Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp has been drug tested 19 times this year; more USADA numbers

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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has updated its athlete drug-testing history statistics with all in- and out-of-competition tests under its program from the second quarter of 2013.

Galen Rupp has been tested more than any other U.S. athlete this year, according to the statistics. The distance runner was tested 19 times in six months, four more than swimmer Missy Franklin and six more than Nike Oregon Project partner Dathan Ritzenhein and another swimmer, Ryan Lochte.

The testing statistics are more notable this quarter than others given recent drug-testing news. USADA reported a total of 1,818 in- and out-of-competition tests over a three-month period. Sports Illustrated reported Jamaica’s anti-doping commission conducted one total out-of-competition test during the same period last year.

Then there’s the fact that two of the top four tested athletes in 2013 are Nike Oregon Project runners. Earlier this week, the Telegraph published a story with comments from Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar about people questioning his top runner, Britain’s Mo Farah.

“It bothers me when people question my integrity,” Salazar told the newspaper. “But the way I look at it, if you don’t want people to say things about you, go run real crappy and then nobody will talk about you. At this level, we know we’re clean. We know we’re never going to test positive for anything. No way in the world. I have a clear conscience.”

Tyson Gay, who has reportedly failed multiple drug tests this year, was tested seven times in the second quarter of 2013, the period during which he failed at least one out-of-competition test.

Lindsey Vonn was the subject of headlines for being tested at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards in June, but that was just one of her three out-of-competition tests during the three-month period. Shaun White was not tested once, but that’s not a surprise given his season was over and no skier or snowboarder was tested more than three times.

Back to Rupp. He was tested 17 times all of last year in USADA’s statistics. The most tested U.S. athlete of 2012? Triathlete Matt Chrabot with 25.

It’s also interesting to look at who was or wasn’t tested when considering retirement announcements. Some athletes will retire but keep their name in drug-testing pools in case they reconsider. It can be a months-long process to get back into competition if an athlete retires and takes his or her name out of testing pools.

Michael Phelps has yet to be tested in 2013, keeping in line with his retirement. Two other athletes who have retired, swimmer Peter Vanderkaay and short track speedskater Katherine Reutter, were both tested in the last three months. This doesn’t mean that Vanderkaay and Reutter are contemplating comebacks, but that they could come back with less hassle if they wanted to.

You can search USADA’s database of drug-testing statistics here.

WADA says it will investigate Jamaica’s drug testing

Pyeongchang Olympic organizers optimistic with 500 days to go

Security personnel stands by a logo of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games before an event to mark the start of the 500-day countdown in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. With 500 days until the Olympic cauldron is ignited in Pyeongchang, organizers of the 2018 Winter Games say 90 percent of construction on new venues is complete and the focus of preparations is on test events. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Marking the 500-day countdown to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, organizers said Tuesday that 90 percent of construction of new venues is complete and the focus is now on preparing for test events.

Pyeongchang’s organizing committee said construction is on schedule for a series of sports competitions scheduled from November to April that will serve as rehearsals for the Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, 2018.

The six new competition venues for the games are now 88 percent complete and a new high-speed rail line – designed to link the country’s main gateway of Incheon airport with Pyeongchang in less than two hours – will be completed next June and start operations in January 2018, organizers said.

The preparations are undergoing a transition from the “planning phase to operational readiness,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

“Asia has immeasurable potential to become the frontier of winter sports. Pyeongchang has been dedicated to promote winter sports and attract investments throughout Asia,” the committee said.

Noting that the 2018 Games will be the first of three consecutive Olympics in Asia, the committee said Pyeongchang will be an “opportunity to establish even closer links among the next host countries and build bridges through sports.”

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, while Beijing will stage the 2022 Winter Games.

Pyeongchang organizers have overcome delays, local conflicts over venue constructions and difficulties attracting domestic sponsorships in past years. Optimism over preparations has increased after the successful hosting of the first round of test events at Alpine venues earlier this year.

Despite a slow start, organizers say more than 80 percent of the domestic sponsorship target of $850 million has been met and that they expect to reach 90 percent of the target by the end of the year.

A program of cultural events featuring pop singers and local sports stars was held in Seoul on Tuesday evening to mark the start of the countdown.

MORE: 500 Days to Pyeongchang: Five athletes to watch

500 Days to Pyeongchang: Five athletes to watch

PARK CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 06:  Chloe Kim celebrates a first place finish in the ladies' FIS Snowboard World Cup at the 2016 U.S Snowboarding Park City Grand Prix on February 6, 2016 in Park City, Utah.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Today marks 500 days until the Opening Ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics.

Below are five U.S. athletes to get to know before February 9, 2018:

Ryan Bailey (Bobsled): Bailey, who finished fifth as a sprinter in the London Olympic 100m, is attempting to compete at the 2018 Olympics as a bobsledder. On Sept. 21, just weeks into his bobsled career, he won the men’s push athlete national title. The last male Summer Olympian to make a U.S. Olympic bobsled team was Willie Davenport in 1980.

MORE: Converted sprinter Ryan Bailey wins bobsled national title

Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson (Speed Skating): Bowe and Richardson have been trading world records in recent years. Last November, Bowe broke her own women’s 1000m world record, only to have Richardson lower it just three minutes later. A week later, Bowe broke the world record in the event once again.

MORE: Dan Jansen explains recent flurry of world records

Meryl Davis and Charlie White (Figure Skating): The future is uncertain for Davis and White, who became the first U.S. couple to win an Olympic ice dance title in Sochi. They have not competed since the 2014 Olympics, but they have also not announced their retirement.

MORE: Where Meryl Davis, Charlie White stand on possible comeback

Chloe Kim (Snowboarding): Kim mathematically qualified for the 2014 U.S. Olympic team in halfpipe, but at 13, she was not old enough to be eligible to compete in Sochi. A U.S. woman has won gold in the event at three of the past four Olympics, but Kaitlyn Farrington, who won halfpipe gold in Sochi, retired after being diagnosed with a spinal condition.

MORE: Kaitlyn Farrington retires from snowboarding

Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine Skiing): Shiffrin became the youngest Olympic slalom champion at the 2014 Games, when she was 18. Four years later, she is hoping to become the first Alpine skier — man or woman — to repeat as slalom gold medalist. She also could become the first U.S. women’s Alpine skier to win gold medals in multiple Olympics.