Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay
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Russian Olympic boss takes swipe at Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The president of the Russian Olympic Committee took a swipe at American sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay in a speech to Olympic leaders on Tuesday, questioning the fairness of letting them compete in Rio de Janeiro while some Russians cannot.

Alexander Zhukov made his case for Russian athletes to the sports leaders, who later upheld the decision to keep the country’s track and field federation suspended.

“Do you really think it is fair to make it impossible for Yelena Isinbayeva and Sergey Shubenkov to participate in the Olympic Games which will be attended by Tyson Gay and twice disqualified for doping Justin Gatlin?” Zhukov asked. “From the perspective of Russian athletes, it is an extreme injustice and humiliation.”

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medalist, has twice been suspended for doping. He tested positive for excessive testosterone in 2006, his second offense, but was reinstated on July 24, 2010. He returned to capture the bronze medal at the London Games two years later and finished second to Usain Bolt in the 100m and 200m at last year’s world championships in Beijing.

Gay has also tested positive for doping.

“We consider it unfair on the vast majority of our athletes who have never doped and have not violated any criteria,” Zhukov told the meeting. “They will be punished for the sins of others.”

Isinbayeva, the world-record holder in the pole vault and a two-time Olympic champion, has threatened to go to court on human rights grounds if she is barred from competing in Rio. Shubenkov won the 110m hurdles at last year’s worlds.

Russia’s track and field federation was suspended last November following a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report detailing systematic, state-sponsored doping. The sport’s world governing body upheld the decision on Friday, effectively keeping Russian track and field athletes from competing in Rio while also opening the door for some to compete as neutral athletes if they can prove they are clean.

The IOC backed the decision last week, and the Olympic summit did the same on Tuesday. But IOC President Thomas Bach did say that if any Russian track athletes do compete in Rio, they will do so under the Russian flag.

VIDEO: Gatlin wins race on track over water

Chicago Marathon canceled; one major marathon left in 2020

Chicago Marathon
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The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the fourth World Marathon Major called off this year.

Organizers cited the challenge of staging the 45,000-runner event “out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators.”

Previously, major marathons were canceled in Berlin (originally scheduled for Sept. 27), Boston (April 20, then Sept. 14) and New York City (Nov. 1). The London Marathon, originally scheduled for April 26 and postponed to Oct. 4, remains scheduled.

The other World Marathon Major, Tokyo, took place on its scheduled date of March 1 but with elite runners only.

Last year, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei won Chicago by taking 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record. Kosgei clocked 2:14:04.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results

Figure skating Grand Prix events in China remain scheduled

Grand Prix Final
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Figure skating Grand Prix events in China in November and December remain scheduled, the International Skating Union announced Monday, four days after reports about international sporting events in China being canceled through the end of 2020.

A notice about sports events, issued Thursday by the General Administration of Sport of China, made an exception for Beijing Winter Olympic test events and other preparations for the first Winter Games in China in February 2022.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-most prestigious annual figure skating competition, is still scheduled for December in Beijing because it is an Olympic test event.

Furthermore, the Cup of China, one of six events across the globe that determines Grand Prix Final qualifiers, remains scheduled for November in Chongqing because it is related to the Final.

“Like for all other five ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events in the different countries, this is of course subject to finding the necessary logistical, medical and safety solutions to hold the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events as planned,” according to the ISU.

The ISU previously announced it set a deadline to decide on possible event cancellations: 12 weeks before an event starts. For the first Grand Prix Series competition, Skate America in Las Vegas, the decision deadline is Aug. 1.

The ISU council will meet virtually on Aug. 3 to decide on further action for upcoming competitions.

MORE: Tai Babilonia, a Winter Olympic original, credits skating trailblazer

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