Michael Phelps leads USADA drug-testing statistics

Michael Phelps
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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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IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

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The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

Italy hosts the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
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Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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