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1988 Olympic decathlon champion admits PED use

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Christian Schenk, the East German who won the 1988 Olympic decathlon, said he took performance-enhancing drugs starting in 1985 and later suffered from depression and contemplated suicide in his new autobiography, according to German media.

“At first I denied every having taken banned substances,” Schenk said, according to a German press agency DPA translation. “Then I settled for the legally softer answer, I had never knowingly doped. Both were lies.

“For me that was like reaching the next level, almost a tribute. Getting the pills meant I was on the squad and expected to perform well.”

Schenk, then 23, scored 8,488 points to grab gold in Seoul, topping countryman Torsten Voss by 89 points. Canadian Dave Steen took bronze, with 1980 and 1984 Olympic champion Daley Thompson in fourth.

“If a medalist cheated, someone else deserved that medal instead,” Steen said in 1988, according to the Globe and Mail. “But reopening results from 10 or 20 years ago is a tough call. I don’t know how you can prove someone was cheating, even if his name is on a list or in a file.

“I’m not going to kill myself over investigating [the East German] results. If someone tells me they’re going to do it, I’ll say, ‘Good luck.’ Unless you have athletes confessing, I don’t think there’s much you can do.”

Schenk’s name was on a list of doped athletes made public after the fall of the Berlin Wall, according to Olympic historians. He later became a German sports journalist.

Schenk also competed in three world championships: fifth in 1987, bronze in 1991 and fourth in 1993.

He was on the cover of the last 1991 issue of Sports Illustrated between weeks where Michael Jordan (Sportsman of the Year) and Muhammad Ali (50th birthday) were on the magazine covers.

h/t @Trackside2018

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Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)