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Usain Bolt will not get 9th gold medal back

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Usain Bolt won’t be getting back his ninth Olympic gold medal.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judging panel on Thursday dismissed Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter’s appeal against disqualification from the 2008 Beijing Olympics for a positive doping test discovered eight years later.

“The rules are the rules but at the end of the day the joy of winning that relay gold Medal in Beijing 2008 with my teammates will last forever,” was posted on Bolt’s social media with a photo of the relay team with the gold medals they no longer own.

Carter ran the opening leg in the 4x100m relay when Bolt took the baton third and helped Jamaica win in a world record of 37.10 seconds.

“I have always been a clean athlete and I would never knowingly do anything to risk my reputation or the reputation of my country, or that would cause pain to [relay teammates] Usain, Asafa [Powell], Michael [Frater] and the Jamaican people,” Carter said in a statement, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

“The substance that was in my body is now recognized as having been a contaminant in many products and as CAS accepts, it was not named on the Prohibited List in 2008 and only became known after the 2008 Olympic Games. Even though I must take responsibility for what has happened, it is difficult to accept that I could be in breach of the rules when, even if I had known I consumed the substance (which I did not), I could not have known at the time that the substance was prohibited. I am deeply sorry for what has happened and the pain and loss it brings.”

In fresh analysis of Beijing samples by the International Olympic Committee in 2016, Carter tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine. Jamaica was disqualified and stripped of the relay title.

Carter is correct that methylhexaneamine was not named on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substances list in 2008 (it is now), but, according to the IOC:

Methylhexaneamine fell within the scope of the general prohibition of stimulants having a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect as the listed stimulants. Under the then applicable system, stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be Non-Specified Prohibited Substances.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has confirmed that the presence or use of substances falling within the scope of generic definitions of the Prohibited List, can be used as a basis of establishing anti-doping rules violations.

The CAS panel said it “could not accept any of the arguments raised by Nesta Carter contending that the test results should be ignored or the IOC (disciplinary) decision should otherwise be overturned for certain alleged failures.”

The verdict was expected, and spoils Bolt’s perfect Olympic career of three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at three consecutive Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

With Jamaica’s disqualification confirmed again, the gold medals will go the Trinidad and Tobago team of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Aaron Armstrong. The IOC should upgrade Japan to silver and Brazil to bronze.

Carter, now 32, was also on Bolt’s team for three straight world championships relay gold medals in 2011, 2013 and 2015. They were also teammates when Jamaica set another 4x100m world record in 2012 at the London Olympics in a time of 36.84 seconds.

Dozens of athletes tested positive for banned drugs in an IOC-ordered reanalysis program using new and more accurate tests on samples stored since the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.

Carter’s case was the only one involving Jamaica.

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UCI looks for new host for 2020 World Road Cycling Championships

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The International Cycling Union (UCI) is looking for a new host for the 2020 World Road Cycling Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Switzerland can no longer host the week-long event in late September after a national decision to extend a ban on events with more than 1,000 people through next month.

Amid reports the competition has been canceled, the UCI clarified Wednesday that it still hopes to hold it in some form, perhaps without some of the junior or senior races.

It now seeks an “alternative project,” preferably still in Europe and on the same dates (Sept. 20-27).

Worlds were due to start in Switzerland on the same day that the rescheduled Tour de France ends, though the senior elite men’s races are typically not on the first three days.

The Tour de France is still scheduled to start Aug. 29.

Last year, American Chloe Dygert starred at road worlds, winning the time trial in dominant fashion. Other world champions in Olympic events: Annemiek van Vleuten (road race), Rohan Dennis (time trial) and Mads Pedersen (road race).

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Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15 in 2000

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In the biggest race of his young life, a 15-year-old Michael Phelps turned for the last 50 meters in fourth place of the U.S. Olympic Trials 200m butterfly final on Aug. 12, 2000.

His mom, Debbie, couldn’t watch. She turned away from the Indianapolis Natatorium pool and stared at the scoreboard. Both Debbie and Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, mentally prepared their consolation speeches for the rising Towson High School sophomore outside Baltimore.

Then Phelps, fueled by nightly Adam’s Mark chicken sandwich-and-cheesecake room service and amped by pre-race DMX on his CD player, turned it on. He zoomed into second place, becoming the youngest U.S. male swimmer to qualify for an Olympics since 1932.

Phelps had “come out of nowhere in the last six months” to become an Olympic hopeful, NBC Sports swimming commentator Dan Hicks said on the broadcast. True, Phelps chopped five and a half seconds off his personal best that March.

“He doesn’t know what it means to go to the Olympics and how it’s going to change his life,” Tom Malchow, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist who held off Phelps in that trials final, said that night, according to The Associated Press. “He’s going to find out soon.”

Phelps, who did his trademark arm flaps before the trials final, made Bowman look like a prophet. Four years earlier, the coach sat Debbie down for a conversation she would not soon forget.

“Told me what he projected for Michael,” Debbie said, according to the Baltimore Sun‘s front-page story on a local 15-year-old qualifying for the Sydney Games. “He said that in 2004, he would definitely be a factor in the Olympics. He also said that he could be there in 2000, to watch out for him. At the time, he was only 11.”

The trials were bittersweet for the Phelps family. Whitney, one of Phelps’ older sisters, withdrew before the meet with herniated discs in her back that kept her from making an Olympics after competing in the 1994 World Championships at age 14.

After Phelps qualified for the Olympics, one of the first people to embrace him was Whitney on the pool deck.

The next week, Phelps, still with bottom-teeth braces, did his first live TV sitdown on CNN, swiveling in his chair the whole time, according to his autobiography, “Beneath the Surface.”

The next month, Phelps finished fifth in his Olympic debut, clocking a then-personal-best time that would have earned gold or silver at every previous Olympics.

Following the Olympic race, gold medalist Malchow patted Phelps on the back, according to “No Limits,” another Phelps autobiography. What did Malchow say?

“The best is ahead of you.”

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