More Olympic distance-running medalists banned for doping

Gamze Bulut
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MONACO (AP) — Turkish runners Elvan Abeylegesse and Gamze Bulut were banned for doping Wednesday and stand to lose their Olympic silver medals.

Abeylegesse tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol in a retest of a sample she gave at the 2007 World Championships. She was banned for two years by the IAAF and had her results wiped out from 2007-09.

Abeylegesse won Olympic silver medals in the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2008 Beijing Games and silver in the 10,000m at the 2007 World Championships.

American Shalane Flanagan stands to get the silver medal in the 10,000m, with third for Linet Chepkwemoi Masai of Kenya. In the 5000m, Meseret Defar of Ethiopia would get silver and Sylvia Kibet of Kenya would get bronze.

American Kara Goucher stands to upgrade from bronze to silver in the 2007 Worlds 10,000m.

The IAAF also said it had imposed a four-year ban on Bulut for a violation of its biological passport program.

Bulut’s results from July 2011 have been wiped out, which will cost her the silver medal in the 1500m at the 2012 London Olympics. In that race, Bulut finished behind Turkish runner Asli Cakir Alptekin, who has also since been banned.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain stands to inherit gold, with silver for Tatyana Tomashova of Russia, who has previously served a ban for giving someone else’s urine in a doping test. Bronze would go to Abeba Aregawi, who represented Ethiopia in 2012 but now races for Sweden.

Bulut has also been disqualified from the 2012 European Championships, when she originally finished second behind Alptekin in the 1500m. Spanish runner Nuria Fernandez, originally fifth, is now the highest-placed athlete who has not been disqualified from that race for doping violations.

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MORE: Top American out of Boston Marathon

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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