Gay, Richards-Ross sprint to victories in Paris rain

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American sprinters Tyson Gay showed and Sanya Richards-Ross each made emphatic statements with victories on a rain-slicked track at the Montreuil meeting Monday.

Gay ran the 100m in 10.04 to beat 2008 Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago by 0.12 in a 0.5-meter headwind.

Meanwhile, Richards-Ross, the 2012 Olympic champion in the 400, won that event in Paris, pulling away down the stretch to finish with a time of 51.12. She was happy with the victory, but apparently just as happy to have escaped the wet conditions without injury.

“I think the last time I ran in weather like this is probably Zurich 2005,” she told the Associated Press. “I tried to block it out, but it’s really hard to get going really fast, especially the first 50. A little bit more cautious. I do want to have a successful season, so I don’t want to risk an injury.”

Gay’s victory in Paris was his second appearance in competition since serving a one-year doping ban. In his first appearance last week, he finished second to fellow American Justin Gatlin in the 100 at the Diamond Leauge meet in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago, who won a photo finish in the 100 in last week’s event, won the women’s 100 in Paris in 11.32, overcoming a poor start to beat Jamaica’s Carrie Russell.

Full results here.

Gatlin wins 100m over Gay at Lausanne Diamond League

Russian Olympic champion positive in Beijing doping retest

Anna Chicherova
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London Olympic high jump champion Anna Chicherova is one of many Russians among 31 athletes overall who tested positive in recent retests of Beijing Olympic samples, according to Russian news agency TASS.

TASS named nine 2008 Olympic medalists among 14 Russian athletes, citing a Russian TV report, including eight medalists in track and field, with Chicherova being the superstar of the group.

“Perhaps it’s just a mistake,” Chicherova said, according to an Associated Press translation of a Russian TV report. “I can’t explain how my doping test gave a positive result. I’ve competed a lot since then and given hundreds of samples.”

Last week, the International Olympic Committee said 31 unnamed athletes from 12 nations across six sports failed drug tests in retesting of 454 samples from 2008 using the latest drug-testing methods.

Chicherova, 33, took high jump gold at the London Games and bronze in Beijing. She is one of two track and field athletes to earn an individual-event medal at the last five World Championships and last two Olympics. The other is Usain Bolt.

Chicherova, who has had no previously widespread reported doping history, would be one of Russia’s top Olympic track and field medal hopes in Rio, should the ban on Russian track and field athletes competing be lifted before the Games.

Russia is expected to learn if it will be allowed to send a track and field team to Rio on June 17.

“The Ministry of Sport is extremely disappointed to hear the speculation that Russian athletes are among those found to have violated anti-doping rules at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after re-testing their samples,” the Russian Ministry of Sport said in a statement through Burson-Marsteller public relations firm. “Any athletes found cheating should face corresponding sanctions.

“We have taken numerous steps to eradicate the issue of doping, and understand that the roots of the problem, particularly in athletics, go back to the past.”

MORE: Russia track and field boss: ’50-60 percent’ chance of Olympics

U.S. Olympic tennis player refuses to answer meldonium questions

Varvara Lepchenko
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Varvara Lepchenko, a 2012 U.S. Olympic tennis player, reportedly refused comment eight times Tuesday on a report that she tested positive for meldonium earlier this year.

“At the moment I have no comment on any of this,” Lepchenko said after losing her first-round match at the French Open, according to multiple reports. “I’m here just to answer tennis questions. If you have any questions about my match, I would gladly answer them, but otherwise, I just have no comments.”

Lepchenko, a 30-year-old who lived in Uzbekistan until 2001, was found to have meldonium at about the same time as Russian Maria Sharapova, a physiotherapist who worked with Sharapova said, according to Russia’s Sports-Express last week.

Sharapova announced on March 7 that she tested positive for meldonium in January.

Lepchenko didn’t play on the WTA Tour from late February until early May, withdrawing before the BNP Paribas Open in March with a left knee injury and the Sony Open two weeks later with a right knee injury, according to the WTA.

The World Anti-Doping Agency relaxed meldonium punishments in April, allowing bans to be lifted. Sharapova’s ban has not been lifted.

Lepchenko, who lost in the second round at London 2012, is ranked No. 64 in the world and will not qualify for the Rio Olympics.

MORE: Djokovic calls for rankings points at ‘arguably the fifth Grand Slam’