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Veronica Campbell-Brown could avoid doping ban

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Three-time Olympic champ Veronica Campbell-Brown is hoping to avoid a maximum suspension for doping because the drug she tested positive for was reportedly contained in a cream she declared on her doping control form, according to Reuters.

The Jamaican sprinter tested positive for the diuretic furosemide, which was found in urine samples taken at the Kingston Invitational on May 4. The substance is banned for its use as a masking agent for performance enhancing drugs.

She was facing a two-year ban from the IAAF after her B-sample confirmed the results last week, but if the drug doesn’t appear listed on the label of the cream, then Campbell-Brown may have some wiggle room with WADA.

“As soon as we get notification of the B-sample we will be moving to empanel a disciplinary team to carry out a speedy hearing,” Jamaican Athletics president Warren Blake said Tuesday.

Campbell-Brown is one of the country’s most decorated Olympians, having won seven medals, including back-to-back 200m gold in Athens and Beijing. If her appeal isn’t upheld then she’s likely to miss national trials this weekend and be unable to defend her 200m world title in Moscow this August.

Adding to the intrigue, just yesterday Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills called for the government to create an accredited anti-doping lab to “ensure the purity of substances” the Jamaicans are using in training, which he thinks will help top athletes navigate the current minefield of things like contaminated creams.

UPDATE: Campbell-Brown’s manager Claude Bryan has released a statement from his client apologizing to those hurt by the news while not accepting guilt for taking the banned substance:

“Veronica is not a cheat, she has via hard work and dedication accomplished a record on the track which is absolutely remarkable. Her faith which rest not in device or creed will see her through this dark period. Due to her determination to vigorously pursue the clearing of her name, she will desist from being vocal suffice it to say, while not accepting guilt of willfully taking a banned substance, she wholeheartedly apologizes to her family, Jamaica, her sponsors, the governing body, the world athletics family, her supporters as well as those she worked with in various non-athletic causes for any embarrassment and or hurt this devastating news has caused. She remains an ardent believer in the purity of competition, the beauty of the sport and resolute in the fact that unearned suffering has redemptive qualities.”

Marc Leishman will miss Olympics due to wife’s health, Zika

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Australian golfer Marc Leishman will miss the Rio Olympics due to his wife’s health.

“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome,” Leishman said in a statement. “Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 percent recovery of her immune system.

“We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.

“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.

“The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.”

Leishman, 32 with one PGA Tour win, joined the projected Olympic field when countryman Adam Scott said last month that he would skip Rio.

World No. 1 Jason Day is assured one of two Olympic spots for Australian men when the 60-man field is determined based on July 11 world rankings.

With No. 7 Scott and No. 35 Leishman out, the next-best Aussie is No. 63 Marcus Fraser.

Three more major champions — Vijay Singh, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — also said in April they would not compete in Rio.

Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

MORE: Australia Olympic legend blasts Adam Scott

Rory McIlroy worried Olympic golf may be done after 2020

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Rory McIlroy believes golf may not remain in the Olympics after 2020 following a string of major champions announcing they will skip the sport’s return at the Rio Games.

“Because of how [Olympic golf is] being approached in golf circles … I’m not sure if we’re going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after [Tokyo 2020],” McIlroy said ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.

In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to re-add golf and rugby to the Olympic program for the 2016 Olympics, with a review in 2017 if they would remain for the 2020 Olympics.

In 2013, Tokyo was elected host city for the 2020 Olympics with a plan that includes golf.

Beyond 2020, golf does not yet have a place in the Olympics. Its chances for the 2024 Olympics could come into focus when that host city is chosen in September 2017.

McIlroy, ranked No. 3 in the world, has repeated he will play for Ireland in the first Olympic golf tournament since 1904 in Rio in August.

Fellow major champions Adam ScottLouis OosthuizenCharl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh said last month they will not play in the Rio Olympics.

MORE: Golf Channel’s Olympic broadcast schedule