Torrin Lawrence

U.S. 400m runner Torrin Lawrence dies in car accident

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U.S. 400m runner Torrin Lawrence died when a semi truck crashed into his stationary car after one of his tires blew out on a Georgia interstate early Monday morning, a sheriff confirmed.

Lawrence, 25, was on Interstate 75 near Cordele, Ga., 94 miles north of the Florida-Georgia border when the tire blew out.

He called 911 with his car sitting in the middle lane of a three-lane highway, and the crash happened around 1:45 a.m., before a deputy arrived, Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said.

“We’re not exactly sure where he was in relation to the car,” Hancock said. “He was caught up in the accident.”

Lawrence, 25, ran in the 4x400m relay heats at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on May 24. The U.S. went on to win the event, and Lawrence earned a gold medal.

Lawrence finished ninth in the 400m at the U.S. Outdoor Championships on June 27.

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Gary Bettman: Olympic ‘fatigue’ may be setting in for NHL

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: A general view as teams shake hands after the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game between Canada and the United States on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Canada defeated the United States 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says there’s significant opposition among team owners to continuing participation in the Winter Olympics, and the league is running out of time on negotiations to take part in the 2018 Games.

Following a meeting of the league’s Board of Governors on Thursday, Bettman said no decision was made regarding Olympics participation in 2018 in South Korea.

“I think it’s fair to say that there is some strong negative sentiment in the room,” Bettman said. “But nothing was decided today.”

NHL players have competed in the past five Winter Olympics dating to 1998 and want to continue taking part, but owners are concerned about the midseason interruption and injury risk.

“There are a lot of owners, clubs, over the years that have been very concerned about what Olympic participation does to the season, what it does to the players in terms of injuries, not just to those that go, but having a compressed schedule can make the players more tired, more wear and tear, and the potential for injury is greater,” Bettman said, according to NHL.com. “I think after doing five of these, I don’t know, fatigue might be a word?”

Bettman said his recent proposal to the NHL Players’ Association regarding an extension of the collective bargaining agreement in return for Olympic participation was part of a larger discussion about hockey’s international calendar.

“That discussion morphed into, ‘Maybe we should be talking about a long-term international schedule with predictability,'” Bettman said. “If you look at the calendar and you play it out in the logical sequences of the way these events get played, we said if you look at the calendar and get rid of the (CBA) reopeners and you extend by three years, that gets you two Olympics, two World Cups and two Ryder Cups.”

Such an agreement would ensure nine years of labor peace, but players rejected the proposal.

Bettman has said a decision regarding the Olympics needs to be made by early January, giving the league time to create its 2017-18 schedule with or without a two-plus week break for the Olympics.

The Board of Governors meetings conclude Friday.

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Over 1,000 Russian athletes involved in organized doping, McLaren report says

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LONDON (AP) — A new report into systematic Russian doping details a wide-ranging “institutional conspiracy” that involved more than 1,000 athletes across more than 30 sports, including evidence corroborating large-scale sample swapping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The report is here.

World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren said Friday the conspiracy involved the Russian Sports Ministry, national anti-doping agency and the FSB intelligence service, providing further details of state involvement in a massive program of cheating and cover-ups that ran on an “unprecedented scale” from 2011-15.

“It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” McLaren said at a news conference in London. “For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived. It’s time that this stops.”

McLaren said his conclusions were based on irrefutable forensic evidence, including DNA analysis proving that samples were swapped and other tests showing that doping bottles were opened.

The Canadian law professor’s investigation found that 15 Russian medalists in Sochi had their doping bottles tampered with, including two athletes who won four gold medals. No names were given.

McLaren also reported that Russia corrupted the 2012 London Olympics on an “unprecedented scale” but the full extent will “probably never be fully established.”

No Russian athlete tested positive at the time of the games, but McLaren said the sports ministry gave athletes a “cocktail of steroids … in order to beat the detection thresholds at the London lab.”

McLaren described the Russian doping program as “a cover-up that evolved over the years from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined medal-winning strategy and conspiracy.”

The findings confirmed and expanded on much of the evidence contained in McLaren’s first report issued in July.

“Over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport can be identified as being involved in or benefiting from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests,” McLaren said Friday.

The names of those athletes, including 600 summer sports competitors, have been turned over to international federations for them to take any disciplinary action, he said.

McLaren’s first report led WADA to recommend that Russia be excluded from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The IOC rejected calls for an outright ban, allowing international federations to decide which Russian athletes could compete.

The latest report will put pressure on the International Olympic Committee to take action ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. His findings will be sent to the IOC, which has two commissions looking into the allegations.

IOC President Thomas Bach has said stiff sanctions will be taken against any athletes and officials implicated in doping. He said he favors lifetime Olympic bans for anyone involved.

McLaren opened his investigation earlier this year after Moscow’s former doping lab director, Grigory Rodchenkov, told the New York Times that he and other officials were involved in an organized doping program for Russian athletes that covered the London and Sochi Olympics. He detailed how tainted samples were replaced with clean urine through a concealed “mouse hole” in the wall of the Sochi lab.

The new report further backs Rodchenkov’s account. McLaren’s investigation found scratches and other marks left on the doping bottles. WADA investigators were able to recreate the method used by the Russians to pry open the sealed bottle caps.

The report also elaborated on the “Disappearing Positive Methodology” system which concealed Russian use of banned drugs and protected summer and winter athletes from being caught. Some samples were diluted with salt or even coffee granules.

Other findings include:

— Six Russian athletes who won a total of 21 medals at the Sochi Paralympics had their urine samples tampered with.

— Two female hockey players at the Sochi Olympics had samples that contained male DNA.

— Eight Sochi samples had salt content that was physiologically impossible in a healthy human.

McLaren specified that the doping conspiracy involved “Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure,” as well as the anti-doping body, the Moscow lab, and the FSB specifically for manipulating the samples. The inquiry found no evidence that former Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was directly involved, he said.

The report also found no evidence of involvement of the Russian Olympic Committee.

McLaren said he was unfazed by Russian criticism of the report.

Asked how he would respond, McLaren said: “I would say read the report.”

McLaren’s first report set off bitter divisions and infighting in the Olympic movement and those recriminations have dragged on since the Rio Games. McLaren said it is now time to take a unified approach.

“I find it difficult to understand why were at not on the same team,” he said. “We should all be working together to end doping in sports.”

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