David Rudisha

David Rudisha says the last year ‘has been hell’

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Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha will have gone more than one year between races when he steps on the Hayward Field track at the Pre Classic on May 31. The Kenyan world record holder was blunt in describing being sidelined by a right knee injury.

“The one year has been hell,” Rudisha said, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Rudisha, 25, broke his world record in the 2012 Olympic final, clocking 1 minute, 40.91 seconds in one of the greatest races of all time. His last meet was the adidas Grand Prix in New York on May 25, 2013. He was still in New York when he noticed knee problems while running in Central Park and missed the rest of the season.

Rudisha split time between Kenya and getting his knee checked in Germany last summer. He eventually had surgery in October, but he still felt pain in December, so he went back to Germany for January and February and did not return to training until March.

In his absence, Ethiopian Mohammed Aman won the 2013 World Championship after finishing sixth in the Olympic final. American Nick Symmonds won the world silver medal after taking fifth at the Olympics.

Rudisha was scheduled to return at the Diamond League season opener in Doha, Qatar, on May 9 but withdrew due to left calf pain from his first track workout since the knee injury one week before.

“The [knee] injury has gone,” Rudisha told the IAAF. “The pain has gone. But it is still somewhere in your mind. You are still thinking about it, maybe even waiting if you are going to feel anything. Only for the last three weeks or so was I able to follow a proper training regime. But a track session cannot replace a race. I think I will need at least one or two good races before my mind will be completely free and back to where it was before the injury.”

Rudisha will face Aman but not Symmonds at the Pre Classic. Symmonds is out with a knee injury. American Duane Solomon, who was fourth at the 2012 Olympics, owns the fastest time in the world this year at 1:43.88. Rudisha has bettered that time each of the previous six years and aims to run between 1:43 and 1:44 next week.

“My legs will answer all the critics,” Rudisha said, according to Xinhua.

Rudisha, who is also scheduled for the adidas Grand Prix on June 14, said he hopes to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in July.

“I’m aware that everybody expects me to continue where I had left — and that’s why I cannot afford to be in a race when I am not ready,” Rudisha told the IAAF. “One thing is certain: I will not change my tactics. I am a front runner and I have always been.”

USADA calls Jon Drummond’s lawsuit ‘baseless’

Does Lance Armstrong believe doping contributed to cancer?

Lance Armstrong
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Lance Armstrong said on Sunday’s ESPN film “Lance” that he didn’t know whether he got testicular cancer because of his doping in the early-to-mid 1990s.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “And I don’t want to say no because I don’t think that’s right, either. I don’t know if it’s yes or no, but I certainly wouldn’t say no. The only thing I will tell you is the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season [before being diagnosed with moderate to advanced cancer in October 1996]. So just in my head, I’m like ‘growth, growing, hormones and cells.’ Like, if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it, too, would grow?”

Armstrong was asked a similar question by Oprah Winfrey in his January 2013 doping confession.

“Do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?” Winfrey asked.

“I don’t think so,” Armstrong said then. “I’m not a doctor, I’ve never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally, but I don’t believe so.”

That was not the first time doping and cancer were part of the same conversation.

Teammate Frankie Andreu and then-fiancee Betsy said that Armstrong told a doctor on Oct. 27, 1996, at Indiana University Hospital that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs; EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Armstrong said he probably began doping at age 21, in 1992 or 1993.

“I remember when we were on a training ride in 2002, Lance told me that [Michele] Ferrari [the infamous doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs] had been paranoid that he had helped cause the cancer and became more conservative after that,” former teammate Floyd Landis said in 2011, according to Sports Illustrated.

TIMELINE: Lance Armstrong’s rise and fall

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Cortina requests to postpone Alpine skiing worlds from 2021 to 2022

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year’s world Alpine skiing championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup Finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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