”

Rampone, a defender, hasn’t played for the U.S. since her December arthroscopic knee surgery. At the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she played a total of 14 minutes.

The U.S. national team is currently without nine players from the 23-player World Cup team, though some are expected back for the Olympics, but only one of the missing other than Rampone is a defender (the retired Lori Chalupny).

The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team for London was named in May 2012, but the Rio roster of 18 players is expected to be announced by early July.

VIDEO: Hope Solo ‘begrudgingly’ going to Rio Olympics