Despite Olympic champ Ted Ligety becoming the first man since 1968 to win three golds at the Alpine Ski World Championships, his career has been a bit overshadowed this year by both the injury and social life of fellow skier Lindsey Vonn.
And now, so has his drug test. While Vonn being surprised by USADA testers at the CFDA awards made the front page of every sports, gossip, and fashion site – this one included – Ligety is the only one reporting that he was similarly ambushed by testers after landing at the Utah airport Monday.
“They got me too,” Ligety wrote, seemingly to Lindsey, on his Facebook page Monday. “Tested in long term parking this morning at the airport.”
We hope he was at least afforded the opportunity to use a restroom when giving the testers a urine sample, but this photo out by a truck doesn’t suggest that reality. The good news: Ligety should soon be a household name after signing a sponsorship deal with Coca Cola to represent the brand in Sochi.
“To be associated with a company like Coke, you have to be among the best,” Ligety told USA Today. “They’re not going to pick the 20th fastest athlete in the world. I think that’s cool validation of what you’ve done in your sport and who you are as well… It’s just cool to see them recognizing that.”
London Olympic high jump champion Anna Chicherova is one of many Russians among 31 athletes overall who tested positive in recent retests of Beijing Olympic samples, according to Russian news agency TASS.
“Three days ago, Anna received a notice that her doping sample from the Beijing Olympic tested positive after a re-check, and she called me,” Chicherova’s coach said, according to the report Tuesday. “So far, this is at the development stage and this has not yet been finally confirmed. But all are aware of this and are dealing with the issue.”
Last week, the International Olympic Committee said 31 unnamed athletes from 12 nations across six sports failed drug tests in retesting of 454 samples from 2008 using the latest drug-testing methods.
On Tuesday, TASS reported that 14 Russian athletes, mostly in track and field, were suspected of doping during the Beijing Games after the retests, citing an unnamed Russian Olympic Committee source.
Chicherova, 33, took high jump gold at the London Games and bronze in Beijing. She is one of two track and field athletes to earn an individual-event medal at the last five World Championships and last two Olympics. The other is Usain Bolt.
Chicherova, who has had no previously widespread reported doping history, would be one of Russia’s top Olympic track and field medal hopes in Rio, should the ban on Russian track and field athletes competing be lifted before the Games.
Russia is expected to learn if it will be allowed to send a track and field team to Rio on June 17.
MORE: Russia track and field boss: ’50-60 percent’ chance of Olympics
Japan dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who abandoned his bid to become the oldest Olympian ever in Rio, could see his career come full circle in four years.
Hoketsu, whose Olympic debut came at the Tokyo 1964 Games, is not ruling out attempting to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at age 79.
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous,” Hoketsu said, according to Reuters. “I have to see if it will still be physically possible.”
The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.
Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team this year. It was derailed due to his horse’s illness.
After debuting at Tokyo 1964, Hoketsu went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to sports-reference.com.
MORE: Oldest surviving Olympic champion dies