Dylan Armstrong
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Russian shot put medalist failed doping retest, Canadian medalist husband says

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Russian Evgeniia Kolodko, the 2012 Olympic women’s shot put silver medalist, is one of the 23 athletes from the London Olympics whose doping samples came up positive in recent retests, her husband, Canadian Olympic shot put medalist Dylan Armstrong, said in a Tuesday statement, according to CBC.

Kolodko originally took bronze in the 2012 Olympic shot put but was upgraded to silver after the original winner, Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, failed drug tests.

“I have, earlier this week, learned that my wife Evgeniia Kolodko, a Russian Olympic Athlete whom I met in 2012 and married in a private civil ceremony in British Columbia Canada in September 2015, is among the eight Russian athletes recently named by the International Olympic Committee as testing positive for doping during the 2012 London Olympics,” Armstrong said in the statement, adding that he did not know Kolodko before the London Games, according to CBC.

Armstrong’s statement did not say whether Kolodko took performance-enhancing drugs. Results from retesting of B samples from 2012 have not been released.

“Today’s news is especially difficult as it affects both the Olympic Athletic Community I am part of — and someone I love deeply,” the statement said. “I will encourage my wife to cooperate fully with the International Olympic Committee and with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as they determine the appropriate actions to be taken.”

Kolodko last competed in 2014. Armstrong last competed in 2013.

Armstrong finished fourth in the 2008 Olympic men’s shot put and was upgraded to the bronze medal in 2014, after the original third-place finisher, Andrei Mikhnevich, was stripped of it for doping.

“News of athlete doping is very disheartening for competitive athletes who are committed to competing clean,” Armstrong said in Tuesday’s statement, according to CBC. “I have never condoned doping in sport. I also know personally how disheartening it can be after waiting more than 6 years after the 2008 Beijing to receive my Olympic bronze medal due to the doping practices of a competitor. I have been consistently outspoken about my position on doping which is zero tolerance.”

Russian TV reported over the weekend that Kolodko and 2012 Olympic hammer throw champion Tatyana Beloborodova were among the positives from the recent 2012 Olympic doping retests.

VIDEO: Race walker holds his own medal ceremony after Russia doping

U.S. beats Japan in Olympic baseball qualifier, may still need help

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The U.S. handed Japan its first loss in the Premier12 global Olympic baseball qualifier, at the Tokyo Dome no less, but now the Americans must root for the host nation.

The Americans, with a roster mostly of Double-A and Triple-A players, won 4-3 over a Japanese team that includes some of its domestic league’s biggest stars like two-time Central League MVP Yoshihiro Maru and veteran shortstop Hayato Sakamoto.

Outfielder Jo Adell, MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked prospect on the U.S. team, starred by reaching base four times with a home run.

Japan is already qualified for baseball’s Olympic return as the host nation.

The U.S., meanwhile, has a sense of urgency at Premier12, the first of a possible three tournaments in which it could clinch an Olympic spot.

At Premier12, the top-ranked nation from North and South America qualifies for the Olympics. The tournament is at the super-round stage of the final six teams, and two are from the Americas: the U.S. and Mexico.

The top four nations after each has played five games advance to gold- and bronze-medal games.

Mexico already beat the U.S. and ran its super-round record to 3-0 on Tuesday, clinching a spot in the medal round.

The U.S. moved to 1-2 in the super round on Tuesday and must at least get into the same medal-round game as Mexico to keep its hope of finishing as the top team from the Americas.

Japan could help, since it plays Mexico on Wednesday. If Mexico beats Japan, the Mexicans clinch a spot in the gold-medal game, which would put more pressure on the U.S. to win its last two games (vs. Australia on Wednesday and Chinese Taipei on Friday). Even then, South Korea would get into the gold-medal game if it wins out.

If the U.S. is not the top team from the Americas at Premier12, it can still earn an Olympic berth in March. But then it faces trying to come up with a roster at the end of MLB’s spring training rather than during the offseason. MLB teams may be less inclined to release minor leaguers.

“That’ll be a delicate dance,” U.S. general manager Eric Campbell said before Premier12.

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College gymnast dies after practice accident

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An accomplished gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University has died following a serious spinal cord injury suffered in a training accident.

Melanie Coleman, 20, of Milford, Connecticut, was training Friday at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden when she was injured, said her mother, Susan Coleman.

She was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and died Sunday.

Coleman was a former All State gymnast at Jonathan Law High School in Milford and was captain of the school’s gymnastics team. She was named a Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholastic All-American this year.

Her former club coach, Tom Alberti, said she attained a level 10, the highest level in the USA Junior Olympics Program.

She was a junior studying nursing, following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, her mother said.

“She’s from a very large, loving family; there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven,” Susan Coleman said. “We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”

She volunteered at the gym where her accident occurred.

Her coaches and professors described her as a special young woman who excelled in both the classroom and gym, college President Joe Berolino said in a written statement.

“Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family and friends on this tragic loss,” he said.

People the family has met by traveling to gymnastics events around the country are giving support that is “holding us up,” Coleman’s mother said.

She described her children, which also include two sons older than Melanie, as “inseparable.”

“We’re going to leave an empty space in our photos for her” from now on, Susan Coleman said.