SYDNEY (AP) — Olympic kayak gold medalist Tate Smith of Australia will miss next year’s Rio Summer Games after receiving a two-year doping ban for steroid use.
The Australian Anti-Doping Agency announced Wednesday that Smith was given the suspension on Oct. 2 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after testing positive to the anabolic steroid stanozolol in an out-of-competition test in Hungary on July 21-22 last year.
Smith, 33, was a member of the Australian K4 team that won gold at the 2012 London Games. His two-year ban was backdated to September 8 last year, when his provisional ban started.
Smith unsuccessfully argued that stanozolol was in the water where he had trained that it somehow entered his system, either through drinking the water or by penetrating his skin while he was training.
The CAS ruled that Smith failed to establish how the substance had entered his system and noted that three other training colleagues were tested at the same time and place as Smith, and these samples had been clear of any prohibited substances.
Australian Canoeing chief executive Greg Doyle said while Smith was a member of the gold medal-winning K4 crew in London, he’s confident that the result is unrelated to the doping charge.
“All the K4 members have all gone through rigorous doping procedures … we’re very comfortable with our other team members that there’s nothing untoward,” Doyle told Australian Associated Press. “We feel very comfortable that it’s just Tate and it’s unfortunate. While it’s disappointing, that’s the way it is and we maintain a zero tolerance to any doping.”
Despite Smith’s ban, Doyle maintains there will be a K4 crew to defend the Olympic title in Rio, with the Games to be held from Aug. 5-21.
Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.
Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.
Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.
It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.
Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.
China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.
“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”
Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.
Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).
Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.
The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.
The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.
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