Tomas Ajan
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International Weightlifting Federation president steps down while investigation continues

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GENEVA (AP) — The long-time leader of weightlifting’s governing body resigned Wednesday amid an investigation of suspected corruption exposed by a television program.

The International Weightlifting Federation said it “approved the retirement” of the 81-year-old Tamas Aján, its president for the past 20 years and a former International Olympic Committee member.

“We can now begin the work of determining a fresh path towards achieving the full potential of our sport,” IWF acting president Ursula Papandrea said in a statement.

Aján had stepped aside soon after German network ARD broadcast allegations in January implicating him in financial wrongdoing involving Olympic revenues and covering up doping cases.

The Hungarian official denied wrongdoing, but in March resigned his honorary IOC membership “in order to save the Olympic movement from negative rumors.” Aján had been a full member of the IOC for 10 years until 2010.

Weightlifting’s reputation under Aján had already been hit by dozens of steroid doping cases revealed in retests of samples from the Olympics since 2008.

After the ARD broadcast, the interim IWF leadership invited Richard McLaren, lead investigator in the Russian doping scandal, to assess the allegations. That probe is ongoing, the IWF said.

Millions of dollars in the Budapest-based IWF’s share of funding from past Olympics was unaccounted for in Swiss bank accounts controlled by Aján, the program claimed.

ARD also claimed there were irregularities in how samples were collected from lifters, many by Hungary’s national anti-doping agency.

“I offered the best of my life to our beloved sport,” Aján said Wednesday in the IWF statement.

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2020 French Open women’s singles draw, results

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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

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2020 French Open men’s singles draw, results

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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