Ruth Jebet
Getty Images

Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet banned for four years

Leave a comment

Kenyan-born Bahrain runner Ruth Jebet, who won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in the 2016 Olympics, has been banned for four years for an anti-doping violation.

Jebet’s ban is retroactive to Feb. 4, 2018, when she was provisionally suspended after testing positive for recombinant erythropoietin (r-EPO). Her Olympic gold medal is not affected.

The case before the Athletes Integrity Unit took more than two years to resolve, with accusations against an outside party and a change of lawyers delaying a decision.

Jebet was first represented by a law firm that said a physiotherapist gave her a package to take home and later advised to get an injection for hamstring pain. She was tested the next day.

The physiotherapist denied giving her a package or advising her to get an injection. Jebet’s law firm said in October 2018 that it would attempt to gather evidence to support her claims, but after several months went by, the firm simply stopped representing her.

With a new lawyer in place, Jebet admitted the use of r-EPO but asked for a lenient punishment, claiming she was not at fault.

The AIU stuck with a four-year ban, saying her accusations didn’t fit the available evidence. The AIU’s panel also found some inconsistencies in Jebet’s testimony and said she failed to disclose the injection or admit fault in a timely manner.

Jebet held the steeplechase world record for nearly two years. The previous record of of 8:58.81, the first time under nine minutes, was set by Gulnara Samitova-Galkina in the 2008 Olympic final. Jebet took six seconds off that time in Paris in August 2016, 12 days after she took gold in Rio. Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech took another eight seconds off the record with a time of 8:44.32 in Monaco in July 2018.

Chepkoech was fourth in the 2016 Olympics behind Jebet, Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi and U.S. runner Emma Coburn.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mondo Duplantis, Elaine Thompson-Herah win to end Diamond League season

Mondo Duplantis
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mondo Duplantis completed one of the greatest seasons in track and field history, under some of the most unusual circumstances for much of the year, by winning the last Diamond League meet of 2020 in Doha on Friday.

Duplantis outdueled pole vault rivals Sam Kendricks and Renaud Lavillenie in the Qatari capital, the site of his last defeat to Kendricks at the 2019 World Championships.

Duplantis, who was raised in Louisiana and competes for his mother’s birth country of Sweden, won on countback with a 5.82-meter clearance.

Back in February, the 20-year-old Duplantis twice raised the world record at indoor meets, ultimately to 6.18 meters. Eight days ago, Duplantis cleared the highest outdoor height in history, taking Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka off the record books.

Full Doha results are here.

While the Diamond League is finished for 2020, one major event in the sport remains this year — the London Marathon on Oct. 4 at 2 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

The two fastest men in history, Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, headline the fields on an adapted looped course.

In other events Friday, Kenyan Hellen Obiri surged to the lead after the bell in a 3000m that included five women who won 2019 World Championships medals across four different events. Obiri clocked 8:22.54 in the non-Olympic event, holding off world 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop and world 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.

Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100m in 10.87 seconds, eight days after clocking the fastest time in the world this year of 10.85.

Thompson, who swept the 100m and 200m in Rio, has traded world-leading times with countrywoman and 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce the last two seasons.

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon made a rare 800m start, winning in a personal-best 1:57.68. The only woman to run faster over the last two years is double Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya, who is now barred from events from the 400m through the mile unless she takes testosterone-suppressing measures.

Aaron Mallett won the 110m hurdles in a personal-best 13.15 seconds, making him the third-fastest American over the last three years behind Grant Holloway and Daniel Roberts. The top three at Olympic Trials next June make the Tokyo team.

MORE: Cathy Freeman reflects on 20th anniversary

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2020 French Open women’s singles draw, bracket

Leave a comment

If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.

Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.

Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.

If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.

Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.

The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.

The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw French Open Women's Draw