Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay offers to pay back near $500,000 to track meets, report says

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U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay is returning close to $500,000 in appearance fees and prize money from six meets in which he competed since he began taking a banned anabolic steroid on July 15, 2012, according to the Telegraph.

Gay, the joint second fastest man of all time in the 100m, failed three drug tests last year and hasn’t competed since admitting to one of them on July 14. He was given a one-year suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, backdated to June 23, when he could have received a two-year ban. USADA said he was given a reduced suspension for “providing substantial assistance” to the agency.

Gay is paying money back to five Diamond League meets and one meet in Jamaica, according to the newspaper. One of them is the 2012 Birmingham Grand Prix in Great Britain, where Gay finished second in a 200m race two weeks after the Olympics.

“I can confirm the [Birmingham] money is already on its way back from Gay’s agent,” British Athletics chairman Ed Warner told the newspaper. “They are aware their contract said the money was returnable if there was a doping violation, but [Gay’s agent] Mark Wetmore was on the case before we got on to it.”

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Mikaela Shiffrin plans to return next week

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin plans to race the next World Cup slalom in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, next Monday, according to her social media.

Shiffrin, 20 and the reigning Olympic, World and World Cup slalom champion, has been out since suffering a right MCL tear and a bone fracture in a Dec. 12 warm-up crash.

Her timetable for a return this season has shifted in the last eight weeks.

The rescheduling of a canceled Jan. 31 slalom for next Monday changed her previous plans to return the final weekend of February.

“Our goal is to have her be really close to 100 percent, if not 100 percent [before competing],” said Shiffrin’s mother, Eileen, in an earlier Denver Post report. “We’ve heard all these horror stories about athletes who went back too soon and then sustained injuries that did end their careers.”

The World Cup season concludes March 20. There are four slaloms left on the calendar, and Shiffrin trails slalom standings leader Frida Hansdotter by 305 points.

A winner receives 100 points per victory, so Shiffrin could take her fourth straight World Cup season title, but it would all but require her to win all four remaining slaloms and for Hansdotter (and others) to struggle.

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Tony Parker plans to play in Olympic qualifying, Rio Games

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker said he plans to play in both Olympic qualifying in July and the Rio Games in August, according to L’Equipe.

Parker, 33, previously said he could miss the tournaments this summer, at least in part due to his wife’s pregnancy, according to French media.

Parker said his wife is due in late July, which would fall in between France’s Olympic qualifying tournament (July 4-10 in the Philippines) and the Rio Games (Aug. 6-21).

Parker led France at the 2012 Olympics with 15.7 points per game. The French lost two games in London, to the gold medalist U.S. in group play and silver medalist Spain in the quarterfinals.

Parker led all players with 19 points per game at 2013 EuroBasket, won by France.

In September, Parker and France fell in the EuroBasket semifinals to Spain in a winner-goes-to-Rio game.

The defeat forced France to a last-chance, winner-take-all, six-team Olympic qualifying tournament in the Philippines in July.

In the Philippines, France will face a field that includes Canada, which had nine NBA players on its roster (including Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins) at August’s FIBA Americas yet was stunned in a winner-goes-to-Rio game by Venezuela, which had zero NBA players.

France is likely to be without Chicago Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah this summer as he underwent season-ending left shoulder surgery in January and hasn’t played a major tournament for the national team since 2011 EuroBasket.

Other French NBA players include Charlotte Hornets swingman Nicolas Batum, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw and Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier.

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