Genzebe Dibaba’s coach arrested in doping raid

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The coach of World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba and other long-distance runners was arrested near Barcelona on Monday after Spanish police raided his hotel room and found traces of EPO and other banned substances.

Jama Aden, who is from Somalia, was detained along with one of his unnamed trainers from Morocco as the IAAF tested 28 of the 30 athletes who were also guests at a hotel in Sabadell, about 25 kilometers from Barcelona. Aden has held annual training camps in the area since 2013.

Police said Aden and his trainer were under arrest on charges of administering and distributing doping substances and endangering public health.

The Spanish anti-doping agency alerted local authorities in 2015 and a thorough investigation followed until the bust Monday at the Arrahona hotel, close to the training facilities were many athletes were preparing for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Up to 60 used syringes were found in the raid, although the police did not specify if all of them came from Aden’s or his trainer’s room.

After questioning by law enforcement, both detainees should face prosecution within 72 hours.

Local authorities did not expect further arrests to follow.

Including Dibaba, the athletes at the raided hotel were mainly from African and Asian countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.

The probe was nicknamed “Operation Rial” by investigators. Rial is also the name of the currency used in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region.

By late afternoon, all but two of the 30 athletes had been tested for illegal substances by half a dozen representatives from the IAAF.

Dibaba is favored to win the Olympic women’s 1500m title in Rio de Janeiro.

A simultaneous police raid in Madrid also yielded 16 arrests related to the trafficking of drugs and anabolic steroids.

Despite coinciding in time, law enforcement officers stressed there was no connection between the Sabadell operation and the bust in the Spanish capital, mainly linked to the bodybuilding underground market for steroid users.

Spain has long-been under the scrutiny of the World Anti-Doping Agency, who declared its authorities “non-compliant” with it global code because they failed to make required law changes on doping.

The country was unable to form a government following elections last year, so parliament could not update its anti-doping legislation to match the revised international regulations. New elections are due to be held on Sunday.

WADA followed up earlier this month by suspending the accreditation of the Madrid drug-testing lab.

But last Tuesday, a local court ruled that blood bags that are key evidence in one of Spain’s worst doping scandals should be handed over to authorities for investigation. The Madrid Provincial Court said bags containing blood samples and plasma should be handed over to WADA, the Spanish Cycling Federation, the International Cycling Union and Italy’s Olympic committee.

The announcement came 10 years after another high-profile raid nicknamed Operation Puerto revealed a doping network involving some of the world’s top cyclists, when police seized coded blood bags from the Madrid clinic of sports doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

MORE: Dibaba breaks indoor mile world record

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

Aksel Lund Svindal
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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

FIBA Women's World Cup
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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