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Madisyn Cox sues after swimming suspension over multivitamin

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Madisyn Cox, the 2017 World bronze medalist in the 200m individual medley, sued an affiliate of a supplement company after saying its contaminated multivitamins caused her to fail a drug test and get suspended last year.

Cox’s ban was reduced from two years to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after she argued that the positive test was due to a legal Cooper Complete multivitamin that had been contaminated. The company, Cooper Concepts, Inc., said Tuesday afternoon that it had not received a lawsuit.

“However, when we learned about this issue we were stunned and angered and removed that vitamin immediately from our product line,” it said in a statement. “We are saddened and disappointed for Madisyn Cox and the time she missed in competition.”

She was still forced to miss the 2018 U.S. Championships, the qualifying meet for the two biggest international events before the 2020 Olympics. Cox could not qualify for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships or this summer’s world championships.

Cox said she had taken the multivitamin for seven years, listing it on doping-control forms since entering the drug-testing pool in 2014, and passed more than 20 drug tests in that span without incident.

“Cox was forced to miss several major events and to return fees, grants and prizes from the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming, and was unable to pursue lucrative corporate sponsorships,” Cox’s legal team wrote in a press release Tuesday. “In addition to that lost income, Ms. Cox and her family incurred considerable expense in hiring several medical and legal experts to seek the source of the banned substance and a complete revocation of her suspension.”

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, 2018, and was originally banned four years. That punishment was cut in half after a FINA panel agreed that Cox did not intend to dope, though it did not accept that tap water was the definite source.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport later reduced the ban to six months after Cox produced multiple bottles of the multivitamin, and the tablets were found to have four nanograms per tablet of the banned substance.

“The shock, pain and emotional trauma she has bravely faced are almost incalculable, and we will be doing everything possible to gain justice for Madisyn and her family,” Cox’s attorney said in the release. “We also hope to force this company and this industry to do a better job in assuring the purity of their products and the proper labeling of each product’s ingredients.”

Cox ranks No. 1 in the U.S. in the 200m IM this year, winning the event at a Pro Series stop in Richmond last week.

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‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ primetime special covers social justice, combating inequality

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Athletes, including Olympians, discussed social justice, locker room conversations about race and ways that sports can help combat inequality in “Race and Sports in America: Conversations,” airing Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Olympic Channel, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Regional Networks.

NBC Sports’ Damon Hack hosted roundtables with active and retired athletes at the American Century Championship Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, last week.

Panelists, including Olympians James Blake and Charles Barkley and Tokyo Olympic hopeful Stephen Curry, also reflected on personal experiences.

Barkley, an Olympic gold medalist in 1992 and 1996, said coaches recently reached out to him to speak to their teams.

“First of all, relax and breathe,” Barkley said. “This crap started 400 years ago. We can’t do nothing about that. We can’t do anything about systematic racism. What I challenge every Black person, every white person to do: What can I do today going forward?

“You have to ask yourself, I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Blake, a retired former top-five tennis player and 2008 Olympian, was wrestled to the ground, handcuffed and arrested by a plainclothes New York City police officer in 2015 in a case of mistaken identity caught on video. The police officer’s punishment was a loss of five vacation days.

“The first thing I said when I got tackled was, I’m complying 100 percent,” Blake said. “And that shouldn’t have to be your response the first time you interact with a police officer. And because that’s the way my dad taught me is stay alive. Do whatever you can to stay alive. Sort it out later with lawyers or however you want to do it, and stay alive in that moment. The fact you have to have those rules in 2020 means maybe we have to do something drastic to change the way police interact with the African-American community and the way the community interacts with the police.”

Curry said his daughters, 7-year-old Riley and 5-year-old Ryan, asked questions about the images they recently saw. He’s not shielding them, but rather being honest about society, going back centuries.

“We have to continue to double down and double down and keep people accountable in all walks of life, all industries, all forms of leadership, the judicial system, all those type of things,” Curry said. “And hopefully for my kids’ generation, their kids, we will see change. I’m hopeful and optimistic about, but I understand how much work will need to go into that.”

The full list of athletes who participated in the “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” roundtables:

• Charles Barkley – 1992 and 1996 Olympic basketball champion
• James Blake – 10-time ATP tennis champion, 2008 Olympian
• Stephen Curry – two-time NBA MVP, two-time FIBA world champion
• Troy Mullins – World Long Drive competitor
• Anthony Lynn – Los Angeles Chargers head coach
• Jimmy Rollins – World Series champion shortstop
• Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings tight end
• Ozzie Smith – Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

Additionally, Hack was joined by Super Bowl champion running back Jerome Bettis for an extended interview that will be published on NBC Sports’ digital and podcast platforms.

MORE: Elana Meyers Taylor’s claims of racism in bobsled being investigated

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Shelby Houlihan shatters American 5000m record

Shelby Houlihan
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Shelby Houlihan chopped 10.52 seconds off her own American 5000m record, clocking 14:23.92 at a Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore., on Friday night.

Houlihan, who was 11th in the Rio Olympic 5000m, has in this Olympic cycle improved to become one of the greatest female distance runners in U.S. history.

She first broke Shannon Rowbury‘s American record in the 5000m by 4.47 seconds in 2018. In 2019, she broke Rowbury’s American record in the 1500m by 1.3 seconds in finishing fourth at the world championships in 3:54.99.

On Friday, Houlihan and second-place Karissa Schweizer both went under the American record. Schweizer, 24 and three years younger than Houlihan, clocked 14:26.34, staying with Houlihan until the winner’s 61-second final lap.

“I knew Karissa was going to try to come up on me and take the lead. She does that every time,” Houlihan told USATF.tv. “I had decided I was not going to let that happen.”

Houlihan improved from 41st to 12th on the world’s all-time 5000m list, 12.77 seconds behind Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba‘s world record.

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