Ryan Lochte
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New chef, new coach, but same ‘goofball’ Ryan Lochte

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1. Ryan Lochte has grown to enjoy eating greens with his new chef, who prepared meals for LeBron James for five years.

“This is what I wish I listened to when I was in college, or before that,” Lochte said. “How did I get those gold medals, how did I get to the Olympics eating all this crap?”

But Lochte sticks to his tradition of pizza and wings every Friday night.

2. After 11 years in Gainesville, Fla., Lochte moved to Charlotte in 2013 to work under a coach he calls a “mad scientist,” who would help him focus on shorter events.

“To start a new swimming career,” Lochte said.

But Lochte is again dipping his toes into his most time-consuming race from previous Olympic cycles, the grueling 400m individual medley.

3. Lochte said he considered quitting the sport twice following the London 2012 Games — after the burnout from his reality TV show and while sidelined after tearing a left knee ligament twice in a six-month span in 2013 and 2014.

“I had a lot of doubt that I was never going to be the same swimmer again,” he said.

But last year Lochte captured his fourth straight World title in the 200m individual medley. He left the World Championships as the only U.S. man with an individual gold medal.

Lochte, 31, is approaching what could be his fourth and final Olympics with some things old and some things new.

The 11-time Olympic medalist never pulls up his past races on YouTube. Lochte’s recollection of his first Olympics in 2004 is instead a little bit different.

“Long hair, eating McDonald’s, just being a total goofball,” he said. “I guess not much has changed, except for the long hair and eating McDonald’s.”

The friendly rivalry with Michael Phelps remains, too.

They went one-two in their first Olympic head-to-head in the Athens 2004 200m individual medley. Last year, Phelps and Lochte were the only two men in the world to break 1:56 in the 200m individual medley.

It’s been noted that Phelps can become the oldest individual Olympic swimming champion of all time in August. But Lochte is one year older than Phelps.

Lochte is mum on what he will race at the Olympic trials (like Phelps), how much longer he will continue swimming after the Rio Games (unlike Phelps) and if he’ll stay in Charlotte training under David Marsh after the Olympics.

An enduring Lochte trait is his spirited attitude toward his career, audible as he sings and makes animal noises in practice.

It will be time to hang up the cap and goggles when he no longer feels like that pool-deck goofball.

“When I wake up and I don’t want to go to a swimming pool,” Lochte said. “Once I start thinking that swimming is a job.”

VIDEO: New Michael Phelps Under Armour spot

Emily Sweeney posts fastest time in qualifier for luge World Cup opener

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World championship bronze medalist Emily Sweeney placed first in the Nations Cup luge race Friday in Innsbruck, Austria, qualifying with ease for the first World Cup event of the season.

Twelve women, including fellow American Summer Britcher, were seeded directly into the World Cup race. Sweeney, Brittney Arndt and Ashley Farquharson all qualified from the Nations Cup race. Britcher has finished third in the overall World Cup standings for two straight years and is a contender in a wide-open year with seven-time defending champion Natalie Geisenberger taking a year off while pregnant.

MORE: Geisenberg will not race in 2019-20

In the men’s competition, Jonny Gustafson and Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer finished third and fifth in the Nations Cup race to advance. Tucker West claimed the second-to-last qualifying spot to get all three U.S. sliders in Sunday’s World Cup race.

Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman qualified for the doubles competition, ensuring all eight U.S. sliders will see the weekend races.

OlympicChannel.com will have live streaming this weekend (all times ET):

  • Women: Saturday, 4:15 a.m. and 5:40 a.m.
  • Doubles: Saturday, 7:05 a.m. and 8:25 a.m.
  • Men: Sunday, 4 a.m. and 5:35 a.m.
  • Team relay: Sunday, 7:40 a.m.

Highlights will be on television at the following times:

  • Saturday: Olympic Channel, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Olympic Channel, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: NBCSN, 4:30 p.m.

Next weekend, the World Cup series heads to Lake Placid, N.Y.

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Russian track and field federation faces expulsion threat over new doping allegations

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MOSCOW (AP) — The governing body for track and field will consider expelling Russia from membership following new charges that senior officials faked medical records.

Russia has been suspended by World Athletics, formerly known as the IAAF, over widespread doping since 2015. There will be a review of whether vetted Russians should still be allowed to compete in international events as neutrals.

“We need to deal with renegade factions like this,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said Friday in Monaco.

World Athletics has frozen talks about lifting the long-running suspension and asked its Russia task force for recommendations on expelling the country’s track federation.

“It’s not symbolic,” said Coe, who said the charges and suspensions against Russian officials were so wide-ranging that they left the task force with almost no one left to talk to.

One route could be to close the Russian track federation and set up a new national governing body. Russia’s sports minister said he had referred the federation to a commission which oversees such matters.

Federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and four other senior officials are accused of obstructing the investigation into 2017 world championship silver medalist Danil Lysenko, who was accused last year of failing to make himself available for drug testing.

Lysenko allegedly provided fake medical documents as an alibi with help from the officials. He and his coach have also been suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit pending full disciplinary hearings.

Also Friday, the three-time world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene assailed Russian track leaders after they were charged Thursday, saying they have made a “doping nightmare” even worse.

Lasitskene called for swift and radical reforms, and the removal of officials appointed by Shlyakhtin.

Shlyakhtin took office shortly after the federation was suspended from international competition for widespread doping. The suspension remains in place four years later.

“The new team, whose task was to take us out of this doping nightmare, has turned out no better than the old one. And in some ways worse,” Lasitskene wrote on Instagram. “Shlyakhtin and his team must quit their posts immediately and never come back. And I will make sure this happens.”

Lasitskene has won two of her three world titles as a neutral athlete as a result of Russia’s suspension, which also caused her to miss the 2016 Olympics.

“Our track and field is in its death throes and we can’t procrastinate anymore,” she wrote. “We’ve lost four years already. Clean athletes are still defenseless and not sure they’ll be able to compete tomorrow.”

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov expressed concern about the “emergency situation” and referred the federation to a ministry commission which could officially withdraw its government recognition.

“The future fate of the track and field federation will be examined,” Kolobkov said Friday in a video statement. “For us now, the main thing is that the training process isn’t interrupted. That means all of the athletes will get the help they need to continue the training and competition process.”

Earlier, the Kremlin said the charges against Shlyakhtin and others won’t derail the country’s preparations to compete in next year’s Olympics.

“Undoubtedly, this (situation) requires attention from the sports authorities, and I’m sure they’re dealing with it,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But I don’t see a direct connection with Russia’s participation in the Olympics here.”

With Shlyakhtin suspended, the federation is set to select an interim president at a board meeting on Saturday.

Russia is also facing a World Anti-Doping Agency ruling next month on whether it manipulated data from a lab in Moscow.

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