Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps leads USADA drug-testing statistics

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Michael Phelps quickly became reacquainted with drug testers with his first swims since the 2012 Olympics this spring, logging at least eight tests under the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s program in the second quarter of 2014.

No U.S. athlete was tested more in that three-month stretch by USADA’s documented statistics*. Phelps has 11 documented tests under USADA’s program for the year, trailing only Olympic silver medalist distance runner Galen Rupp, who has 12.

Rupp was tested a USADA documented statistics record 28 times in 2013.

*USADA’s quarterly statistics are interesting to break down, but they are not complete drug-testing histories. USADA stats documented 2,800 drug tests for the first six months of 2014, but the total number of tests was 4,808. That’s quite a difference and must be taken into account.

Here’s USADA’s disclaimer on its documented statistics:

*What the results do and do not include*

This search includes all in- and out-of-competition test sessions on U.S. athletes conducted under USADA’s Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and Parapan American movements testing program. This search will also include test sessions conducted on U.S. athletes training internationally by other testing entities when the request for the test session was made by USADA. This search will not yield results conducted on U.S. athletes by other testing entities, if the test session was not requested or initiated by USADA, or test sessions conducted by USADA at the request of other sport organizations, events, international federations, or individuals. Because of these exclusions, the total numbers below are less than the numbers reported as USADA’s total testing numbers located here. This resource is intended to be used to determine the number of times USADA has organized a test on an individual athlete and is not an accurate representation of USADA’s total testing numbers or the total number of anti-doping tests an athlete will undergo by other and all testing and sport organizations.

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Notes from the second-quarter statistics released Wednesday:

*Phelps and cyclists Jacob Rathe and Tom Zirbel led the counts with eight documented tests each.

*Rupp led all track and field athletes with seven. Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, Olympic medalist sprinters who have failed drug tests, were tested five and three times, respectively.

*Norah Flatley and Lauren Hernandez, two gymnasts born in 2000, have each been tested at least once this year (in the first quarter). They are among the athletes trying to become the first Olympians born in the 2000s.

When Olympians retire, they generally withdraw from drug-testing pools. Phelps did that after the London Olympics, then re-entered the pool in 2013, knowing he had to wait nine months from the point he re-entered drug testing to be able to compete again. The waiting period for some other sports, such as gymnastics and figure skating, is at least six months.

*Olympic champion gymnast Jordyn Wieber, who hasn’t competed since London 2012 and recently said she is still deciding her competitive future, has not had a documented test since the third quarter of 2013. The other four members of the Fierce Five have been tested at least once in that span.

*2010 Olympic champion figure skater Evan Lysacek, who hasn’t competed since Vancouver 2010 and recently said his career is coming to an end, has not had a documented test yet this year.

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Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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