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IOC: 31 athletes test positive in 2008 Olympic retests

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LONDON (AP) — In a major doping crackdown stretching back eight years, 31 athletes in six sports were caught in retesting of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and other positive cases could emerge from the 2012 London Games, the IOC said Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee opened disciplinary proceedings against the 31 unidentified athletes from 12 countries who competed in Beijing and were planning to take part in the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.

The positive cases emerged from the recent retesting of 454 doping samples from Beijing with “the very latest scientific analysis methods,” the IOC said. The Olympic body stores samples for 10 years to allow for retesting with improved techniques.

The IOC said it would inform the relevant national Olympic committees in the coming days.

“All those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the Olympic Games” in Rio, the IOC said after a teleconference meeting of its policy-making executive board.

Results of retesting of 250 samples from the London Olympics will be announced shortly, the IOC said. Those tests were also aimed at athletes planning to compete in Rio.

The IOC said it would also undertake a “wider retesting program” of medalists from both the Beijing and London Games. Samples of athletes who could be promoted to medals following disqualification of drug cheats will also be retested.

The IOC also asked the World Anti-Doping Agency to launch a “fully-fledged investigation” into allegations that the drug-testing system at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi was subverted by Russian officials.

The IOC said it would ask the Lausanne anti-doping lab and WADA to proceed with analyzing Sochi samples “in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible.”

Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, told The New York Times last week that he switched tainted urine samples for clean ones for Russian athletes who were part of a state-sponsored doping program. He has offered to assist in retesting.

The statute of limitations for retesting was extended in 2015 from eight to 10 years, meaning the Beijing samples remain valid through 2018.

It’s not the first time that samples from Beijing have been retested. A few months after those games, the IOC reanalyzed nearly 1,000 of the total of 4,000 samples with a new test for the blood-boosting drug CERA. Five athletes were caught, including 1,500-meter gold medalist Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain.

Nearly 500 doping samples from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin have already been retested. The IOC has not disclosed whether those retests had produced any positive cases.

Five athletes were caught in retests of samples from the 2004 Athens Olympics, including men’s shot put winner Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine.

On a separate issue, the IOC said it would “work to shed full light” on bribery allegations tied to Tokyo’s winning bid for the 2020 Olympics.

French prosecutors said last week that 2.8 million Singapore dollars ($2 million) was apparently transferred from Japan to the Singapore account of a company tied to the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, who is facing corruption charges.

Tokyo bid leaders acknowledged the payments were made, but said they were for legitimate consulting fees.

The IOC said it would remain a civil party to the French investigation and its chief ethics officer would “actively cooperate” in the inquiry.

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Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
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Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

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MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but 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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French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final