Adam Nelson finally set to receive Athens gold

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After 3,208 days as a silver medalist, American shot putter Adam Nelson was finally awarded gold by the IOC Thursday after his Ukrainian rival Yuriy Bilonog was found to have been doping in 2004.

Bilonog was caught using performance-enhancing drugs in December, when his eight-year old urine samples were thawed and retested using more sophisticated methods. But the IOC waited to award Nelson the medal until the IAAF, track’s governing body, made its adjusted results official.

“It’s not just a victory for me, but a victory for the system,” Nelson said in December when he first heard Bilonog had been stripped of his medal. “I can’t dwell on what happened or didn’t happen eight years ago. I can only look forward to what the next phase in life brings. At least now I can do that with a gold medal.”

But Nelson, who won silver in Sydney, admitted last year that he was disappointed about not being able to stand on the podium and hear the “Star Spangled Banner” played in his honor.

“The 2004 Olympics were a really special moment for me,” Nelson told the New York Times. “The downside of this is I feel like our country was robbed of a medal at the relevant time. One of the biggest parts of an Olympic career is when you hear your anthem and see your flag when you stand on that podium. That’s something I can never replace.”

It may not be in Athens, but I’m sure we can arrange something back home. Congratulations, sir.

Bilonog was the only Athens Olympic champ stripped of his gold, but was one of five athletes from 2004 who failed retroactive drug tests. He’s joined by men’s hammer throw silver medalist Ivan Tskikhan of Belarus, women’s shot put bronze medalist Svetlana Krivelyova of Russia, women’s discus bronze medalist Irina Yatchenko of Belarus, and weightlifting bronze medalist Oleg Perepechenov of Russia.

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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2024 Tour de France to end with Nice time trial due to Paris Olympics

2024 Tour de France Nice

The 2024 Tour de France will end on the French Riviera instead of the French capital because of the Paris Olympics.

The finish of cycling’s marquee race leaves Paris for the first time since 1905.

Tour organizers said on Thursday the last stage of its 111th race will take place in the Mediterranean resort of Nice on July 21. Five days later, Paris opens the Olympics.

Because of security and logistical reasons, the French capital won’t have its traditional Tour finish on the Champs-Elysees. Parting with tradition of a sprint on the Champs-Elysees, the last stage will be an individual time trial along Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais.

The start of the 2024 race, which will begin for the first time in Italy, was brought forward by one week, a customary change during an Olympic year. The Tour will start on June 29 in Florence.

Nice has hosted the Tour 37 times, including its start twice, in 1981 and in 2020. Two years ago, the start was delayed until Aug. 29 due to lockdowns and travels bans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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