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IOC President Thomas Bach writes op-ed on corruption, doping

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called for renewed efforts Tuesday to combat corruption and doping, saying recent scandals are undermining the credibility of sports and unfairly casting suspicion on millions of clean athletes.

Bach called on all sports organizations to follow rules of “good governance” to prevent the type of corruption cases that have rocked the global governing bodies of soccer and track and field.

In an op-ed piece published in several newspapers around the world, Bach did not specifically name the scandals enveloping FIFA, the IAAF and Russia’s track and field program, but the references were clear and unmistakable.

His comments came as the IOC executive board discussed issues of ethics and governance on the first day of a three-day meeting in Lausanne.

“As an Olympic medalist, recent developments in some sports are particularly upsetting,” said Bach, a former fencer. “What saddens me most as a former athlete is that they erode the trust in the clean athlete.”

“For their sake and the credibility of sports competitions, they have to be protected from doping and corrupting influences,” Bach added.

Bach has repeatedly distanced the IOC from the scandal at FIFA that has led to a wave of arrests and indictments of dozens of soccer and marketing officials on racketeering charges and the suspensions of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA head Michel Platini. Blatter is a former IOC member.

“Fighting corruption means that good governance for sports organizations is essential,” Bach said.

The IOC went through its own major corruption scandal in the late 1990s, with 10 members ousted for receiving cash and other favors during Salt Lake City’s winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

Bach said the IOC now has audited financial reports, term and age limits for all members, and independent audit and ethics commissions.

“We have called on and we expect all sports organizations to follow this route,” he said.

In a damning report released last month, a World Anti-Doping Agency panel alleged widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russia’s track and field program.

The IAAF responded by suspending the Russian federation, a sanction that could keep the country’s track and field athletes out of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro unless credible reforms are enacted in time.

Kenyan athletes are also under scrutiny after a series of drug scandals. And three senior Kenyan athletics federation officials were suspended over accusations they subverted the nation’s anti-doping system and siphoned money from Nike.

Because of all the scandals, clean athletes “see the finger of suspicion pointing at them,” a situation akin to “the very worst side-effect of doping,” Bach said.

The IAAF itself was caught up in scandal when its former president, Lamine Diack, was arrested and charged by French authorities with corruption and money-laundering, stemming from allegations that he took money to cover up positive tests in Russia. The IAAF’s former anti-doping manager was also among those arrested.

Olympic leaders recently decided that drug-testing should be taken out of the hands of sports organizations to make the system more independent and credible. The IOC has asked WADA to take over testing on a global level, and for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to handle all drug sanctions.

Bach urged governments, which provide 50 percent of WADA’s funding, to ensure their countries are fully compliant with global anti-doping rules and to crack down on dealers and corrupt doctors and coaches “with the full force of the law.”

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Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
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Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

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MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but 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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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final