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UK Athletics: Reset world records amid doping crisis

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All world records in track and field should be reset, and lifetime bans should be imposed on serious drug cheats to clean up the sport amid its global doping crisis, the governing body of British athletics said Monday.

UK Athletics published “A Manifesto for Clean Athletes” containing 14 proposals aimed at restoring credibility to a sport battered by allegations of widespread doping, cover-ups and corruption.

“The integrity of athletics was challenged as never before in 2015,” UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said. “Clean athletes and sports fans the world over have been let down. Trust in the sport is at its lowest point for decades.”

One of the federation’s proposals is to “investigate the implications of drawing a line under all pre-existing sport records … and commencing a new set of records.”

Triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and marathon runner Paula Radcliffe are current British world-record holders.

UK Athletics also proposed a lifetime ban for British athletes guilty of a serious anti-doping violation, rather than the current standard of four-year suspensions.

The British Olympic Association previously had a lifetime ban for drug cheats, but the policy was struck down after the World Anti-Doping Agency found the rule non-compliant with its code.

“Greater transparency, tougher sanctions, longer bans — and even resetting the clock on world records for a new era — we should be open to do whatever it takes to restore credibility in the sport,” Warner said.

UK Athletics also proposed:

— creation of a public register of athletes being tested.

— sponsors should withhold support of athletes caught doping.

— member federations should be accountable for loss of prize money to athletes of other nationalities if their own athlete’s medal winning result is later annulled.

— minimum bans for serious doping offenses should be extended to eight years to ensure cheats miss two Olympic and Paralympic cycles.

— the supply or procurement of performance-enhancing drugs should be criminalized.

“UKA believes the time has come for radical reform if we are to help restore trust in the sport,” Warner said. “Athletics needs to act very differently if we are to move on from the crisis facing the sport.”

Russia is currently banned from international track and field after a report commissioned by WADA alleged widespread doping and cover-ups in the country. Last week, two Russian officials and the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack were banned for life last week for engaging in blackmail, bribery and extortion to cover up a Russian doping case.

Diack also is under criminal investigation in France over allegations he took payments for deferring sanctions against Russian drugs cheats.

Dick Pound, chairman of the WADA’s independent commission, will announce the second part of the findings of his investigation on Thursday.

MORE: Olympic discus champ admits anabolic steroids use

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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