Olympic Russia flags
Getty Images

Russian officials deny report they admitted to doping program

Leave a comment

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and its director general denied a New York Times report that Russian officials, including the director general, admitted that a doping program for the Sochi Olympics took place.

To be clear, Russian sports officials, specifically former sports minister Vitaly Mutko, have for months admitted that there is a doping problem in the country.

On Tuesday, the newspaper reported that Russian officials “admitted they carried out widespread Olympic doping.”

“It was an institutional conspiracy,” RUSADA director general Anna Antseliovich said, according to the newspaper, which added that she spoke “of years’ worth of cheating schemes, while emphasizing that the government’s top officials were not involved.”

On Wednesday, Antseliovich said her words were taken out of context, according to a Facebook account reported to be hers by Russian media.

Also Wednesday, RUSADA said Antseliovich’s words “institutional conspiracy” were taken out of context. They were referring to a summation of the previously published McLaren report on Russian doping, RUSADA said.

“[The newspaper report] created an impression that RUSADA management admits to the existence of such institutional conspiracy of doping cover-up in Russia,” RUSADA’s statement read. “We would like to stress that RUSADA has no authority to admit to or deny any such fact, since the investigation of the case is handled by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.”

The International Olympic Committee has said there is evidence of violations regarding Russian athletes’ doping samples in Sochi.

The IOC opened disciplinary cases against 28 Russian athletes from Sochi “for whom there is evidence of manipulation of one or more of their urine samples” from those Winter Games.

Six Russian cross-country skiers have already been provisionally suspended by the International Ski Federation (FIS) in connection with the IOC disciplinary cases.

Russian media reported the six include the two most decorated Russian skiers from the Sochi Olympics — 50km gold and silver medalists Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin.

FIS would not confirm or deny the names. The Russia Ski Association has not responded to a request for comment.

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

Yulia Efimova wags finger as Lilly King rivalry heats up (video)

Leave a comment

The Lilly KingYulia Efimova rivalry is back on, but this time the Russian is wagging her finger.

Efimova missed the 100m breaststroke world record by .01 in the semifinals at the world swimming championships in Budapest on Monday.

Efimova celebrated her time by finger wagging, an homage to King’s famous move in the ready room at the Rio Olympics.  She and King will go head to head in the final as the top two seeds on Tuesday after King won her later semifinal in a personal-best time .17 slower than Efimova.

“I’m always looking at the results from the heat before,” King told media in Budapest, adding that she wasn’t shaved for Monday’s semifinals. “I saw a little finger wag. I saw it. It’s just motivating me more, so that’s OK.”

King, who criticized Efimova’s presence in Rio after serving a doping ban, beat the Russian in the Olympic 100m breaststroke final last year.

Efimova served a 16-month ban for testing positive for the banned steroid DHEA in 2013. She again tested positive in February 2016 for meldonium, though she said she stopped taking it before it became a banned substance Jan. 1 and was absolved along with other athletes.

“You’ve been caught for drug cheating, I’m just not a fan,” King memorably said in Rio, adding last fall, “[Doping] was on all of our minds. We had team meetings talking about what it was going to be like. We were going to be racing dopers, and we all knew it.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

WORLDS: TV Schedule | Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview | Schedule/Results

Katinka Hosszu wins 200m IM as swimmer leaves pool mid-race (video)

Leave a comment

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu delivered the gold-medal performance a raucous Budapest crowd hoped for at the world swimming championships.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem, a medal favorite, appeared to get out of the pool after 50 meters. Swimming Canada later said she “took on water” approaching the first wall.

“Unfortunately it inhibited her to the point where she wasn’t able to continue in the race,” a press release said.

Hosszu won her third straight world title in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:07.00 at the Danube Arena. The Olympic champion and world-record holder was followed by Japan’s Yui Ohashi (2:07.91) and American Madisyn Cox (2:09.71).

Hosszu was the overwhelming favorite, given she held the three fastest times in the world this year going into Monday’s final. She became the first woman to win 10 individual world championships medals, a mark that Sarah SjostromKatie Ledecky and Yulia Efimova can surpass later in the meet. Retired Australian Leisel Jones won nine, all in breaststroke.

Hosszu scratched her other event Monday night, the 100m backstroke, one of three events she won at the Rio Olympics. Hosszu could earn medals in the 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley later this week.

Pickrem ranked No. 3 in the world this year and had the third-fastest time in the semifinals behind Hosszu and American Melanie Margalis, who finished fourth.

“Just another stepping stone,” said Cox, who finished her University of Texas career this year and made her major international debut in Budapest. “Of course, I want to be better. That time will come.”

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Results
Gold: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:07.00
Silver: Yui Ohashi (JPN) — 2:07.91
Bronze: Madisyn Cox (USA) — 2:09.71
4. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:09.82
5. Runa Imai (JPN) — 2:09.99
6. Kim Seoyeong (KOR) — 2:10.40
7. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (GBR) — 2:10.41
DQ. Sydney Pickrem (CAN)

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

WORLDS: TV Schedule | Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview | Schedule/Results