Getty Images

Madisyn Cox, top U.S. IM swimmer, argues 2-year ban due to tap water

Leave a comment

Madisyn Cox, the 2017 World bronze medalist in the 200m individual medley, was banned two years for testing positive for a substance she believed she ingested via tap water.

The banned substance is Trimetazidine, a medication used to treat angina, and Cox reportedly said “a world-renowned biochemist” equated her level of the substance to “a pinch of salt in an Olympic size swimming pool.”

“While the scientific expert who reviewed my case believes that I unknowingly ingested the Trimetazidine through tap water consumed the night before the test, the [FINA doping] panel determined that more scientific evidence was needed to prove this,” Cox said, according to Swimswam.com. “The presence of pharmaceuticals like Trimetazidine in U.S. drinking water is well documented.”

Cox’s backdated suspension runs through March 2, 2020 and would keep Cox out of next week’s U.S. Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships in August and the 2019 World Championships. Cox is the top-ranked U.S. 200m IM swimmer this year.

“I am devastated,” she said, according to Swimswam. “I honestly believed through this entire process that I would receive a no fault ruling, due to the strength of my case, a completely clean hair sample, dozens and dozens of clean tests and a history of carrying myself with honor and integrity throughout my academic and swimming career. I stand on my personal and competitive reputation.”

Her positive test was Feb. 5.

A FINA doping panel said a possible four-year ban was reduced to two years because the amount of the drug found was low, Cox’s “moral character” and the “credible nature” of her testimony.

“The panel is prepared to take the highly unusual step of accepting that Ms. Cox did not act with intention in the absence of proof regarding the source of the Trimetazidine that came into her body,” according to a press release. “However the Trimetazidine did enter her body (which is admitted), it was unintentional. In other words, Ms. Cox did not intend to dope and the adverse analytical finding (AAF) that has been admitted was unintentional.

“Cox is an honest, very hardworking and highly credible athlete who is not a ‘cheat.’ She is, unfortunately, caught in a dilemma.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. swimming rankings going into nationals

World short-track speedskating championships will be moved, postponed or canceled

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The International Skating Union announced Tuesday that the world short-track speedskating championships will not proceed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Seoul’s Mokdong Ice Rink, where the competition was set to be held March 13-15, held the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships earlier this month but closed on Monday.

The ISU left open the possibility that the championships will be postponed or relocated, but the window to do so may close rapidly.

“Taking into account the uncertain world-wide development of the coronavirus, the limited and uncertain available time slots during the coming weeks and the logistical challenges of potential organizers and participating teams, a postponement and/or relocation of the Championships would be difficult to achieve,” the ISU said. “Nevertheless, a postponement and/or relocation of this Championships might be considered if the circumstances would allow so in due time.”

South Korea is one of short-track speedskating’s traditional powers. Last year, the country dominated the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, winning both relays and taking gold in all of the men’s individual races. South Korea also led the medal count on home ice in the 2018 Olympics.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of many events in China, where the illness was first found. The world indoor track and field championships were pushed back a whole year.

With the virus spreading to other regions, other countries’ sports schedules are being affected. Several soccer games are proceeding in empty stadiums in Italy and Iran.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Daniel Romanchuk’s ascent to marathon stardom accelerated at University of Illinois

Leave a comment

The rise of Daniel Romanchuk has been one of the major stories of this Paralympic cycle. The wheelchair racer was eliminated in the first round of all five of his races in Rio.

But now, he’s the world’s best marathoner with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, a world-record holder on the track and already qualified for the Tokyo Games.

Romanchuk, born with spina bifida, was profiled by NBC Sports Chicago as part of a series of NBC Sports Regional Networks pieces published this week — marking 150 days until the Tokyo Olympics and six months until the Tokyo Paralympics.

NBC RSN Olympic and Paralympic Profiles
NBC Sports Bay Area

Abbey Weitzeil (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Boston
Margaret Bertasi (Rowing) — LINK
Abbey D’Agostino Cooper (Track and Field) — LINK

NBC Sports Chicago
Ryan Murphy (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Northwest
Galen Rupp (Marathon) — LINK
Mariel Zagunis (Fencing) — LINK

NBC Sports Philadelphia
Vashti Cunningham (Track and Field) — LINK
Julie Ertz (Soccer) — LINK

NBC Sports Washington
Katie Ledecky (Swimming) — LINK
Kyle Snyder (Wrestling) — LINK

Romanchuk, 21, swept the Boston, London, Chicago and New York City Marathon titles in 2019. He attributes that success to his native Baltimore and his training residence of the University of Illinois.

At age 2, he was enrolled in Baltimore’s Bennett Blazers, an adaptive sports program for children with physical disabilities. Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist who dominated women’s wheelchair marathons, planted her athletic roots there.

“Their motto is to teach kids they can before they’re told they can’t,” Romanchuk said.

Things really blossomed for Romanchuk after he moved from Baltimore to the University of Illinois. Illinois was designated a U.S. Paralympic training site in 2014 and has produced McFadden, Jean Driscoll and other U.S. Paralympic stars.

“Without this program, I certainly would not be where I am,” Romanchuk said. “It’s a very unique combination of coaching and teammates.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Ten Paralympic hopefuls to watch for 2020 Tokyo Games