Russia flag
Getty Images

Russia track and field criteria for reinstatement detailed by IAAF

Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has been told what it will take to get its track and field athletes back in the Olympics, and it entails extra doping tests.

The country’s track federation was suspended last month after it was accused of operating a state-sponsored doping program. The suspension could keep Russia out of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but the IAAF said Friday that even if the ban is lifted athletes cannot be readmitted to international competition without “at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests.”

There are extra requirements in place for endurance events, which have seen dozens of Russians banned for doping in recent years. Endurance athletes must also give three samples to the biological passport program. Full criteria for reinstatement is outlined here.

With Russia’s national drug-test agency and laboratory also suspended for reportedly covering up doping, all samples will be taken abroad for testing, the IAAF said.

No date was set as a target for Russia’s readmission, but the IAAF confirmed its delegation would visit the country next month.

“The conditions we have announced leave no room for doubt,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “Russia must demonstrate verifiable change across a range of criteria, and satisfy our taskforce that those criteria will be met permanently.”

The Russian track federation said Friday it would comply with any and all conditions set by the IAAF. But acting president Vadim Zelichenok declined to comment on whether he considered the criteria to be fair.

“It doesn’t matter what we think of them, we have to comply with them,” Zelichenok told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “Once we accept that we’ve been suspended, then we have to return, and to return we have to fulfill these criteria. It’s all very simple.”

The IAAF also fleshed out its previous calls for reform of the Russian track federation, which was accused of overseeing widespread doping in last month’s report by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission.

The Russian federation must carry out its own investigation into doping, including interviewing any athlete who has represented the national team in the last four years.

Evidence from whistleblowers, including former national team runner Yulia Stepanova and marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, was crucial to the WADA commission’s report, and the IAAF is pushing for reforms to make it easier for athletes to give evidence of doping.

The Russian federation must create “a mechanism for whistleblowing to the IAAF or WADA,” while athletes who fail doping tests could be allowed to cut a deal with both organizations for reduced punishment if they provide evidence of other doping cases.

Russian athletes must also cut ties with Sergei Portugalov, a doctor who has been accused of supplying banned substances to athletes, and stop cooperation with the national training center for race walking until it is audited. More than 20 athletes from the facility in the central city of Saransk have tested positive for banned substances in recent years.

MORE: Russia anti-doping chief resigns

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail at world championships, has surgery

Leave a comment

American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail at the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title, and underwent leg surgery as a result.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, who had a left leg laceration, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, about 25 miles from the worlds host of Imola.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been,” USA Cycling chief of sport performance Jim Miller said in a press release. “While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

Leave a comment

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

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw French Open Men's Draw