IOC: 23 more medalists positive in 2008, 2012 Olympic doping retests

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LONDON (AP) — Forty-five more athletes, including 31 medalists, have been caught for doping after retesting of samples from the last two Summer Olympics, the IOC said Friday.

The new cases bring to 98 the total number of athletes who have failed tests so far in the reanalysis of their stored samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games.

Using “the very latest scientific analysis methods,” the latest round of retests produced 30 “provisional” positive findings from Beijing and 15 confirmed positives from London, the International Olympic Committee reported.

The IOC said 23 medalists from Beijing and eight medal winners from London were among those caught.

No names were given.

The IOC’s news release cited 23 medalists from Beijing, but did not mention any from London. However, an IOC spokeswoman, Emmanuelle Moreau, confirmed later to The Associated Press that the London positive tests included eight medal winners.

The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years so they can be retested when new methods become available, meaning drug cheats who escaped detection at the time can be caught years later.

In a separate announcement Friday, the IOC stripped a Turkish weightlifter of her silver medal from the Beijing Games after her urine sample came back positive for steroids in new testing.

The IOC said Sibel Ozkan tested positive for stanozolol and was ordered to return her medal in the 48-kilogram class. The 28-year-old lifter also faces a possible ban from the International Weightlifting Federation.

Ozkan is the second athlete formally disqualified so far by the IOC in the retesting program. Last week, Ukrainian weightlifter Yulia Kalina was stripped of her bronze medal from the London Olympics after her sample came back positive for the steroid turinabol.

The retesting program has targeted athletes who were in contention to compete at the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but has also been widened to cover many medalists.

“All athletes found to have infringed the anti-doping rules will be banned from competing” at the Rio Games, the IOC said.

The announcement comes at a time when the IOC is weighing whether to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics over allegations of systematic and state-run doping.

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an IAAF ban on Russia’s track and field athletes from the games. The IOC executive board is scheduled to hold a meeting Sunday amid calls by anti-doping bodies to exclude Russia entirely from Rio.

The IOC said the previous first wave of retests had found 30 positive cases from Beijing and 23 from London. The Russian Olympic Committee has said 22 of those cases involved Russian athletes, including medalists.

A total of 1,243 samples have been retested so far in the first two waves of the reanalysis program.

The 30 new positive cases from Beijing involved athletes from four sports and eight countries.

The 15 athletes caught in the new London tests represent two sports and nine countries.

A third and fourth round of retesting will continue throughout and after the Rio Games, the IOC said.

“The new reanalysis once again shows the commitment of the IOC in the fight against doping,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

The IOC said it was informing the national Olympic committees and international sports federations affected by the latest positives, clearing the way for disciplinary proceedings to begin against the athletes.

The IOC said it could not provide more details, including the names of the athletes, “for legal reasons.”

“This will follow in due course,” it said.

The IOC reported in May that it had found 31 positives from Beijing. It said Friday that the backup “B” samples in two cases did not confirm the original finding, while an additional positive case was confirmed later.

MORE: Five Russian track and field stars set to miss Rio Olympics

Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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