USADA CEO: Report could justify Russia’s exclusion from Rio

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A report on Russian doping due out this week is expected to include details about the country’s sports ministry telling its drug-testing officials which positive tests to report and which to conceal. If those details do, indeed, show up in the report, the leader of the U.S. anti-doping effort says nothing short of removing the Russian flag from this summer’s Olympics would suffice.

Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told The Associated Press he would support the same sort of action for all Russian sports that track’s governing body, the IAAF, took regarding the country’s track team: It barred the team but gave a small number of athletes who could prove they were clean a chance to compete under a neutral flag.

“If it’s proven true, and there’s been intentional subversion of the system by the Russian government … the only outcome is they can’t participate in these Olympic Games under that country’s flag,” Tygart said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency commissioned an investigation, being headed by Richard McLaren, into Russian doping following a New York Times story in May that detailed a state-run system that helped athletes get away with cheating and win medals at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. The McLaren report is due Friday, with public release set for next Monday.

An earlier investigation, headed by former WADA chairman Dick Pound, looked into Russian doping inside the track team; the McLaren investigation is expected to delve into all sports.

In June, based on information from Pound’s report and its own follow-up, the IAAF barred Russia’s track team from competing in the Olympics after deciding it had not moved aggressively enough on widespread reforms.

In announcing the decision, the IAAF issued a report that included preliminary findings from McLaren stating evidence showed a “mandatory state-directed manipulation of laboratory analytical results operating within” the Moscow anti-doping lab from at least 2011 through the summer of 2013.

The preliminary findings also said Russia’s “Ministry of Sport advised the laboratory which of its adverse findings it could report to WADA, and which it had to cover up.”

If those preliminary findings show up in the full report, and turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg, it would represent “an unprecedented level of criminality,” Tygart said.

Tygart previewed the findings to leaders of USA Track and Field at a meeting during Olympic Trials last weekend. There, Tygart said, “what we see now is what happened in East Germany” in the 1970s and ’80s, when doping in the Eastern Bloc went virtually unchecked.

He told USATF leaders: “You have to send a message to states that corrupt the Games. I don’t want to pre-judge the report but indications are that that’s what’s going to be in there.”

USADA chairman Edwin Moses, the gold-medal-winning and world-record-setting hurdler from the 1970s and ’80s, reiterated that point to the USATF.

“If an athlete is going to get sanctioned for two, four, eight years, then certainly the same should happen for any federation or agency or administrators who are involved,” he said.

Shortly after the Times report came out, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach wrote an op-ed piece in USA Today saying that if allegations in the Times story were true, the IOC would “react with its record of proven zero-tolerance policy, not only with regard to individual athletes, but to all their entourage within its reach.”

“Should there be evidence of an organized system contaminating other sports, the international federations and the IOC would have to make the difficult decision between collective responsibility and individual justice,” Bach wrote.

On July 21, the Court of Arbitration for Sport will rule on the eligibility of 68 Russian track athletes who claim they should be able to compete despite the IAAF ban. Still undecided is whether the IOC will allow cleared Russian athletes to compete as neutral, or under the Russian flag.

If the McLaren report is as damning as expected, the IOC and international leaders in the 27 other Summer Olympic sports will have to come up with plans on similar issues on a limited timeframe: Friday marks the three-week countdown to the Rio Games.

Rich Bender, the executive director of USA Wrestling, said he had full confidence in the leadership of his sport’s international federation to handle the situation correctly.

“The international federation has a significant responsibility to do everything in its power to make sure that happens,” Bender said. “If you start making exceptions and compromising positions there, it weakens the statement that doping isn’t tolerated.”

MORE: Russia Olympic doping probe results coming Monday

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago. The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

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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 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 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