Russia originally won eight track and field gold medals at 2012 Olympics. Now it’s two.

Russia's Elena Lashmanova reacts after w
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Race walker Yelena Lashmanova is set to be stripped of 2012 Olympic and 2013 World titles, marking the sixth Russian track and field gold medal from the London Games to be taken away due to doping.

Lashmanova, 29, accepted a two-year ban, retroactive to March 2021, and all of her results being disqualified from Feb. 18, 2012 to Jan. 3, 2014 for the use of prohibited substances, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced Monday.

The AIU, which handles doping cases in international track and field, said Lashmanova’s charges were based on data and evidence from probes that began several years ago into institutionalized doping in Russia.

Lashmanova was previously banned for two years after a positive drug test in 2014 and has not competed outside of Russia since then, according to her World Athletics biography.

Since November 2015, Russian athletes have either been banned from international competition or only allowed to compete as neutral athletes if approved by World Athletics due to the nation’s doping history.

Russia originally won 18 medals and eight golds in track and field at the 2012 Olympics. After Lashmanova’s medal is officially stripped, those totals will be seven medals and two golds.

The other Russians previously stripped of 2012 Olympic track and field gold medals for doping: race walker Sergey Kirdyapkin, high jumper Ivan Ukhov, hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko, 800m runner Mariya Savinova and 3000m steeplechase runner Yuliya Zaripova.

Similarly, Russia’s tally from the 2013 World Championships in Moscow has gone from 17 medals and seven golds to what will be seven medals and two golds with Lashmanova’s case.

All nine Russian race walkers from the 2012 Olympics will have been stripped of their results from those Games.

China’s Qieyang Shenjie is in line to be upgraded to gold in the women’s 20km race walk. Chinese athletes would sweep the medals should they be reallocated. The three Chinese walkers originally finished third, fourth and sixth.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here with redactions.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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