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Medal favorite held out of 400m final insists he’s not sick

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LONDON (AP) — Medal favorite Isaac Makwala was turned away from the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday after being ruled ineligible to compete at the world championships because of a stomach bug that has affected about 30 people at one of the official hotels.

Makwala was withdrawn from the 400m final by the IAAF about five hours before the race, but he had earlier posted on his Facebook page that he was feeling fine.

“It is with a bleeding heart that I formally announce that I will not be part of the 400m final,” was posted on Makwala’s Facebook. “I arrived at the stadium today ready to run but I found a trap set there … and denied entrance (Government order by the way not IAAF).

“I still maintain I am not sick and have never been tested by any Doctor. I shall rise again.”

The runner from Botswana entered the championships as the main competition for Wayde van Niekerk in both the 200m and 400m. On Monday, he pulled out of the 200m heats because of the virus but had hoped to run in the 400m final on Tuesday.

The IAAF said in a statement that Makwala was withdrawn because he was “diagnosed with an infectious disease” on Monday.

“As per UK health regulations, it was requested that he be quarantined in his room for 48 hours,” the IAAF said, noting that period ends at 2 p.m. Wednesday. “These procedures are recommended by Public Health England and were clearly explained to the teams in writing.”

Last month, Makwala became the first man to run 200m meters under 20 seconds and 400m under 44 seconds on the same day at a meet in Madrid. He also has the top time over 200m this season (19.77 seconds) and has the third-best mark in the 400m.

Earlier Tuesday, the IAAF said Makwala was out of the final “due to a medical condition on the instruction of the IAAF Medical Delegate.” It is based on a rule which says that the IAAF doctor “shall have ultimate authority on all medical matters.”

The virus hit about 30 athletes and staff. Nine people were still being affected, according to the IAAF.

“The IAAF is very sorry that the hard work and talent of Isaac Makwala won’t be on display tonight,” the IAAF said, “but we have to think of the welfare of all athletes.”

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Richie Porte crashes out of Tour de France again

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Australian Richie Porte crashed out of the Tour de France on the ninth stage for a second straight year, suffering a fractured right clavicle six miles into Sunday’s stage.

“Obviously I’m devastated,” Porte said, according to Team BMC. “For the second year in a row I am ending the Tour de France like this. I was on the ground before I knew it, and straight away felt pain in my right shoulder.”

Porte, who finished fifth in the 2016 Tour de France and was an overall podium contender these last two years, was seen sitting on the side of the road, gritting his teeth and crossing his right arm over his chest.

There was a mass stoppage of riders, with at least one spectator down on the side of the narrow road. The crash came well before the Tour stage was to hit 15 arduous cobblestone sections totaling 13 miles.

Porte was in 10th place after eight stages, 57 seconds behind race leader and BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet. Avermaet and American Tejay van Garderen, in third place, were expected to work for Porte in the mountains later this week, hoping to put him in the yellow jersey.

Now, Van Garderen is in line to be the team leader.

In 2017, Porte fractured his clavicle and pelvis on a ninth-stage crash on a descent and had to abandon the Tour.

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Chris Froome, other stars crash on Tour de France cobblestones stage

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Richie PorteTejay van GarderenRigoberto UranMikel Landa. Even Chris Froome.

Stage nine of the Tour de France promised to rattle the top riders, and the 15 sections of cobblestones totaling 13 miles delivered just that. All of the named men crashed on Sunday, with Porte abandoning the Grand Tour altogether (albeit he crashed before the first cobbles section, six miles into the stage).

In the end, German John Degenkolb got the stage win ahead of overall race leader Greg Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert.

Van Avermaet, the Olympic road race champion from Belgium, retained the yellow jersey for a sixth straight day, extending his lead to 43 seconds over Brit Geraint Thomas. Van Avermaet rides for Team BMC, which lost its team leader in Porte.

American van Garderen presumably became the new team leader, but he crashed later in the stage and also suffered three flat tires.

Van Garderen entered the day third in the overall standings, nine seconds behind Van Avermaet. He ended it in 30th place, 6:05 behind Van Avermaet.

The best-placed favorite to finish on the podium in Paris on July 29 is now the four-time Tour winner Froome, in eighth place, 1:42 behind Van Avermaet. Froome is trying to tie the record of five Tour titles shared by Jacques AnquetilEddy MerckxBernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

The Tour takes its first of two rest days Monday, resuming with the first day in the Alps on Tuesday live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold (full broadcast schedule here). Stage 10 features a beyond-category climb and three category-one climbs.

“I’m relieved to get through today and looking forward to getting into the mountains now where the real race for GC (general classification) will start,” Froome said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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