Sarah Hendrickson

Report: Sarah Hendrickson suffers knee ligament damage in ski jumping accident in Europe

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World champion ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson reportedly broke ligaments in a ski jumping fall Wednesday.

Hendrickson, 19, suffered a right knee injury that included ligament damage, according to the Italian website wintersport-news. Hendrickson flew 148 meters in Oberstdorf, Germany, according to a report and alluded to on a photo posted to Hendrickson’s Instagram on Wednesday.

The longest any female jumper flew last World Cup season was 134 meters. The men’s Olympic record on a large hill is 144 meters. A Finnish jumper flew 225.5 meters in Oberstdorf in 2009, but it’s unknown if Hendrickson was on the same hill.

Women’s ski jumpers usually compete on the normal hill — rather than the large hill — and jump shorter than 100 meters.

The U.S. Ski Team confirmed Hendrickson suffered a right knee injury and was given a preliminary check in Germany. The U.S. Ski Team is gathering more details but said she will fly home with the team on Friday and will then be evaluated in Utah.

Hendrickson has been considered one of the U.S.’ top gold-medal hopes at the Sochi Olympics. Women’s ski jumping is making its debut at the Winter Games after a long fight to be included on the program.

Hendrickson and Japan’s Sara Takanashi, 16, have a growing rivalry going. Takanashi beat out Hendrickson for the 2012-13 season World Cup title.

“Thanks to everyone for the kind words and thankful for @tomhilde for coming to make me feel better🙂 Nothing is confirmed and going home to get everything checked out. At least I set a new PR right? 148 was kinda fun? #roadtorecovery,” was written with this Instagram photo:

Shaun White injured in New Zealand training accident

Over 1,000 Russian athletes involved in organized doping, McLaren report says

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LONDON (AP) — A new report into systematic Russian doping details a wide-ranging “institutional conspiracy” that involved more than 1,000 athletes across more than 30 sports, including evidence corroborating large-scale sample swapping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The report is here.

World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren said Friday the conspiracy involved the Russian Sports Ministry, national anti-doping agency and the FSB intelligence service, providing further details of state involvement in a massive program of cheating and cover-ups that ran on an “unprecedented scale” from 2011-15.

“It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” McLaren said at a news conference in London. “For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived. It’s time that this stops.”

McLaren said his conclusions were based on irrefutable forensic evidence, including DNA analysis proving that samples were swapped and other tests showing that doping bottles were opened.

The Canadian law professor’s investigation found that 15 Russian medalists in Sochi had their doping bottles tampered with, including two athletes who won four gold medals. No names were given.

McLaren also reported that Russia corrupted the 2012 London Olympics on an “unprecedented scale” but the full extent will “probably never be fully established.”

No Russian athlete tested positive at the time of the games, but McLaren said the sports ministry gave athletes a “cocktail of steroids … in order to beat the detection thresholds at the London lab.”

McLaren described the Russian doping program as “a cover-up that evolved over the years from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined medal-winning strategy and conspiracy.”

The findings confirmed and expanded on much of the evidence contained in McLaren’s first report issued in July.

“Over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests,” McLaren said Friday.

The names of those athletes, including 600 summer sports competitors, have been turned over to international federations for them to take any disciplinary action, he said.

McLaren’s first report led WADA to recommend that Russia be excluded from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The IOC rejected calls for an outright ban, allowing international federations to decide which Russian athletes could compete.

The latest report will put pressure on the International Olympic Committee to take action ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. His findings will be sent to the IOC, which has two commissions looking into the allegations.

IOC President Thomas Bach has said stiff sanctions will be taken against any athletes and officials implicated in doping. He said he favors lifetime Olympic bans for anyone involved.

McLaren opened his investigation earlier this year after Moscow’s former doping lab director, Grigory Rodchenkov, told the New York Times that he and other officials were involved in an organized doping program for Russian athletes that covered the London and Sochi Olympics. He detailed how tainted samples were replaced with clean urine through a concealed “mouse hole” in the wall of the Sochi lab.

The new report further backs Rodchenkov’s account. McLaren’s investigation found scratches and other marks left on the doping bottles. WADA investigators were able to recreate the method used by the Russians to pry open the sealed bottle caps.

The report also elaborated on the “Disappearing Positive Methodology” system which concealed Russian use of banned drugs and protected summer and winter athletes from being caught. Some samples were diluted with salt or even coffee granules.

Other findings include:

— Six Russian athletes who won a total of 21 medals at the Sochi Paralympics had their urine samples tampered with.

— Two female hockey players at the Sochi Olympics had samples that contained male DNA.

— Eight Sochi samples had salt content that was physiologically impossible in a healthy human.

McLaren specified that the doping conspiracy involved “Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure,” as well as the anti-doping body, the Moscow lab, and the FSB specifically for manipulating the samples. The inquiry found no evidence that former Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was directly involved, he said.

The report also found no evidence of involvement of the Russian Olympic Committee.

McLaren said he was unfazed by Russian criticism of the report.

Asked how he would respond, McLaren said: “I would say read the report.”

McLaren’s first report set off bitter divisions and infighting in the Olympic movement and those recriminations have dragged on since the Rio Games. McLaren said it is now time to take a unified approach.

“I find it difficult to understand why were at not on the same team,” he said. “We should all be working together to end doping in sports.”

MORE: IOC president wants life bans for Russian cheats

IOC president doesn’t rule out awarding 2028 Olympic host in 2017

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: The Olympic Flag waves as part of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Signaling a potential radical change in the way Olympic host cities are chosen, IOC President Thomas Bach wants to revise the bidding process because it “produces too many losers.”

He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of awarding two Games at the same time.

Bach’s comments came on Thursday, the same day the IOC executive board cleared all three candidate cities for the 2024 Olympics — Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, Hungary — to advance to the next stage of the race.

“We have to take into consideration that the procedure as it is now produces too many losers,” Bach said at a news conference. “You can be happy about a strong field in quantity for one day but you start to regret it the next day.

“It is not the purpose of an Olympic candidate city procedure to produce losers. It is to produce the best possible host for an Olympic Games. We will have to look into this.”

It was the first time Bach has publicly spoken about further changes to the bidding process, which has suffered in recent years as voters rejected bids in referendums, and cities dropped out because of concerns over the costs of the games.

Paris, Los Angeles, and Budapest are in the final nine months of the race for the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to vote on the host city in September in Lima, Peru.

Paris and Los Angeles are viewed as close favorites, with Budapest as an outsider. Olympic officials in recent months have begun privately discussing the idea of awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously, ensuring that Paris and Los Angeles would get one or the other.

Some officials believe that, because both cities are such strong contenders, it would be a mistake for one to lose out. It would seem unlikely that either loser would bid again for 2028.

Bach repeated several times that the 2024 bidding is already in full swing and the IOC is “happy” with that process. However, he was asked twice about the possibility of awarding both Games at the Lima meeting, and he didn’t categorically rule it out.

“Let us study this question, which is not an easy one,” he said.

Bach suggested it is more likely any major change will come for future bidding races.

“We have to think long term,” he said, adding that, for the 2024 race, the IOC advised three unidentified cities during the “invitation phase” not to submit bids because they failed to meet the requirements.

The IOC has been seeking to fix the bidding process for years amid a sharp downturn in interest from potential host cities, many scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

The bid races for the 2020, 2022 and 2024 Olympics were all hit by withdrawals for political or financial reasons. Six cities pulled out of the contest for the ’22 Winter Games, leaving only two finalists, with Beijing defeating Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Hamburg pulled out of the 2024 race after local residents rejected the bid in a referendum, and Rome’s 2024 bid was scrapped after the new mayor rejected the project over costs.

Bach’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms were aimed at making bidding and hosting more flexible and less costly. But Bach acknowledged on Thursday the reforms hadn’t solved everything, saying they have been affected by “more changes in the decision-making mechanisms in politics.”

“You can see how in many countries, you have populist movements and anti-establishment movements getting stronger and stronger, asking different and new questions,” he said.

While the IOC has traditionally awarded one Olympics at a time, some other major sports bodies have awarded multiple events at a time.

FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to Qatar in the same bidding process. FIFA leaders say that was a mistake that will not be repeated. Swiss federal prosecutors are still looking into suspicions of wrongdoing during that contest.

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