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IOC denies covering up 2008 Olympic doping cases from Jamaica

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The IOC denied Monday that it covered up doping cases from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after a German TV program revealed that positive tests by Jamaican sprinters were not prosecuted.

German documentary maker Hajo Seppelt said “several” of the Caribbean island’s athletes had traces of clenbuterol, a banned muscle-building substance, in recent re-tests of 8-year-old urine samples.

No athletes were identified. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won three gold medals in world-record times and was the star of the Beijing Games.

The IOC said Monday it concluded there was no pattern of organized cheating, after consulting the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“After careful consideration, WADA informed the IOC further to the pattern analysis that the IOC had conducted that WADA could not find any significant and consistent pattern of abuse of clenbuterol in these cases and that it would be appropriate not to take these cases any further,” the IOC said in a statement.

The low levels of clenbuterol found, “below 1ng/ml,” was in the range to suggest “potential meat contamination cases,” the IOC said.

China has a reputation for using clenbuterol in livestock farming to increase animals’ muscle, and Olympic athletes were warned of contamination risks before going to Beijing.

Without naming Jamaica, the IOC said the number of clenbuterol cases in the re-tests was widespread.

“During the re-analysis of the stored urine samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, the laboratory found in a number of cases of athletes from a number of countries and from a number of different sports, very low levels of clenbuterol,” the IOC said in a statement.

The World Anti-Doping Agency cited a legal precedent when FIFA did not prosecute more than 100 positive tests for clenbuterol among players at the Under-17 World Cup in 2011 in Mexico, which also has a reputation for using the drug in farming.

“We acknowledge that the clenbuterol meat contamination issue is unsatisfactory,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli said in a WADA statement. “We will continue to invest in scientific research to try to solve this issue as quickly as possible.”

Seppelt and German network ARD have consistently revealed and reported on doping scandals, including working with whistleblowers to expose systematic cheating in Russian track and field.

Clenbuterol is best known as the substance that cost Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador the 2010 Tour de France title. Contador claimed his positive test was caused by contaminated beef brought to France from Spain. A Court for Arbitration for Sport panel judged that he did not intend to dope, and had ingested a contaminated supplement. Contador served a two-year ban and was stripped of the 2010 Tour win.

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Adam Rippon’s Olympic medal is stained

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Olympians and Paralympians lose medals. They ding and dent them. Even melt them. Then there’s the unique case of figure skater Adam Rippon.

“Mine actually has barbecue sauce on it,” Rippon told Variety of his PyeongChang team event bronze medal, “because I did an interview, and somebody was cooking at the same time, and they’re like, ‘Come over here.’ I went over there, and I have, like, barbecue sauce on it.”

It may have occurred in PyeongChang, where Rippon appeared on a TODAY cooking segment and ate Korean fried chicken.

Rippon told the story while sitting next to Olympic champion Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who rightly asked if the stain was not on the medal, but on the ribbon.

“No, on the medal part,” Rippon answered, “but it’s in a groove. It’s stuck there forever.”

Shaun White‘s mom once took his medal to a dry cleaners. A Florida jeweler has repaired Summer and Winter Olympic medals. Rippon has the option of getting his finely cleaned.

“You know what, I’m going to keep it there,” he said.

“It adds character,” Shiffrin said.

“And flavor,” Rippon said. “It’s barbecue flavored.”

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Alex Naddour, Olympic bronze medalist, banned by USA Gymnastics

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Alex Naddour, the 2016 Olympic pommel horse bronze medalist, has been banned by USA Gymnastics.

Naddour’s suspension was on grounds relating to two USA Gymnastics bylaws, including one regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and the other on interim measures before complaints are resolved, but neither the gymnast nor USA Gymnastics said why he was suspended.

According to his Twitter, Naddour was trying to contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which responds to reports of sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

“I have no idea what is happening or why, we are trying to contact safe sport for any information,” was tweeted from Naddour’s account Wednesday night. Naddour did not return messages seeking comment.

“USA Gymnastics cannot comment publicly on membership matters unless an action taken involves a public result, such as being placed on the list of individuals whose membership is suspended or who is permanently ineligible for membership,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “The U.S. Center for SafeSport has the exclusive authority to handle sexual misconduct matters for the entire U.S. Olympic movement (including gymnastics).”

Naddour, 27, also competed at the last five world championships, in addition to being an alternate for the 2012 Olympic team. He is married to two-time 2003 World champion Hollie Vise, and they have two children.

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