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Russian deputy PM Mutko wins Olympic doping appeal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Vitaly Mutko, who was Russia’s Sports Minister during the doping-tainted Winter Olympics in Sochi, won an appeal on Thursday against his lifetime ban from the games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the International Olympic Committee didn’t have the power to sanction Mutko in 2017 because he wasn’t an athlete, coach or officially part of an Olympic delegation.

However, the CAS ruling doesn’t force the IOC to invite Mutko to any future Olympics.

CAS also didn’t rule on whether the widespread doping in Russian sport was state-backed, or whether Mutko was responsible for it. An IOC investigation in 2017 found Mutko should bear overall responsibility for misconduct on his watch.

“The IOC takes note of the decision of CAS, which relates exclusively to the formal question of the sanctioning power of the IOC for people outside of the Olympic Movement,” the IOC said. “At the same time the decision makes it clear that the IOC retains the right of taking any decision in reference to any specific edition of the Olympic Games.”

Mutko has vehemently denied any role in doping athletes, and said Russia didn’t operate a doping program in Sochi in 2014. He told state news agency RIA Novosti on Thursday he was “satisfied” with the ruling, but didn’t say whether he would try to attend next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Mutko was the face of Russian sports for nearly a decade before leaving the ministry in 2016, with a humorous, informal style that made him stand out in Russia’s often-staid cabinet. Besides his ministry role, he was a powerbroker in international soccer and fronted much of Russia’s preparations to host the 2018 World Cup.

Mutko was promoted to deputy prime minister in 2016 as debate raged over Russian doping, and oversees the construction industry.

The IOC’s ban on Mutko was part of a broad package of sanctions imposed on Russia in December 2017, months before the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The IOC suspended Russia but allowed a team of 168 to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia.

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

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