Usain Bolt loses Olympic relay gold medal due to teammate’s doping

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Usain Bolt lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals after one of his Jamaican 4x100m relay teammates, Nesta Carter, was stripped of his 2008 Olympic participation for doping by the International Olympic Committee.

“The Jamaican team is disqualified from the men’s 4x100m relay event,” the IOC said Wednesday. “The corresponding medals, medalist pins and diplomas are withdrawn and shall be returned.”

Carter, part of winning 4x100m relay teams with Bolt in 2008 and 2012, failed retests of Beijing Olympic doping samples for a banned stimulant in 2016. The prohibited substance was the stimulant methylhexaneamine.

Bolt said in June that he was “not too pleased” about the situation.

“It’s heartbreaking. Over the years you’ve worked hard to accumulate gold medals and work hard to be a champion,” Bolt said then. “When it’s confirmed or whatever, if I need to give back my gold medal, I’d have to give it back, it’s not a problem to me.”

In Rio at his final Olympics, Bolt tied Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi for the most Olympic track and field titles at nine. Now, he falls one below the record.

MORE: Bolt on why he won’t pull a Michael Phelps

The IOC decided last year to retest 2008 Olympic samples, with better testing advancements, to possibly detect banned substances that weren’t identified by 2008 testing methods.

In all, 80 athletes from the Beijing Olympics have been disqualified for doping, according to Olympic historians. More than 40 medals have been stripped.

It’s believed Carter, who has not competed since September 2015, has not publicly commented on the case since it became public knowledge last spring.

In June, “Carter alleged that he had never ingested or taken a substance known as or containing methylhexaneamine,” and later claimed that a retest of a 2008 sample in 2016 was “unduly late,” according to the IOC. The IOC can order to retest samples for up to 10 years after an Olympics, upped from eight years in 2015.

The Jamaican 4x100m relay team took gold in a then-world record time in Beijing, capping Bolt’s breakout Olympics with three world records in three events.

The other members of the relay were Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, plus Dwight Thomas in the qualifying heat.

Trinidad and Tobago took silver, Japan bronze and Brazil was fourth in the 2008 Olympic 4x100m. The IOC has requested that track and field’s international governing body modify the results after Jamaica’s disqualification.

Also Wednesday, the IOC stripped Russian Tatyana Lebedeva of her 2008 Olympic long jump and triple jump silver medals for a positive retest of a doping sample from the Beijing Games.

MORE: Usain Bolt and the dying fan he won’t forget

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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