Getty

Entire 2012 Russian race walk team has now been banned at some point

Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian race walker Anisya Kirdyapkina, a two-time world championship medalist, has been banned for using performance-enhancing drugs, further dismantling one of the most successful doping programs in history.

Kirdyapkina was the only athlete from Russia’s nine-person Olympic walk team in 2012 never to have served a ban despite multiple investigations into organized doping involving her coach, her teammates and her gold medal-winning husband, Sergei.

The Russian track federation said Thursday that Kirdyapkina was banned for three years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after her blood data showed signs of doping. She will have to cease her coaching career and is disqualified from second-place finishes from the 2011 and 2013 world championships.

Kirdyapkina originally took the bronze in 2011 but was elevated to second when the winner, Russian teammate Olga Kaniskina, was banned for doping. Kirdyapkina’s 2011 silver is set to pass to Elisa Rigaudo of Italy, the original fourth-place finisher, while Liu Hong of China is in line to inherit the 2013 medal.

Kirdyapkina has also been disqualified from her fifth-place finish at the 2012 Olympics. Russian teammate Elena Lashmanova is still officially considered the winner of that race, though she was banned in 2014 in another doping case.

Athletes from the Russian walk team’s Saransk training center won nine Olympic and 18 world championship medals from 2004-16, but head coach Viktor Chegin has since been banned for life.

In all, more than 30 athletes associated with the team and the Saransk training center have served bans. The Russian anti-doping agency said last year it had found current national team walkers traveling to a remote part of Kyrgyzstan to train under Chegin even though they were forbidden to work with him.

Breanna Stewart to miss entire WNBA season with Achilles injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Breanna Stewart, the world’s top female basketball player and one of the most dominant athletes of 2018, is expected to miss the entire upcoming WNBA season after rupturing an Achilles playing in Europe on Sunday, according to the Seattle Storm.

“The situation is still a shock to me,” was posted on Stewart’s social media. “I’m feeling every emotion possible at this point but just know that the bounce back will be real and I’ll be back better than ever.”

Stewart, 24, skyrocketed in this Olympic cycle.

The Storm’s franchise player went from playing the second-fewest minutes on the 2016 Olympic team as its youngest player to leading the U.S. per game in points (16.3) and minutes (27) at the 2018 World Championship tournament.

Stewart earned MVP honors at worlds, matching her WNBA season and Finals honors. She became the first player to earn all three MVPs in one year.

Stewart is still expected to be in play for the 2020 Olympic team, given the Storm expect her to make a full recovery by the start of the following WNBA season next spring.

Tamika Catchings made the 2008 Olympic team after tearing her right Achilles in September 2007.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Caster Semenya leads Olympians in Time 100; streak hits 16 years

Getty Images
Leave a comment

An Olympian has made the Time 100 Most Influential list every year since its annual inception in 2004. South African runner Caster Semenya, soccer players Alex Morgan and Mo Salah and LeBron James kept the streak going in 2019.

It’s the fourth appearance for James (2005, 2013, 2017), extending his record for an athlete, and the first for Semenya, Morgan and Salah. Semenya made it in the “icons” category, while the other three are “titans.”

Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses penned an essay about the two-time Olympic 800m champion Semenya, who is fighting a legal battle with the IAAF over a potential rule change limiting women’s testosterone levels in her events. If the rule goes into effect, Semenya’s dominance (three years undefeated at 800m) is expected to vanish.

“Caster Semenya has taught us that sex isn’t always binary, and caused us to question the justness of distributing societal benefits according to “male” and “female” classifications,” Moses wrote. “Ultimately, this incredibly difficult issue is a political one for sport to resolve. But however it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex.”

Here are Olympians and Paralympians on past Time 100 lists, counting only athletes who competed in the Games before being listed:

2018 — Kevin Durant, Roger Federer, Chloe Kim, Adam Rippon
2017 — Simone Biles, LeBron James, Neymar
2016 — Usain BoltCaitlyn JennerKatie LedeckySania MirzaRonda Rousey
2015 — Abby Wambach
2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams
2013 — LeBron James, Li Na, Lindsey Vonn
2012 — Novak DjokovicLionel MessiOscar Pistorius
2011 — Lionel Messi
2010 — Yuna KimSerena Williams
2009 — Rafael Nadal
2008 — Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius
2007 — Roger FedererChien Ming-Wang
2006 — Joey CheekSteve Nash
2005 — LeBron James
2004 — Lance Armstrong, Paula Radcliffe, Yao Ming
2000 (20th Century) — Muhammad Ali

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!