Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says athletes accused her of doping this season

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce said the majority of athletes’ comments toward her after winning three gold medals at the World Track and Field Championships were negative, believing she took performance-enhancing drugs this season.

“Some thought I was on drugs to have done what I did,” Fraser-Pryce, asked about non-Jamaican athletes, told reporters in Jamaica.”I don’t know why. So the reaction was mixed. I didn’t get any fancy hurrah. Well, some persons thought, oh, it was nice and it was good, but the majority of athletes had their negative comments.”

Fraser-Pryce, like countryman Usain Bolt, swept 100-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay gold medals at last month’s World Championships in Moscow. She was more dominant than Bolt.

Fraser-Pryce won the 100 in 10.71 seconds, beating the second-place finisher by .22 of a second. The margin of victory was more than double the previous World Championships record in the race. There have been 14 World Championships dating to 1983.

Fraser-Pryce won the 200 in 22.17 seconds, beating the second-place finisher by .15 of a second (nowhere near the record for margin of victory).

The times were very impressive but also in line with her progression. Fraser-Pryce, 26, also ran 10.72 and 10.77 in the 100 this season. Her personal best was set last year — 10.70. She has gone sub-10.8 in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

Fraser-Pryce’s personal best in the 200 is 22.09, also from 2012. She has only recently begun putting more emphasis into that event.

“I have not done anything that nobody else has ever done before, apart from winning three gold medals, but it was just hard work,” she said. “The times were not ridiculous; it was just very good execution. I am a very good starter.”

Fraser-Pryce had the sixth-fastest reaction time in the 100 final and the fourth fastest in the 200 final, not that it makes much of a difference.

Her comments bring to mind a press conference from July that abruptly ended when a question about a separate Jamaican doping case was asked of Fraser-Pryce. Reporters were told not to ask Fraser-Pryce and Carmelita Jeter about doping. Jeter walked out of the press conference, and Fraser-Pryce soon followed, but she could have thought the press conference was over rather than doing it in protest like Jeter.

Fraser-Pryce served a six-month suspension in 2010-11 for testing positive for oxycodone. She said it was due to medication she took for a toothache. Oxycodone, a banned narcotic, is not considered a performance-enhancing drug or a masking agent.

Usain Bolt’s dream house

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
Getty Images
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds

Russian Olympic medalists gifts include racehorse

Abdulrashid Sadulaev
AP
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MOSCOW (AP) — Luxury cars, apartments, even a racehorse — being an Olympic medalist in Russia can come with great material rewards but also controversy.

Under President Vladimir Putin, it’s become a tradition for Russia’s Olympic heroes to be showered with large cash sums and sometimes unwanted gifts.

On Friday, less than 24 hours after dozens of medalists were presented with BMW cars at the Kremlin by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an advertisement appeared online offering one of them for sale, with photographs showing the car still covered in stickers celebrating Russia’s medal haul in Rio.

The advertisement offering the BMW X6 for 4.67 million rubles ($72,000) was anonymous and quickly withdrawn. It couldn’t be independently verified by The Associated Press, though Russian agency R-Sport claimed the seller was a Russian medalist who thought the car was too big and unwieldy.

Figure skater Maxim Trankov, who received a Mercedes-Benz SUV for his gold medal in 2014, said few Olympians could afford to own such cars.

“Has no one thought that these gift cars are not only liable for the tax on luxury items, but also aren’t cheap to run and earnings can’t cover it?” he wrote on Twitter. “I’d sell mine too if it came to it … Or does everyone think all sports pay as well as soccer, hockey or tennis?”

Gymnast Seda Tutkhalyan said she wouldn’t be able to drive her new BMW because at 17 years of age she was too young to have a license.

While online commenters mostly supported an athlete’s right to sell expensive Olympic gifts, many were critical of the government for a display of conspicuous consumption at the Kremlin at a time when Russia’s pension and healthcare systems are under financial strain.

It’s not fully clear how much the prizes have cost the Russian government.

State TV channel Rossiya 24 reported that the fleet of BMWs was provided by the Olympians’ Support Fund, which is backed by a group of Russia’s richest men, but that the accompanying cash prizes of tens of thousands of dollars per medalist came in part from the federal budget.

More awards are on offer from regional governments, many of which made public displays of generosity despite financial troubles of their own.

The Caucasus region of North Ossetia last month promised a free apartment for any medalists from the area, though it isn’t clear if this has happened yet.

In another grand gesture, the head of the restive Dagestan region gave Olympic wrestling champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev 6 million rubles ($93,000) in cash and a racehorse at a lavish welcoming ceremony featured on local TV.

Still, all may not be well for Sadulaev, who’s nicknamed the “Russian Tank” for his habit of crushing opponents on the wrestling mat. He’s already facing an allegation from a Moscow radio presenter of reckless driving in his eye-catching BMW.

MORE: Putin slams Russia’s Paralympic ban