Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Rogge, IOC call for more out-of-competition tests

Leave a comment

Details from a Tuesday summit regarding the role of the World Anti-Doping Agency are scarce at best, but IOC President Jacques Rogge told the AP that the issues with drug testing are seen as qualitative rather than quantitative, and that WADA will do more unannounced out-of-competition testing of athletes in the future.

“There should be more targeted testing with athletes that might be considered as being suspicious,” Rogge said Wednesday.

“Top sports should be targeted more than others because of the effect of doping on their performances, and the prevalence of doping. All of that was discussed and definitely will lead to an implementation.”

The meeting, attended by Rogge, four IOC vice presidents, and the heads of many sports federations, was requested after public disputes between WADA and the International Cycling Union over fallout from Lance Armstrong’s admission that he was doping throughout his career.

Additionally, WADA president Dick Pound submitted a report last week stating that a lack of cooperation from sports bodies, national committees and governments, and athletes have led to an ineffective testing system, with less than one percent of the 250,000 annual tests coming up positive for drugs.

But despite WADA being the main topic of discussion, none of their representatives were invited to the informal summit. Instead, it was an opportunity for the governing bodies to air their grievances, which Rogge believes “will lead to very good collaboration with WADA.”

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
Getty Images
Leave a comment

For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
Getty Images
Leave a comment

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium