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

Remco Evenepoel fractures pelvis in crash over bridge wall into ravine

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Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel fractured his pelvis crashing his bike and flipping over a bridge wall into a ravine at the Tour of Lombardy in Italy on Saturday.

Video showed Evenepoel, the 20-year-old world time trial silver medalist, being put in an ambulance on a stretcher minutes after the crash.

His team, Deceuninck-QuickStep, reported he remained conscious while being put on a stretcher, into an ambulance and taken to a hospital. He also suffered a right lung contusion.

In 2019, Evenepoel became the youngest-ever male podium finisher in a senior world road cycling championships event, according to Gracenote. In 2018, he swept the junior road race and time trial world titles.

MORE: UCI looks for new host for 2020 World Road Cycling Championships

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Noah Lyles raises black-gloved fist, wins 200m in Monaco

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Noah Lyles said he had plans going forward to make statements, beyond his rapid sprint times. He did that in Monaco on Friday.

Lyles raised a black, fingerless-gloved right fist before getting into the blocks to win a 200m in his first international race of the season, conjuring memories of the famous 1968 Olympic podium gesture.

He clocked 19.76 seconds, leading a one-two with younger brother Josephus. Full results are here.

“As athletes it’s hard to show that you love your country and also say that change is needed,” was posted on Lyles’ Instagram, along with hashtags including #blacklivesmatter. “This is my way of saying this country is great but it can be better.”

Lyles, the world 200m champion, also paid respect to 1968 Olympic 200m gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos three hours before the race.

He tweeted an iconic image of Smith and Carlos raising their single black-gloved fists on the medal stand at the Mexico City Games. Thirteen minutes earlier, Lyles posted an Instagram Story image of his socks for the meet — plain, dark colored.

Smith and Carlos wore black socks without shoes on the podium to signify endemic poverty back in the U.S. at the time.

Lyles is known for his socks, often posting images of colorful pairs he wears before races, themes including Speed Racer, R2-D2 and Sonic the Hedgehog.

“We are at the point where you can’t do nothing anymore,” Lyles said Wednesday. “There aren’t any rules set out. You’re kind of just pushing the boundary as far as you can go. Some people have said, even if there were rules, they’re willing to go farther than that.”

MORE: Noah, Josephus Lyles take 4-year journey to Monaco

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