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NBC Olympics to have record 170 commentators for Rio Games

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NBC Olympics will have 170 commentators for the Rio Games, a record amount for a single Olympics.

The commentators will spread across NBC, NBCSN, Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, USA Network, Telemundo, NBC Universo, the NBC Sports app, and NBCOlympics.com.

Bob Costas will host primetime for an 11th time. Al Michaels will host daytime on NBC, Ryan Seacrest will host late night, and Dan PatrickRebecca LoweCarolyn Manno and Liam McHugh will also serve as hosts.

TODAY’s Matt LauerMeredith Vieira and Hoda Kotb will host the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5.

The roster of 170 (some still to be announced) includes Olympians who won a combined 59 medals. The Olympian with the most medals is actually a Winter Olympian, eight-time short track speed skating medalist Apolo Ohno.

A list of commentators by sport:

Archery
Rick McKinney, Analyst*

Badminton
Jim Kozimor, Play-by-Play*
Charmaine Reid, Analyst*

Basketball
Marv Albert, Play-by-Play (Men’s)
Marc Zumoff, Play-by-Play (Women’s)
Doug Collins, Analyst (Men’s)
Ann Meyers, Analyst (Women’s)
Craig Sager, Reporter
Ros Gold-Onwude, Reporter
Mike Gorman, Play-by-Play*
David Feldman, Play-by-Play
Fran Fraschilla, Analyst (Men’s)*
Swin Cash, Analyst (Women’s)*

Beach Volleyball
Chris Marlowe, Play-by-Play
Jason Knapp, Play-by-Play
Kevin Wong, Analyst
Dain Blanton, Analyst
Kathryn Tappen, Reporter

Boxing
Kenny Rice, Play-by-Play*
B.J. Flores, Analyst*
Chris Mannix, Reporter

Canoeing (Flat Water)
Leigh Diffey, Play-by-Play
Eric Giddens, Analyst*

Canoeing (White Water)
Eric Giddens, Analyst

Cycling
Paul Sherwen, Play-by-Play
Christian Vande Velde, Analyst
Jamie Bestwick, Analyst (BMX/mountain bike)*
Steve Porino, Reporter

Diving
Ted Robinson, Play-by-Play
Cynthia Potter, Analyst
Laura Wilkinson, Analyst & Reporter
Kelli Stavast, Reporter

Equestrian
Randy Moss, Play-by-Play*
Melanie Smith-Taylor, Analyst*

Fencing
Jeff Bukantz, Analyst*

Field Hockey
Mike Corey, Play-by-Play*
AJ Mleczko, Analyst*

Golf
Terry Gannon, Play-by-Play
Steve Sands, Play-by-Play & Reporter
Johnny Miller, 18th Tower (Men’s)
Nick Faldo, 18th Tower (Men’s)
Annika Sorenstam, 18th Tower (Women’s)
Judy Rankin, 18th Tower (Women’s)
David Feherty, Outer Tower (Men’s)
Karen Stupples, Outer Tower (Women’s)
Tom Abbott, Reporter
Kay Cockerill, Reporter
Curt Byrum, Reporter
Peter Jacobsen, Reporter
Roger Maltbie, Reporter
Jerry Foltz, Reporter
Rich Lerner, Studio Host
Todd Lewis, Studio Host

Gymnastics
Al Trautwig, Play-by-play
Tim Daggett, Analyst
Nastia Liukin, Analyst
Andrea Joyce, Reporter

Handball
Chris Carrino, Play-by-Play*
Dawn Lewis, Analyst*

Volleyball
Paul Sunderland, Play-by-Play
Kevin Barnett, Analyst

Judo
Leo White, Analyst*

Modern Pentathlon
Eli Bremer, Analyst*

Rowing
Leigh Diffey, Play-by-Play
Mary Whipple, Analyst

Rugby
Bill Seward, Play-by-Play*
Brian Hightower, Analyst*
Tracy Wilson, Reporter

Sailing
Gary Jobson, Play-by-Play*
Randy Smyth, Analyst*

Shooting
Shari LeGate, Analyst*

Soccer
Arlo White, Play-by-Play
Kate Markgraf, Women’s Analyst
Sebastian Salazar, Reporter
Steve Bower, Play-by-Play*
Steve Cangialosi, Play-by-Play*
Mark Followill, Play-by-Play*
Robbie Earle, Analyst*
Stuart Holden, Analyst*
Kyle Martino, Analyst (Men’s)*
Robbie Mustoe, Analyst*
Danielle Slaton, Analyst (Women’s)*
Aly Wagner, Analyst (Women’s)*

Swimming
Dan Hicks, Play-by-Play
Rowdy Gaines, Analyst
Michele Tafoya, Reporter

Synchronized Swimming
Heather Olson, Analyst*

Table Tennis
Ari Wolfe, Play-by-Play*
Sean O’Neill, Play-by-Play*

Taekwondo
Pat Croce, Analyst*

Tennis
Dave Briggs, Host*
Brett Haber, Host*
Andrew Catalon, Play-by-Play*
Steve Weissman, Play-by-Play*
Paul Annacone, Analyst*
James Blake, Analyst*
Rennae Stubbs, Analyst*
Jon Wertheim, Studio Analyst*
Trenni Kusnierek, Reporter

Track and Field
Tom Hammond, Play-by-play
Todd Harris, Play-by-Play (field events)
Kenny Albert, Play-by-Play, NBCSN
Ato Boldon, Analyst
Craig Masback, Analyst
Tim Hutchings, Analyst
Lewis Johnson, Reporter
Chris Maddocks, Analyst* (race walks)

Triathlon
Al Trautwig, Play-by-Play
Julie Swail, Analyst
Steve Porino, Reporter

Water Polo
Paul Burmeister, Play-by-Play
Julie Swail, Analyst
Wolf Wigo, Analyst
Pierre McGuire, Reporter

Weightlifting
Ed Cohen, Play-by-Play*
Shane Hamman, Analyst*

Wrestling
Jason Knapp, Play-by-Play
John Smith, Analyst

Multiple Sports
Steve Schlanger, Play-by-Play*
Bill Doleman, Play-by-Play*
JB Long, Play-by-Play*

4K Ultra HD
Bill Spaulding, Play-by-Play*
Rich Burk, Play-by-Play*
Rob Vermillion, Track and Field Analyst*
Brendan Hansen, Swimming Analyst*
Brian Scalabrine, Basketball Analyst*

Hosts, Correspondents and Reporters:

Primetime
Bob Costas, NBC

Daytime
Al Michaels, NBC
Dan Patrick, NBC & NBCSN
Rebecca Lowe, NBC & NBCSN
Liam McHugh, NBCSN
Carolyn Manno, NBCSN

Late Night
Ryan Seacrest, Host

Correspondents
Mary Carillo
David Feherty
Bela Karolyi
Hoda Kotb
Tara Lipinski
Jimmy Roberts
Johnny Weir

Opening Ceremony
Matt Lauer
Meredith Vieira
Hoda Kotb

Reporters
Jac Collinsworth
Dalen Cuff
Alex Flanagan
Jill Martin
Craig Melvin
Apolo Ohno
Gadi Schwartz
Anne Thompson
Rutledge Wood

CNBC, MSNBC, USA
Ahmed Fareed, USA Network*
Fred Roggin, CNBC*
Rob Simmelkjaer, MSNBC*

Golf Channel
Notah Begay**
Ryan Burr**
Brandel Chamblee**
David Duval**
Jim Gallagher Jr.**
Paige Mackenzie**
Frank Nobilo**
Arron Oberholser**
Tim Rosaforte**
Kelly Tilghman**

NBC Sports Digital
Jenna Corrado* (Update Desk)
Julie Donaldson* (Update Desk)
Jonathan Horton, Gymnastics Analyst*
Andrew Siciliano, Host*
Jim Watson, Play-by-Play*
Tanith White, Host*
Samantha Peszek, Gymnastics Reporter
Jeremy Bloom, Reporter
Courtney Kupets, Gymnastics Analyst*

*Based at NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.
**Based at Golf Channel in Orlando, Fla.

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Weightlifting investigation finds doping cover-ups

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DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP) — An investigation into the International Weightlifting Federation has found doping cover-ups and millions of dollars in missing money, lead investigator Richard McLaren said Thursday.

McLaren said 40 positive doping tests were “hidden” in IWF records and that athletes whose cases were delayed or covered up went on to win medals at the world championships and other events. The cases will be referred to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“We found systematic governance failures and corruption at the highest level of the IWF,” McLaren said.

The International Olympic Committee said it was studying the report “very carefully,” adding that “the content is deeply concerning.”

McLaren said former IWF president Tamas Ajan was “an autocratic leader” who kept the board in the dark about finances and left officials fearing reprisals if they spoke out. Ajan received cash payments on behalf of the IWF as doping fines from national federations or sponsors, the report said, but what happened to some of the money is unclear.

McLaren said $10.4 million was unaccounted for, based on his team’s analysis of cash going in and out of the IWF over several years. Ajan denies any wrongdoing.

The largest fine recorded in the report was $500,000 paid by Azerbaijan. It’s unclear how that payment was made. On one trip to Thailand for a competition and conference, Ajan collected more than $440,000 across 18 cash payments, according to the report.

“Everyone was kept in financial ignorance through the use of hidden bank accounts (and transfers),” McLaren said. “Some cash was accounted for, some was not.”

McLaren said that the investigation found information which law enforcement “might be interested in,” and that he would cooperate with any later investigations. That was echoed by Ajan’s successor at the IWF.

“The activities that have been revealed and the behavior that has occurred in the years past is absolutely unacceptable and possibly criminal,” IWF interim president Ursula Garza Papandrea said.

She added that the IWF will pass on information to law enforcement if it indicates there were “potential crimes.”

McLaren said Ajan “permitted the (federation) elections to be bought by vote brokers” as he kept the presidency and promoted favored officials. Large cash withdrawals were made ahead of federation congresses, McLaren said, adding that voters were bribed and had to take pictures of their ballots to show to brokers.

The 81-year-old Ajan stepped down in April, ending a 20-year reign as president and a total 44 years in federation posts. A month before that he also gave up his honorary membership of the International Olympic Committee.

In a statement to Hungarian state news agency MTI, Ajan said the IWF’s finances were managed in a “lawful” manner with oversight from the board.

“All my life, I’ve abided by the laws, the written and unwritten rules and customs of the sport,” he said.

Ajan accused McLaren’s team of not giving him enough information to respond to the allegations about his conduct.

Ajan was a full IOC member between 2000 and 2010, voting to select Olympic host cities. A previous complaint about IWF finances in 2010 was closed by the IOC.

McLaren’s investigation was sparked in January when German broadcaster ARD reported financial irregularities at the federation and apparent doping cover-ups.

The focus of the investigation was on the period from 2009 through 2019. McLaren said he heard allegations of misconduct dating back as far as the 1980s, but chose to prioritize more recent matters with stronger evidence.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said it welcomed McLaren’s findings.

“Once WADA has had the opportunity to review that evidence as well as the report in full, the Agency will consider the next appropriate steps to take,” it said in a statement.

Some allegations regarding doping misconduct around the 2019 world championships in Thailand and involving athletes from Moldova were passed to the International Testing Agency, which is still investigating.

McLaren, a Canadian law professor, was WADA’s lead investigator for Russian doping and has judged cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Weightlifting’s reputation under Ajan had already been hit by dozens of steroid doping cases revealed in retests of samples from the Olympics since 2008.

Since he left office in April, the IWF has begun moving its headquarters from Ajan’s home country of Hungary to the Swiss city of Lausanne, where the International Olympic Committee is based.

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Gwendolyn Berry gets apology from USOPC CEO after reprimand for podium gesture

Gwen Berry
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Olympic hammer thrower Gwendolyn Berry said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland apologized to her Wednesday “for not understanding the severity of the impact her decisions had on me,” after Berry was put on probation last August for one year after raising her fist at the end of the national anthem at the 2019 Pan American Games.

“I am grateful to Gwen for her time and her honesty last night,” Hirshland said in a statement. “I heard her. I apologized for how my decisions made her feel and also did my best to explain why I made them. Gwen has a powerful voice in this national conversation, and I am sure that together we can use the platform of Olympic and Paralympic sport to address and fight against systematic inequality and racism in our country.”

Berry and fencer Race Imboden were sent August letters of reprimand by Hirshland, along with each receiving probation, after each made a podium gesture at Pan Ams in Peru.

This week, Berry tweeted that she wanted a public apology from Hirshland. That tweet came after Hirshland sent a letter to U.S. athletes on Monday night, condemning “systemic inequality that disproportionately impacts Black Americans in the United States.”

Then on Wednesday night, Berry said she had a “really productive” 40-minute phone call with Hirshland, USATF CEO Max Siegel and other USATF officials.

“I didn’t necessarily ask for [an apology] from [Hirshland],” Berry said Thursday. Berry said she lost two-thirds of her income after Pan Ams, that sponsors dropped her in connection to the raised fist fallout.

“We came to some good conclusions,” Berry said of the group call. “The most important thing were figuring out ways to move forward. [Hirshland] was aware of things that she did and how she made me feel about the situation, and I was happy that I was able to express to her my grievances and she was able to express to me how she felt as well about the situation.”

Berry said her probation, which is believed to still be in effect, wasn’t discussed. She made a point to say that USATF has always been on her side.

“The conversation was more for awareness purposes, and we’ll probably have more conversations this week,” said Berry.

Berry also plans to participate in a U.S. athlete town hall Friday.

“First and foremost, we should and we will discuss how people are just feeling and how people are holding up because athletes in general, because of the pandemic and because of everything that’s been going on, I know a lot of people are in distress, they’re sad, they’re confused,” she said. “I think that’ll be the main point of the discussion. Just to make sure everybody’s OK. Just to see how everybody’s holding on.”

On Aug. 10, Berry raised her fist at the end of the national anthem after winning the Pan American Games title.

The next morning, Berry said the gesture, which drew memories of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Games, wasn’t meant to be a big message, but it quickly became a national story.

“Just a testament to everything I’ve been through in the past year, and everything the country has been through this past year,” she said then. “A lot of things need to be done and said and changed. I’m not trying to start a political war or act like I’m miss-know-it-all or anything like that. I just know America can do better.”

Berry said then that the motivation behind her gesture included the challenges overcome of changing coaches and moving from Oxford, Miss., where her family resides, to Houston.

“Every individual person has their own views of things that are going on,” she said. “It’s in the Constitution, freedom of speech. I have a right to feel what I want to feel. It’s no disrespect at all to the country. I want to make that very clear. If anything, I’m doing it out of love and respect for people in the country.”

Berry also said that weekend, according to USA Today, that she was standing for “extreme injustice.”

“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” Berry said, according to that report. “It’s too important to not say something. Something has to be said. If nothing is said, nothing will be done, and nothing will be fixed, and nothing will be changed.”

NBC Olympics senior researcher Alex Azzi contributed to this report.

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