Katie Ledecky

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte
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NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Friday

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Four titans of U.S. swimming — Missy FranklinKatie LedeckyMichael Phelps and Ryan Lochte — highlight NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week programming on Friday night.

Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET with four hours of 2012 London Olympic swimming events. At those Games, Franklin, Ledecky, Phelps and Lochte combined for 17 medals, including six individual titles.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Friday, 8 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

The 17-year-old Franklin swept the backstrokes, including breaking the 200m back world record. The rising Colorado high school senior delivered on the hype placed on her as the most talked-about U.S. female swimmer going into the Games.

Ledecky, the youngest U.S. Olympian across all sports at 15, did not have gold-medal expectations. But she shocked home favorite and defending Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington to win the 800m freestyle, the first of many gold medals in her career. Ledecky hasn’t lost an 800m free since.

The Phelps-Lochte rivalry was a key storyline throughout that Olympic cycle. Lochte had supplanted Phelps as the world’s top all-around swimmer a year earlier.

On the first night of competition, Lochte won the 400m individual medley, while a gassed Phelps was fourth. But by the end of the Olympics, Phelps had the better medal tally, including a win over Lochte in the 200m IM.

Phelps retired after those Games, only to return to the pool a year later with unfinished business after being defeated by South African Chad le Clos in his trademark 200m fly in London.

Later Thursday, catch the 2012 Olympic women’s soccer semifinal epic between the U.S. and Canada. In injury time of extra time, Alex Morgan headed in the latest goal scored in U.S. soccer and Olympic soccer history. It ended a 4-3 thriller that included three U.S. comebacks from a goal down and a hat trick from Canadian Christine Sinclair, who went on to become the greatest scorer in international history.

Then in the 2012 Olympic women’s beach volleyball final, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings dispatched countrywomen April Ross and Jen Kessy for a third straight gold medal. It marked the end of May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings’ partnership, as the former retired.

At the net post-match, Walsh Jennings whispered to Ross, let’s go win gold in Rio. They soon became partners, culminating in a bronze medal in 2016.

MORE: Full Olympic Games Week TV, live stream schedule

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Friday, April 17

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
8 p.m. Return to London Women’s Swimming STREAM LINK
10 p.m. Return to London Men’s Swimming STREAM LINK
12 a.m. Return to London Women’s Soccer: USA-Canada STREAM LINK
2 a.m. Return to London Women’s Beach Volleyball Final STREAM LINK

NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Wednesday

Katie Ledecky
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Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, David Boudia and Lilly King will be featured Wednesday night as part of NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week.

After four hours of swimming, coverage will swing to diving, the men’s gymnastics team final and the women’s water polo final.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week Wednesday, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

The evening starts at 7 p.m. ET with women’s swimming. Ledecky won the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 800m freestyle, along with a fourth gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay and silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

King won the 100m breaststroke over Yuliya Efimova and wagged a finger at her Russian rival, who had been allowed to compete in Rio despite doping allegations. King didn’t qualify for the 200m breaststroke final but won another gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay. King and Efimova have moved on and have been friendly in the last two world championships.

At 9 p.m., coverage switches to men’s swimming. Phelps, racing in his last Olympics, earned five gold medals in his last Olympics — the 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay. He also took silver in the 100m butterfly. His final career medal haul: 23 gold medals, three silver and two bronze.

The diving events, starting at 11 p.m., were dominated by China, but U.S. men’s divers claimed three medals. David Boudia, who had gold and bronze in 2012, took bronze in the platform and silver in synchronized platform with Steele Johnson.

In men’s gymnastics, Kohei Uchimura led Japan to gold. The women’s water polo final was a coronation for the dominant U.S. women.

The week’s programming includes more than 100 hours of events from the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as some other selected events. The look at past Olympics continues with classic events and Mary Carillo‘s Summer Olympic Adventures from April 22 to April 26.

All programming is also streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Wednesday, April 15

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
7 p.m. Return to Rio Women’s Swimming STREAM LINK
9 p.m. Return to Rio Men’s Swimming STREAM LINK
11 p.m. Return to Rio Women’s Diving STREAM LINK
12 a.m. Return to Rio Men’s Diving STREAM LINK
1 a.m. Return to Rio Men’s Gymnastics Team Final STREAM LINK
2 a.m. Return to Rio Women’s Water Polo Final STREAM LINK

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency applies social distancing to drug testing

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DENVER (AP) The typical day for Noah Lyles now looks something like this:

Drive to park. Unload weights from truck. Sprint on grassy field. Lift. And, every now and then, head home and take a doping test.

The world-champion sprinter is one of 15 American athletes who have volunteered to conduct in-home drug tests on themselves as part of a pilot program being run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. With anti-doping collections severely curtailed across the globe because of the coronavirus pandemic, USADA is looking at new options, in this case by asking a group of leading Americans to give urine and small dried blood samples at home.

“They asked me to do it, and I wasn’t opposed to doing it,” Lyles said. “It’s a way to get my drug test in.”

Athletes are still required to fill out their whereabouts forms, and under this program, a doping control officer will connect with an athlete via Zoom or FaceTime during a prescribed window.

Athletes receive test kits at home and head into their bathroom to give urine samples while leaving their laptops outside the room. Under normal circumstances, the officer would come to the house (or wherever the athlete was at the time) and stand outside the bathroom. In this case, the officer looks on via the camera while the athletes are timed and their temperatures are monitored to ensure they are giving the samples in real time.

The blood test uses a new technology dry blood sampling in which athletes prick their arms and small droplets of blood funnel into a container. Athletes are then responsible for packaging the samples and sending them back to testing labs.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart says the program gives clean athletes a chance to prove they have remained clean during a time in which anti-doping regulators are having a difficult time reaching the numbers of athletes they normally would. It’s an issue that will make the return to play the Olympics are rescheduled for 2021 but other events are expected to come back sooner that much more difficult to navigate.

“It was going to unnecessarily create a question when those athletes went to Tokyo and won, where people would say, ‘You won but you weren’t tested during the pandemic’,” Tygart said. “How unfair is it for athletes who will be in those circumstances?”

Others taking part in the USADA program include Allyson Felix, Katie Ledecky, Emma Coburn and Sydney McLaughlin.

USADA hasn’t been shy about these sort of test programs in the past. In 2008, it launched a pilot project that involved testing the efficacy of biological passports which allows authorities to track athletes’ blood over time for abnormal changes – the likes of which are in common use today.

Tygart concedes the new system is far from perfect or ideal. In short, it depends on athletes to do the right thing in an industry that has been rife with cheating and manipulation for decades.

“The people who play clean want to be true heroes and role models,” Tygart said. “We also know there are some bad folks out there who will attempt to exploit it. … For the good of the athletes, anti-doping has to reinvent itself in times like these to stay relevant.”

Lyles recalled the days not long ago when he started winning junior competitions and kept waiting for a doping-control officer to show up after the race.

“I kept thinking, ‘When am I going to get my first drug test? I keep winning gold,” he said.

Now, drug tests are part of his routine even if the routine is changing in ways nobody could have imagined a few months ago.

“You do your part to show you’re clean, and you get to the state where it’s, ‘I’m clean, come test me’,” Lyles said.

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