Wallace Spearmon fails drug test, banned 3 months

Wallace Spearmon

Two-time U.S. Olympian Wallace Spearmon tested positive for a banned substance in July and accepted a three-month suspension, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday.

USADA accepted Spearmon’s explanation that the glucocorticosteroid Methylprednisolone was not being used as a performance enhancer, that he was taking the prescribed medication in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician.

“I was not trying to cheat,” Spearmon told Track and Field News, which has more details from the sprinter, who opened up with medical information and correspondence with USADA. “I made a mistake.”

The substance is classified as a Specified Substance, making Spearmon eligible for a reduced sanction.

Spearmon, 29, crossed the finish line third in the Beijing Olympic 200m won by Usain Bolt but was disqualified for stepping on the lane line to his inside in the final.

He came back to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and finished fourth in the 200m final in London, also won by his longtime friend Bolt.

Spearmon won World Championships 200m medals in 2005 (silver), 2007 (bronze) and 2009 (bronze). He dominated the head-to-head with Bolt early in their careers, before Bolt started breaking world records in 2008.

Spearmon was the sixth-fastest American over 200m this season, clocking 20.19 seconds at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 14.

“The fact that this has happened just—when you fail a drug test, regardless of what it is, people speculate,” Spearmon told Track and Field News. “It tarnishes everything you’ve done from the time that you’ve been running. People are going to have their thoughts about everything that you’ve done, everything that you’re going to do. … From now on, people will look at me like I’m a cheater.

“It stinks because sometimes people do make mistakes and sometimes when people do cheat they try to make it seem like they made a mistake. It’s hard to tell the difference.

“I take full responsibility for my actions.”

Ato Boldon’s track and field season awards

Jim Hines, Olympic 100m gold medalist and first to break 10 seconds, dies

Jim Hines

Jim Hines, a 1968 Olympic 100m gold medalist and the first person to break 10 seconds in the event, has died at age 76, according to USA Track and Field.

“I understand that God called him home today and we send the prayers up for him,” was posted on the Facebook page of John Carlos, a 1968 U.S. Olympic teammate, over the weekend.

Hines was born in Arkansas, raised in Oakland, California and attended Texas Southern University in Houston.

At the June 1968 AAU Championships in Sacramento, Hines became the first person to break 10 seconds in the 100m with a hand-timed 9.9. It was dubbed the “Night of Speed” because the world record of 10 seconds was beaten by three men and tied by seven others, according to World Athletics.

“There will never be another night like it,” Hines said at a 35th anniversary reunion in 2003, according to World Athletics. “That was the greatest sprinting series in the history of track and field.”

Later that summer, Hines won the Olympic Trials. Then he won the Olympic gold medal in Mexico City’s beneficial thin air in 9.95 seconds, the first electronically timed sub-10 and a world record that stood for 15 years.

Hines was part of a legendary 1968 U.S. Olympic track and field team that also included 200m gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and Carlos, plus gold medalists Wyomia Tyus (100m), Bob Beamon (long jump), Al Oerter (discus), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m relays.

After the Olympics, Hines joined the Miami Dolphins, who chose him in the sixth round of that year’s NFL Draft to be a wide receiver. He was given the number 99. Hines played in 10 games between 1969 and 1970 for the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

He remains the only person to have played in an NFL regular season game out of the now more than 170 who have broken 10 seconds in the 100m over the last 55 years.

2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Having turned 22 on Wednesday, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, is her top remaining challenger in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round. No. 4 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who has three wins over Swiatek this year, withdrew before her third-round match due to illness.

No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the top hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw