Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin tells critics of Russia at World University Games to ‘try some Viagra’

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The recently competed World University Games were largely ignored by the mainstream media in the U.S. In case you hadn’t noticed, one major theme dominated the mini-Olympics for college-aged athletes.

Russia creamed everyone. The event host (based in Kazan) won 155 gold medals. China was second with 26, and the U.S. was seventh with 11. The previous record of gold medals by one country at a University Games was 75, by China in China in 2011.

That stat caught the eye of The New York Times, which ran a piece titled, “Russia stacked team with stars for World University Games.”

It noted Russia sent 18 Olympic gold medalists to event where other countries, such as the U.S., featured many B and C squads.

Well, Russian president Vladimir Putin has a response for the Times and everybody else who thought his nation brought in ringers for a goodwill competition.

“I’d like to advise them to take up sport themselves, and if they have any health issues to go see a doctor,” Putin told Russian media. “At the end of the day, maybe they should try some Viagra and then life would get better, would reveal some of its vivid and beautiful sides, and they would see the future.”

Have a problem with that? Think twice before confronting Putin.

Putin, 60, has cultivated his reputation as a fit and adventurous sports fan. In addition to widely publicized feats of physical skill, like diving and horseback riding (shirtless), he holds a black belt in judo and reportedly swims every morning before work

Video: Crazy wrestler celebration dance at World University Games

U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
Getty Images
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

VIDEO: Race against Usain Bolt’s world record with ‘BeatBot’

Bob Costas’ report 100 days out from Rio (video)

Bob Costas
NBC News
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Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

In the clip below, Michael PhelpsSimone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.

Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.

VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics