IAAF bans 3 officials in ethics investigation

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LONDON (AP) — Three officials of track and field’s world governing body — including one of Sebastian Coe‘s top aides — were provisionally suspended Friday for allegedly receiving money to conceal Russian doping cases.

The IAAF ethics board imposed six-month suspensions on former communications director Nick Davies, his wife and project manager Jane Boulter-Davies, and medical manager Pierre-Yves Garnier, pending a full investigation.

Panel chairman Michael Beloff said the suspensions were leveled “in the interests of the integrity of the sport but do not prejudge the outcome of the investigations.”

The board said the sanctions were in connection with an email reportedly sent on July 29, 2013, to then IAAF President Lamine Diack from his son, Papa Massata Diack, an IAAF marketing consultant.

The email, as reported in December by the French newspaper Le Monde, allegedly outlined plans to delay announcement of Russian doping cases to avoid bad publicity before the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

Davies served as communications chief and deputy secretary general under Lamine Diack, who stepped down as IAAF president last year and is under investigation by French prosecutors for corruption related to cover-ups of Russian doping.

Coe, who was elected as Diack’s successor in August, appointed Davies as his chief of staff. After the allegations against Davies surfaced in December, Davies said he was temporarily stepping aside from his IAAF role pending a probe by the ethics board.

Davies was reported to have sent an email to Papa Massata Diack in 2013 asking what “Russian `skeleton’ we have still in the cupboard regarding doping,” and suggesting using the marketing company chaired by Coe — then an IAAF vice president — to lead an “unofficial PR campaign” to “avoid international media scandals” related to the Moscow championships.

If Russian athletes guilty of doping were not competing in Moscow, “then we might as well wait until the event is over to announce them,” Davies wrote in the email, which was published by Le Monde.

The IAAF ethics board said it found enough evidence to warrant investigation that Davies received an “undisclosed cash payment” from Papa Massata Diack in 2013 which may have resulted in “manipulative” action, and that he misled an IAAF investigator about the payment.

The panel alleged Boulter-Davies “received or had knowledge of receipt” by Nick Davies of a payment from the younger Diack, and also misled investigators. It said Garnier allegedly received cash “at the direction” of Lamine Diack.

The announcement came exactly one week before the IAAF’s ruling council meets in Vienna to decide whether or not to lift its suspension of Russia’s track and field federation before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The suspension was imposed in November following a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel alleging state-supported doping and corruption in Russian athletics.

Lamine Diack is under suspicion of taking around 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to cover up positive drug tests by Russian athletes through blackmail and extortion. His son, who is based in Senegal, is the target of an Interpol wanted notice, and French prosecutors also suspect he played an active role in cover-ups.

The IAAF welcomed the provisional suspensions announced by the ethics panel.

“There is no greater priority for the IAAF right now than to get to the truth of the allegations that have been made against the sport,” the Monaco-based federation said.

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

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final