Jan Ullrich

Jan Ullrich does not intend to return Olympic cycling medals

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Lance Armstrong‘s biggest rival wants to keep his Olympic medals.

German Jan Ullrich said he’s keeping his medals (gold and silver from Sydney 2000) in his home, where anybody can come see them, according to several international reports citing an interview with Sky Sports.

The retired Ullrich, 39, won the 1997 Tour de France, gold in the 2000 Olympic road race and silver in the time trial. He admitted to blood doping during his career in June.

Then-International Olympic Committee vice president Thomas Bach of Germany said at the time that it was “too little, too late.”

“Jan Ullrich had his chance for a creditable admission a couple of years ago and he missed it,” Bach, elected as IOC president in September, said in an emailed statement. “Today’s confirmation of some of the already well known and established facts does not help Jan Ullrich nor cycling.”

Armstrong recently returned his 2000 Olympic bronze medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Unlike Armstrong, Ullrich has not been stripped of his Tour de France title or his Olympic medals.

“Almost everyone took performance-enhancing substances then. I took nothing that the others didn’t also take,” Ullrich told Focus magazine in June. “For me, fraud starts when I gain an advantage. That wasn’t the case. I wanted to ensure equality of opportunities.

“The issue is dealt with for me. I only want to look forward, and never again backward.”

Ullrich said he thinks Armstrong should keep his Tour de France titles because doping was so prevalent during that era.

“I am no better than Armstrong, but no worse either,” he said.

Ullrich won gold in the 2000 Olympic road race. The silver medalist, Alexandre Vinokourov, was suspended two years in 2007 for blood doping.

Ullrich won silver in the 2000 Olympic time trial. Armstrong’s bronze from that race was stripped. The time trial gold medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov, was a longtime teammate of Armstrong’s.

According to court documents, another stripped Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, said Ekimov received blood transfusions with other USPS team members during the 2004 Tour de France.

The fourth-place finisher from that 2000 Olympic time trial, Spain’s Abraham Olano, was fired from his technical director role with the Vuelta a Espana Grand Tour in July after his name came up in French senate report of cyclists who doped in the 1998 Tour de France.

The fifth-place finisher from that race, France’s Laurent Jalabertacknowledged a positive drug test from the 1998 Tour de France in July.

Postcard: Munich 1972 Olympic venues, hostage site today

Chicago Marathon canceled; one major marathon left in 2020

Chicago Marathon
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The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the fourth World Marathon Major called off this year.

Organizers cited the challenge of staging the 45,000-runner event “out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators.”

Previously, major marathons were canceled in Berlin (originally scheduled for Sept. 27), Boston (April 20, then Sept. 14) and New York City (Nov. 1). The London Marathon, originally scheduled for April 26 and postponed to Oct. 4, remains scheduled.

The other World Marathon Major, Tokyo, took place on its scheduled date of March 1 but with elite runners only.

Last year, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei won Chicago by taking 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record. Kosgei clocked 2:14:04.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results

Figure skating Grand Prix events in China remain scheduled

Grand Prix Final
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Figure skating Grand Prix events in China in November and December remain scheduled, the International Skating Union announced Monday, four days after reports about international sporting events in China being canceled through the end of 2020.

A notice about sports events, issued Thursday by the General Administration of Sport of China, made an exception for Beijing Winter Olympic test events and other preparations for the first Winter Games in China in February 2022.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-most prestigious annual figure skating competition, is still scheduled for December in Beijing because it is an Olympic test event.

Furthermore, the Cup of China, one of six events across the globe that determines Grand Prix Final qualifiers, remains scheduled for November in Chongqing because it is related to the Final.

“Like for all other five ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events in the different countries, this is of course subject to finding the necessary logistical, medical and safety solutions to hold the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events as planned,” according to the ISU.

The ISU previously announced it set a deadline to decide on possible event cancellations: 12 weeks before an event starts. For the first Grand Prix Series competition, Skate America in Las Vegas, the decision deadline is Aug. 1.

The ISU council will meet virtually on Aug. 3 to decide on further action for upcoming competitions.

MORE: Tai Babilonia, a Winter Olympic original, credits skating trailblazer

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