Russia track and field criteria for reinstatement detailed by IAAF

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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

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final