Kaillie Humphries
Reuters

Kaillie Humphries set for more gender-breaking history in bobsled World Cup

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Olympic bobsled gold and silver medalists Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor made history last season when they became the first women to pilot sleds in World Cup four-man races.

Humphries and Meyers Taylor each drove sleds with three men’s push athletes after four-man was declared gender-neutral.

To start 2016, Humphries is taking another unprecedented step. She will pilot an all-female sled against the men in World Cup races. The Canadian sled will debut in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Saturday.

“I still think, with a proper men’s crew, I can be one of the best in the world,” Humphries said, according to the Toronto Sun. “But I have to take a side step and head up the women’s division. This is the direction Bobsleigh Canada would like me to head in, and I accept that graciously.”

Humphries, 30, competed in most of the 2014-15 World Cup four-man races with three men’s push athletes and posted a best finish of 14th. She beat some men’s sleds, but it will be tougher with three female push athletes with less training time together.

“We’re going to go out and do the best we can, and it would be amazing if we can beat some of the tiny, tiny nations that aren’t necessarily the best in bobsleigh with the women’s crew,” Humphries said, according to the Canadian Press. “That’s one of our internal goals, to beat one men’s team at some point.”

Neither Humphries nor Meyers Taylor competed in the first three World Cup four-man races this season — Humphries had a dispute with Bobsleigh Canada, while Meyers Taylor is dealing with long-term concussion effects.

A first-ever exhibition four-woman race will take place at the World Championships in Igls, Austria, on Feb. 21. Humphries hopes four-woman will eventually be an Olympic event, after two-woman bobsled debuted at Salt Lake City 2002.

“The first step was proving that we could drive the four-man sled, which is what Elana and I did on the circuit last year,” Humphries said, according to the newspaper. “So the whole goal of us doing everything is for us to be able to turn women’s four-man into an Olympic event.”

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Olympic wrestlers tie for gold medal, 8 years after the competition

Bilyal Makhov
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A pair of doping cases led to the first Olympic gold-medal tie in wrestling history, eight years after the matches took place.

Russian Bilyal Makhov was upgraded to 2012 Olympic freestyle super heavyweight gold, joining Iranian Komeil Ghasemi, who was upgraded last year, according to the IOC’s website.

In February, Russian media reported that Makhov recently tested positive for growth hormone, which would have no bearing on 2012 results.

The move came after the finalists in 2012 — Uzbek Artur Taymazov and Georgian Davit Modzmanashvil — were stripped of their gold and silver medals last year in retests of doping samples from the London Games.

Makhov and Ghasemi each originally earned bronze medals. In wrestling, bronze medals are awarded to each match winner in repechage finals.

Ghasemi, whose only loss in London came to gold medalist Taymazov, was originally upgraded to gold by United World Wrestling in 2019. Makhov, whose loss came to Modzmanashvil, was originally upgraded to silver before the later upgrade to a second gold.

American Tervel Dlagnev and Kazakh Daulet Shabanbay, who lost the bronze-medal matches to Ghasemi and Makhov, were upgraded to bronze-medal positions last year, according to United World Wrestling.

Taymazov became the second athlete to be stripped of gold medals from multiple Olympics for doping, losing his London 2012 title two years after giving up his Beijing 2008 crown. Both were because of retests coming back positive for banned steroids.

Wrestling has been contested at every modern Olympics save 1900.

In 1912, Sweden’s Anders Ahlgren and Finland’s Ivar Bohling wrestled for nine hours in a final without deciding a winner, according to Olympedia.org. The match was declared a “double loss” and both awarded silver medals. There was no gold medalist.

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Deajah Stevens, Olympic sprinter, suspended through Tokyo Games

Deajah Stevens
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Deajah Stevens, a U.S. Olympic 200m sprinter, was suspended through Aug. 15, 2021, for missing drug tests, ruling her out of the Tokyo Games unless she successfully appeals.

Stevens, who placed seventh in Rio, missed three drug tests in 2019, grounds for a suspension between one and two years.

The exact length depends on an athlete’s degree of fault and, with the timing in this case, determined whether she would be banned through the Olympics.

Full details of her case are here.

The 18-month ban was backdated to Feb. 17, the date that Stevens requested her case be expedited. Her last of three missed tests was Nov. 25.

Stevens’ lawyer requested the suspension be backdated to the third missed test, which would have kept her eligible for the Olympics, or the date of Stevens’ request for an expedited hearing on Feb. 17, which could have kept her Olympic eligible if the ban was closer to one year.

For Stevens’ second missed test, she did not hear door knocks from a back bedroom. The drug tester called her five times but never received an answer. Stevens said her phone was out of battery power.

For her last missed test, the drug tester again tried to call Stevens. But Stevens changed her phone number six weeks earlier, after somebody was harassing her and threatening her fiance’s life. She had not yet notified drug-testing authorities that she changed her number.

“Despite our sympathy for the athlete, we have not been satisfied on a balance of probability that her behavior was not negligent and did not cause or contribute to her failure to be available for testing,” a disciplinary tribunal found. “She already had missed two doping tests in the last six months. She should have been on red alert and conscious that she could not miss the next one.”

Stevens’ initial provisional suspension was announced May 1 ahead of a June 25 disciplinary tribunal hearing.

Stevens, 25, was disqualified from the 2019 U.S. Outdoor Championships 200m semifinals in her only outdoor meet of the year, according to World Athletics.

She ranked No. 3 in the U.S. in the 200m in 2017 (and placed fifth at the world championships), No. 31 in 2018 and No. 59 in 2019.

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