Yohan Blake

Yohan Blake is running scared, coach says

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NEW YORK — Yohan Blake must overcome a fear of injury, the coach of the Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist said Saturday.

Blake, joint second-fastest man all time in the 100m and the only man other than Usain Bolt to break 19.30 in the 200m, is trying to come back from major hamstring injuries in 2013 and 2014.

The 25-year-old nicknamed “The Beast” reportedly competed Saturday for the second time since tumbling to the track July 11, tearing a muscle off the bone (video of the fall here).

On Saturday, Blake clocked 10.21 seconds in a 100m with a 1.2 meters/second tailwind at a small meet in Jamaica, according to TeamJA.org, which would rank tied for 13th among Jamaican men this year. Blake’s personal best, 9.69, was set two weeks after the 2012 Olympics, before the injuries.

“He has a problem to get over the fear of getting hurt again,” coach Glen Mills said earlier Saturday at the Adidas Grand Prix, where Blake was a headliner last year but did not race this year. “We just have to take our time. … I think once his confidence comes back, he’ll do well, because he’s in good physical shape.”

The previous Saturday, Blake won a 200m race in Jamaica in 21.57, which ranks outside the top 200 in the world this year.

“I wouldn’t call that running,” Mills said. “He went through the motion.”

Mills said he wasn’t sure of Blake’s plan for the Jamaican Championships in two weeks, after which the Jamaican team for the World Championships in Beijing in August will be announced.

Blake will enter the 100m at the Jamaican Championships, Mills said, which comes before the 200m.

“We’ll see how he does in the early rounds,” Mills said. “If he’s not really competing, I think then we don’t want him to go any further. We don’t want to push him. If he does really well, if he makes the team at the 100m level, we may decide not to do the 200m. We’ll do enough to lay a foundation for the Olympic year. That’s our main objective.”

Three men plus defending World champion Bolt are expected to make the Worlds team each in the 100m and 200m. The No. 3 Jamaicans, excluding Bolt, in the 100m and 200m this year clocked 10.01 in the 100m and 20.28 in the 200m.

Blake was Bolt’s biggest rival in 2011 and 2012. After Bolt false-started out of the 2011 Worlds 100m final, Blake went on to win. Blake defeated Bolt in both the 100m and 200m at the 2012 Jamaican Olympic trials before Bolt returned the favor in London.

Blake, at 25, is three years younger than Bolt and eight years younger than Justin Gatlin, the world’s fastest man in 2014 and 2015. Blake has said he wants to retire before 2020, which would make the Rio 2016 Olympics his second and final Games, should he qualify.

Also Saturday, Mills said Warren Weir, the Olympic 200m bronze medalist and World silver medalist, scratched earlier last week out of the Adidas Grand Prix 200m with Bolt due to a severe hamstring cramp in training.

Usain Bolt runs slowest 200m since 2006 at Adidas Grand Prix

Steve Penny, ex-USA Gymnastics president, arrested on charge of tampering with Larry Nassar evidence

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny was arrested Wednesday after a Texas grand jury indicted him, alleging he tampered with evidence in the sexual assault investigation of now-imprisoned gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

In a statement issued late Wednesday night, the Walker County district attorney’s office in Huntsville, Texas, said Penny was arrested by a fugitive task force in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and awaits extradition to Texas.

The third-degree felony is punishable by two to 10 years in prison. It was unclear if Penny has an attorney. Messages left with USA Gymnastics weren’t immediately returned.

Penny resigned under pressure in March 2017.

The indictment alleges Penny ordered the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch relating to Nassar’s activities at the ranch, near Huntsville. It alleges Penny acted after learning that Texas Rangers and Walker County authorities were investigating the ranch, which was being managed by USA Gymnastics.

The indictment states the documents were delivered to Penny at the USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis, they have not been recovered and their whereabouts are unknown to authorities.

Nassar was charged in June with sexually assaulting six minors in Walker County. A former sports medicine trainer, Debra Van Horn, was also indicted on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Prosecutors said Van Horn was charged as “acting as a party” with Nassar.

In Michigan, Nassar was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison, after hundreds of women and girls accused him of molesting them with his hands under the guise of medical treatment. They said the abuse went as far back as the 1990s while he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Nassar was a former team doctor for both the women’s program at USA Gymnastics as well as Michigan State University athletics.

In Texas, a number of gymnasts who had trained at the Karolyi Ranch have said Nassar sexually assaulted them there. Walker County prosecutors have said there is no corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by world-renowned gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, and the couple has denied wrongdoing.

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Kip Keino, Kenyan Olympic legend, hands himself over to police in corruption case

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Running great Kip Keino handed himself over to police in Kenya on Thursday and is under arrest, set to face charges of corruption and abuse of office that threaten the reputation of one of track and field’s most revered figures.

The 78-year-old Keino, former Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario and two other former sports ministry officials surrendered to police to meet a 6 a.m. deadline.

They are due in court Friday to plead to the charges relating to the misuse of more than half a million dollars meant to fund Kenya’s team at the Rio Olympics. Keino was president of the Kenyan Olympic committee at the time.

Keino is a two-time Olympic champion, an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee and was one of the first athletes to be inducted into track and field’s half of fame in 2012.

He was the forerunner for generations of Kenyan distance-running champions, winning the 1500m at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

He is accused of playing a role in the misappropriation of more than $545,000 of government money set aside for Kenyan athletes at the Rio Games two years ago. Keino and six other current and former Olympic and government officials were accused by prosecutors of the embezzlement of more than $200,000 and misuse of more than $300,000.

Relating to the misuse, prosecutors allege the seven wasted more than $150,000 on unused air tickets to Rio, overpaid allowances amounting to nearly $150,000, and incurred tens of thousands of dollars of other expenditure on “unauthorized persons” — people who were not Olympic officials or athletes.

The Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya reported that Keino will be charged with giving his son nearly $25,000 of Team Kenya’s money for an air ticket to Brazil and spending money in Rio. The exact charges against the four who reported to police Thursday morning will be published when they appear in court.

Three other officials, current Olympic committee secretary general Francis Kinyili Paul, Rio team manager Stephen Arap Soi and former sports ministry official Richard Ekai, appeared in court Monday. They were charged with multiple counts of corruption and abuse of office. They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail, with a judge saying the trial of all seven would start Nov. 16.

Keino, possibly Kenya’s most respected sportsman, handed himself over to police at about 5.30 a.m., the Daily Nation reported, to beat the deadline.

Wario is a former member of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet and now the ambassador to Austria, meaning the corruption case reaches upper levels of the government. Ekai, his former sports ministry colleague, was recently appointed Kenyan ambassador to Russia.

Details of a chaotic Kenyan Olympic trip emerged in 2016, with allegations of joy riders being given thousands of dollars in allowances and hundreds of thousands of dollars and equipment meant for Kenyan athletes disappearing.

Despite that, Kenya finished second in the track medals table and had its most successful Olympics.

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