Russia’s Anna Chicherova stripped of 2008 Olympic bronze medal

Anna Chicherova
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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.

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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