Getty Images

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, others call for Russia Olympic ban

Leave a comment

National anti-doping agencies, including USADA, want Russia’s Olympic Committee banned from the PyeongChang Winter Games, while setting criteria for individual Russians to be cleared as neutral athletes.

“[Anti-doping] leaders called on the IOC to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from participation in the 2018 Winter Games for proven corruption of the Sochi Olympic Games and continuing failure in its obligations to clean sport,” a joint press release Thursday said. “The IOC needs to stop kicking the can down the road and immediately issue meaningful consequences.”

IOC president Thomas Bach has said he hopes a decision on Russian sanctions will be made before the winter sports season is in full swing later this fall.

It would come after an IOC-commissioned investigation into Russian doping delivers its findings.

“[Anti-doping] leaders reaffirmed their commitment to provide consistent criteria for individual Russian athletes to compete, as neutrals and independent of the Russian Olympic Committee, for those who have been subject to robust anti-doping protocols, consistent with precedent established by the IAAF,” Thursday’s press release said.

The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, was the lone sport federation to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics.

Anti-doping leaders, including from USADA, criticized the IOC for not issuing a blanket Russia ban for Rio given the nation’s well-publicized doping issues.

The IAAF allowed one Russian athlete to compete in Rio — long jumper Darya Klishina — because she had been based in the U.S. for three years and subject to reputable drug testing.

Russia’s federation remains banned from international track and field competition, but more Russian athletes were cleared to compete as neutrals this year, including for the world championships last month.

Before calling for Russia’s ban from PyeongChang, officials from 17 national anti-doping organizations met for two days. It was the fourth special meeting since the Rio Games.

The group included anti-doping leaders from the nations that finished Nos. 2-9 behind Russia in the Sochi Olympic medal standings.

They addressed “the International Olympic Committee’s continuing refusal to hold Russia accountable for one of the biggest doping scandals in sports history, saying IOC inaction imperils clean athletes and the future of the Olympic movement.”

In January, a similar group of national anti-doping leaders (including from USADA) similarly called for Russia to be banned from all international sports competitions while allowing for cleared athletes to compete as neutrals.

Now, with the winter sports season already under way, the leaders are looking at PyeongChang specifically.

“A country’s sport leaders and organizations should not be given credentials to the Olympics when they intentionally violate the rules and rob clean athletes,” the press release said. “This is especially unfair when athletes are punished when they violate the rules.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: WADA eyes fast-tracked power to sanction cheating countries, sports

Richie Porte crashes out of Tour de France again

Leave a comment

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch

=

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

1 Comment

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch