The World Anti-Doping Agency said its appeal over Swedish hockey player Nicklas Backstrom‘s failed drug test case at the Sochi Olympics has nothing to do with the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award Backstrom a silver medal.
“WADA wishes to clarify that the appeal does not in any way relate to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s decision to award the athlete an Olympic silver medal,” WADA said in a statement.
WADA said Thursday it is appealing an unspecified International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decision rather than the IOC’s.
Backstrom was suspended for the Sochi Olympic gold-medal game, which Sweden lost to Canada on Feb. 23, after it was found he tested positive for pseudoephedrine (PSE) on Feb. 19. He did not initially receive a silver medal.
The IOC ruled on March 14 that Backstrom should receive a silver medal, which he did receive later this year. The IOC also ruled on March 14 that Backstrom’s gold-medal game suspension was justified, blaming a team doctor, but said he would not be punished further.
WADA announced its appeal Tuesday.
“The decision to exonerate the athlete was recently appealed by WADA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” WADA senior manager of media relations and communications Ben Nichols wrote in an email.
If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.
Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.
Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.
If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.
Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.
The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.
Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.
The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.
Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.
Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.
The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.