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Paralympics decision on Russia expected by end of year

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PARIS (AP) — A decision on whether Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the PyeongChang Paralympics is expected by the end of the year.

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons, speaking during a visit to Paris, said Friday that the IPC task force will meet in December following a meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s foundation board.

“I can’t speculate at this time what the outcome would be,” Parsons said on a conference call.

Russia’s Paralympic team was barred from the Rio Games as punishment for a state-backed doping program.

Parsons was elected president of the IPC in September, replacing Philip Craven, who led the organization for 16 years.

Parsons is in Paris on a two-day visit to meet leaders of the 2024 Paris Olympics as well as Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Minister of Sport Laura Flessel and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Noting that the promotion of the 2018 Paralympics had been “poor” so far, Parsons said he does not foresee the same problems with Paris.

Parsons praised Paris’ plans for 2024, saying the strong involvement of both the “public and private sectors” is an assurance of reliability.

“Mobility is important for the Paris mayor,” Parsons said. “French authorities are interested in a very good level of competition, but also the legacy the games can bring to Paris.”

Accessibility for people with disabilities to the Paris subway and other landmarks of the capital city is still far from optimal, but Parsons said he is confident it can be improved by 2024.

“In any city in the world there is always room for improvement when it comes to accessibility,” Parsons said.

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MORE: Five Paralympic storylines for PyeongChang

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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