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U.S. swimmer’s suspension reduced from two years to six months

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Madisyn Cox, the 2017 World bronze medalist in the 200m individual medley, had her ban reduced from two years to six months after showing a positive drug test was due to a legal supplement that had been contaminated.

She is now eligible to compete after serving the ban since March.

“I mistakenly assumed that the supplement I was taking was extremely safe,” Cox said in a statement, according to Swimming World. “I had been taking this multivitamin for seven years, had listed it on every doping control form since making the U.S. national team in 2014 and entering the registered athlete testing pool, and had tested clean and without incident more than 20 times during that period.”

Cox originally thought she ingested the banned substance Trimetazidine, a medication used to treat angina, through tap water.

She failed a drug test Feb. 5 and was suspended through March 2, 2020. Her ban was originally reduced from four years to two after a FINA panel agreed that Cox did not intend to dope, though it did not accept that tap water was the definite source.

“Cox is an honest, very hardworking and highly credible athlete who is not a ‘cheat,'” the panel said a press release. “She is, unfortunately, caught in a dilemma.”

Cox was forced to miss the U.S. Championships in July, which meant she had to miss the Pan Pacific Championships in August and the 2019 World Championships, the two biggest international meets before the 2020 Olympics.

Cox was the top-ranked U.S. 200m IM swimmer for the year at the time.

After being banned two years, she sent the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin to be tested for Trimetazidine. Both a sealed and an opened bottle of the product came back positive for Trimetazidine, which led to the Court of Arbitration for Sport approving the ban reduction.

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Athletes, anti-doping leaders issues statement on RUSADA status

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More Olympic athletes and anti-doping leaders have come out in protest of the possible reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping agency.

Members of the athletes committees from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Olympic Committee, along with a group of international anti-doping leaders and a key supporter of a Russian whistleblower, released statements Tuesday urging WADA’s executive committee not to reinstate RUSADA when it meets later this week.

Jim Swartz, a supporter of former Moscow anti-doping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, said “WADA has undermined its own moral and regulatory authority” by proposing a weakened version of the roadmap to bring RUSADA back into compliance.

The agency has been suspended for nearly three years in the wake of what investigators said was a state-sponsored doping scandal designed to win Olympic medals.

The WADA athletes’ group is led by Beckie Scott, who resigned her position on WADA’s compliance review committee after it recommended RUSADA’s reinstatement last week.

Italy’s focus for 2026 bid now on Milan, Cortina d’Ampezzo

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ROME (AP) — Italy’s three-pronged bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics has been reduced to a two-city candidacy featuring Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Following Turin’s exclusion, the Italian Olympic Committee is sending a delegation featuring Milan and Cortina representatives to meet with IOC leaders on Wednesday.

The move comes after government undersecretary and sports delegate Giancarlo Giorgetti told the Senate on Tuesday that the three-city proposal “is dead.”

Turin’s exclusion follows infighting between Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and Turin counterpart Chiara Appendino, who had been arguing over the bid’s leadership and naming rights.

Peliminary bids are due to be presented at IOC meetings in Buenos Aires next month.

“The candidacy needs to be saved, so we’re open to moving forward together,” Veneto region president Luca Zaia and Lombardy region president Attilio Fontana said in a joint statement.

“If Turin is withdrawing, which upsets us, at this point two realities remain, and they are called Veneto and Lombardy. So we are moving forward with the Lombardy-Veneto Olympics.”

Under the revised plan, hockey and speedskating — which had been slotted for venues built for the 2006 Turin Games — would be held in Milan. Alpine skiing would be held in 1956 host Cortina, while biathlon would be slated for nearby Anterselva — a regular stop on the biathlon World Cup circuit.

Three other bids remain in contention for 2026: Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; and Erzurum, Turkey.

The Japanese city of Sapporo dropped its bid on Monday following a recent earthquake.

International Olympic Committee members will pick the host in Milan in October 2019. While IOC rules have long prevented bids from the host country of an IOC session, new rules have created more leeway.

Italy is anxious to bring a bid through the entire process after two Rome candidacies were withdrawn.

Two years ago, Italy was forced to end Rome’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics because of staunch opposition from the city’s mayor. And in 2012, then-premier Mario Monti scrapped the city’s bid for the 2020 Olympics because of financial concerns.