Anna Chicherova
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Russia’s Anna Chicherova stripped of 2008 Olympic bronze medal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian high jumper Anna Chicherova was stripped of her bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics on Thursday, the latest athlete sanctioned after the retesting of stored doping samples.

Chicherova, who won the gold medal at the 2012 London Games, tested positive for turinabol and has been retroactively disqualified from Beijing, the International Olympic Committee said.

The Russian Olympic Committee should secure the return of her bronze medal “as soon as possible,” the IOC said.

The IOC also asked track’s governing body, the IAAF, to consider any further sanctions against the 34-year-old Chicherova, who is still active but could face a two-year ban.

Another Russian – Yelena Slesarenko – finished fourth in the high jump in Beijing. She stands to move up to the bronze if the IOC decides to reallocate the medals.

The IOC ruling made no mention of Chicherova’s gold medal from London, which appears to be unaffected. She told Russian media earlier this year that retests of her 2012 sample came back negative.

The IAAF said it would cancel all of Chicherova’s results from 2008 to 2010, including her silver medal at the 2009 world championships in Berlin. Chicherova won gold at the 2011 worlds.

The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years to allow for them to be reanalyzed when improved testing methods become available. The new tests can detect the use of steroids going back weeks and months, rather than days.

The IOC has recorded 98 positive cases in recent retests of more than 1,000 samples from Beijing and London.

The IOC’s 22-page written decision in the Chicherova case cited a pattern of delay and obstruction by the athlete and her legal team.

“The IOC first noted that the athlete and her counsel had been deliberately attempting to obstruct the process, first the analytical process and then the disciplinary proceedings,” the ruling said.

The IOC also noted that turinabol “was a doping substance commonly used in Russia in the concerned period.”

Chicherova won the high jump at the Russian nationals in June, clearing 1.98 meters.

She would have been a potential medal contender at the Rio Games. The IAAF banned the Russian track team – apart from U.S.-based long jumper Darya Klishina – from the games over allegations of state-sponsored doping.

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, bracket

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If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.

Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.

Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.

If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.

Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.

The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.

The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

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