James Magnussen

Australian Olympic Committee bars athletes from ‘swaying,’ ‘rambling’

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Australia amended its alcohol policy for its athletes at the Sochi Olympics.

Yes, they can drink, but they are forbidden from intoxicated acts such as “swaying, staggering or falling down,” the nation’s Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

This is likely, at least partially, in response to the behavior of some Australian men’s swimmers at the 2012 Olympics.

Here are the highlights of its position on the Olympic Team and alcohol:

Team members are not permitted to be present in the Olympic Village or other
designated Team locations if they are intoxicated and displaying conduct which may be
inappropriate or disruptive to others. This conduct includes:

* Being disorderly or argumentative;

* Being bad tempered, aggressive or using offensive language;

* Swaying, staggering or falling down;

* Speech which is loud and boisterous;

* Having rambling conversations;

* Having difficulty in paying attention or comprehending others;

* Annoying fellow Team members and others; or

* Other conduct deemed by the Chef de Mission to be inconsistent with the
standards expected of a Team member.

– The possession, service or consumption of alcohol by any Team member within the
Olympic Village or other designated Team locations is not permitted. This includes the
consumption of alcohol served by a third party such as other Olympic Teams;

and;

– The consumption of alcohol on the Team Charter Flight returning to Australia is not
permitted. A Team member who is intoxicated may be refused permission to board the
Team Charter Flight.

“What this policy is about is not a ban on alcohol, it’s not about stopping people celebrating after events,” said Kitty Chiller, 2016 Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission. “This is about us providing a totally 100 percent high performance focused environment to allow athletes to best prepare for their event whether they are competing on Day 1 or Day 16 of the Games.”

Australia is by no means a winter sports power, but it is gaining a little bit of a steam. It has won medals at the last five Winter Olympics, including three (two gold) in 2010.

Its stars in Sochi are expected to be Olympic champions Dale Begg-Smith (moguls), Lydia Lassila (aerials) and Torah Bright (snowboarding) and world snowboarding champions Alex Pullin and Holly Crawford.

Past Soviet Olympic champions to hockey team: ‘Don’t let Russia down’

Emmanuel Korir nearly falls, comes back to win 800m at Pre Classic

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Kenyan Emmanuel Korir overcame getting tripped with 200 meters left to win the 800m on the first day of the Prefontaine Classic on Friday.

Korir was leading when Botswana’s Nijel Amos‘ spike clipped his leg. Korir stumbled, took six steps inside the rail and ceded the lead to Amos, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.

But Korir overtook Amos on the final straight, winning in 1:45.16, .35 ahead of Amos. The race lacked double Olympic champion and world-record holder David Rudisha, who hasn’t raced since July 4 due to injury.

Korir, 22, ran the fastest 800m in the world last year but was eliminated in the semifinals at the world championships.

Full Pre Classic results are here.

In other events, world champion Sam Kendricks beat the last two Olympic champions in the pole vault, clearing 5.81 meters.

Surprise Rio Olympic gold medalist Thiago Braz of Brazil no-heighted at Pre for a second straight year in his first outdoor meet in 10 months. London Olympic champ and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie didn’t fare much better, exiting at 5.71 meters for fifth place. Lavillenie still holds the top clearance in the world this year of 5.95 meters.

Rio gold medalist Thomas Röhler led a German javelin sweep, throwing a meet record 89.88 meters. World champion Johannes Vetter, who was second with an 89.34-meter throw, still ranks No. 1 in the world this year at 92.70.

In the two-mile, Ethiopian Selemon Barega upset Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo, outsprinting the American and clocking 8:20.01. Chelimo was second in 8:20.91.

The Pre Classic continues Saturday on NBC and NBC Sports Gold with streaming coverage starting at 2:50 p.m. ET.

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Allyson Felix withdraws from Prefontaine Classic

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Allyson Felix withdrew on the eve of the Prefontaine Classic and will miss Saturday’s anticipated 400m showdown with Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and world champion Phyllis Francis.

No reason was given by the meet director at a Friday press conference, according to media in Eugene, Ore.

Felix, a nine-time Olympic medalist and 16-time world outdoor championships medalist, was scheduled to race on the top international level for the first time since Aug. 20. She has raced in smaller meets this season, most recently last Friday.

This is the one year in the four-year cycle without an Olympics or world outdoor championships, making the Diamond League, and the Pre Classic in particular, marquee meets.

“In the 19 years that I’ve been running track, I’ve never taken a break,” the 32-year-old Felix said in an Instagram video Thursday after an intense training session but before her name was taken off Saturday’s start list. “Never had a year where I took it easy. … Now that this is kind of a year without a championship, I’ve had to force myself to have a different approach because my goal is 2020. … To be able to be at my best when it counts, I think that means not having as intense of a year as I usually do. Being a competitor and an athlete, that’s something that I struggle with. … This year, that’s what I’m really trying to force myself to do is have quality races, quality over quantity. … So, if you guys don’t see me at as many of the races as I usually run, don’t worry, I’m fine, I’m just challenging myself to be smarter.”

Felix will miss the Pre Classic for the second time in the last nine years. She was absent in 2016 with an ankle injury.

The USATF Outdoor Championships are in one month.

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