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IOC may strip medals in Russian doping case

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The International Olympic Committee said it asked the IAAF to take action against those accused of doping in a report published Monday and may afterward strip medals.

“The IOC has asked the IAAF to initiate disciplinary procedures against all athletes, coaches and officials who have participated in the Olympic Games and are accused of doping in the report of the independent commission,” the IOC Executive Board decided, according to a press release. “With its zero-tolerance policy against doping, following the conclusion of this procedure, the IOC will take all the necessary measures and sanctions with regard to the withdrawal and reallocation of medals and as the case may be exclusion of coaches and officials from future Olympic Games.”

The executive board also provisionally suspended former IAAF president Lamine Diack from his honorary IOC membership. Diack was placed under criminal investigation last week on suspicion of taking more than $1 million in bribes to cover up Russian positive drug tests.

Monday’s report from an independent World Anti-Doping Agency panel recommended lifetime bans for Russian athletes and officials including the gold and bronze medalists from the women’s 800m at the London Olympics — Maria Savinova and Ekaterina Poistogova.

The silver medalist in that race was South African Caster Semenya, she of the gender-testing controversy of 2009 and 2010.

“There was someone that finished first in the Olympics, whether she doped or not, I came second and that will never change,” Semenya said, according to South African media.

“I ran the Olympics and I won the silver medal, so I can’t celebrate anything other than my silver. Even if they crown me Olympic champion, it is just an award from them I never celebrated.

“It wouldn’t mean anything for me, it would be great for my country but for me as an athlete I cannot entertain the thought.”

The fifth-place finisher in that race was American Alysia Montaño.

“I don’t have any medals in my hands still yet, but with the findings it looks promising, and I’m very, very hopeful,” Montaño said Monday on Periscope, crossing her fingers during a nine-minute video. “Here’s to retribution and to justice being served.”

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, bracket

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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.

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2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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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.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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