Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

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

2 Comments

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

Italian curler roars after hitting shot to qualify for Olympics (video)

Italy curling
World Curling
Leave a comment

Forgive Amos Mosaner for shouting, for he clinched Italy’s first Olympic curling qualification.

Mosaner’s double takeout in an extra end put Italy past Denmark 6-5 in the last-chance Olympic qualification tournament in Pilsen, Czech Republic, on Sunday.

He rushed down the ice after that last stone, tossed his broom aside, pumped his fist and roared into a group hug with teammates.

Skip Joël Retornaz returns to the Olympics after a 12-year absence. He skipped Italy’s team at the 2006 Olympics, where they earned an automatic berth as host nation.

“This has such a different taste,” the 34-year-old Retornaz said, according to World Curling. “Earning the right on the ice feels great. It feels like a dream for me.”

Denmark later did make the Olympic field as the last nation, beating the Czechs for the spot.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: List of Russia Olympic medals stripped; new Sochi medal standings

The Pyeongchang Olympic curling fields:

Men
Canada
Sweden
U.S.
Japan
Switzerland
Great Britain
Norway
Italy
Denmark
South Korea

Women
Canada
Russia
Switzerland
Great Britain
U.S.
Sweden
Japan
China
Denmark
South Korea

Mixed Doubles
China
Canada
Russia
U.S.
Switzerland
Norway
Finland
South Korea

Russia says its athletes want to compete at Pyeongchang Olympics

Getty Images
1 Comment

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian athletes are overwhelmingly in favor of competing at the Pyeongchang Winter Games despite a ban on the national team, the country’s Olympic committee said Monday.

Sofia Velikaya said the Russian Olympic Committee’s athletes’ commission, which she chairs, has heard from “all the athletes in all sports” on the Olympic program, with a majority in favor of competing.

Velikaya said no athletes have told the ROC they would rather boycott.

“At the current moment, everyone’s training and everyone’s hoping to take part in the Olympics,” Velikaya said.

The International Olympic Committee last week barred the Russian team from Pyeongchang because of doping offenses at the Sochi Olympics, but is allowing Russians to compete under a neutral flag as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the government won’t stand in their way.

ROC spokesman Konstantin Vybornov said teams from biathlon and snowboard had recorded videos affirming their desire to compete, while the men’s hockey team has written “a collective letter.”

Some Russian hardliners believe it is shameful for athletes to compete at the Olympics without their national flag. But Velikaya defended the athletes, saying everyone watching will know who is from Russia.

“The choice of competing at the Olympics is strictly individual,” Velikaya said. “I call on Russian society to treat athletes’ decisions with understanding and respect.”

With the IOC due to send out invitations to individual Russians over the next two months, Velikaya said Russian sports officials would put together lists of their preferred teams.

Those rosters, she said, would stop the IOC from inviting “numbers five and six” in the Russian team while leaving out genuine medal contenders.

Russia is pushing back against some IOC conditions, however, backing appeals by Russian athletes banned for doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Velikaya also said her commission will ask the IOC to remove a condition stopping athletes from being invited to Pyeongchang if they have been suspended for doping in the past.

That affects a few athletes with earlier offenses unconnected to the Sochi Olympics, including biathletes banned for using the blood-booster EPO and speed skating world champion Denis Yuskov, who was suspended in 2008 after testing positive for marijuana.

Forcing the Russians to compete as neutral athletes puts the IOC in the uncomfortable position of regulating how they celebrate.

The Russian flag won’t be flown at medal ceremonies, but what happens if a Russian winner accepts a flag or a gift from a spectator for a victory lap? Can Russian athletes fly the flag from their windows in the athletes village?

Those are on a list of questions Vybornov said Russia will ask of the IOC.

“A figure skater wins, let’s say, and they throw her a teddy bear in Russian uniform onto the ice,” Vybornov said. “She picks it up. Can she do that? Or is that an offense?”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: List of Russia Olympic medals stripped; new Sochi medal standings