Javelin thrower runs marathon in backyard garden, raises $30,000

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Retired British javelin thrower James Campbell raised more than $30,000 for healthcare workers by running a marathon in his six-meter garden on Wednesday.

“10,000 retweets & I’ll run a marathon in my back garden,” he tweeted on Monday. It did, and he did, pacing back and forth for 5 hours, 5 minutes on a global live stream. A marathon is the equivalent of running the length of Campbell’s garden about 7,000 times.

“There’s not much positive news around at the moment,” Campbell, a 32-year-old Scottish javelin record holder, said on TODAY. “To take people’s mind off of it for a day and give them a bit of a laugh and a bit of entertainment, that’s job done.”

Campbell is one of many athletes turning to unusual measures to stay fit, raise money for charity and inspire others.

“It’s just been a very long week at home on my own,” he said. “As soon as you gain momentum, it was like, if I’m going to do something like this, then it’s got to be for a good cause.”

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Ehsan Hadadi, Iran’s first Olympic track and field medalist, has coronavirus

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Ehsan Hadadi, Iran’s lone Olympic track and field medalist, tested positive for the coronavirus, according to World Athletics and an Iranian news agency.

“We’ve received word from several Asian journalists that Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi has tested positive for coronavirus,” according to World Athletics. “[Hadadi] trains part of the year in the US, but was home in Tehran when he contracted the virus.”

Hadadi, 35, became the first Iranian to earn an Olympic track and field medal when he took silver in the discus at the 2012 London Games. Hadadi led through four of six rounds before being overtaken by German Robert Harting, who edged the Iranian by three and a half inches.

He was eliminated in qualifying at the Rio Olympics and placed seventh at last fall’s world championships in Doha.

Russian Olympic track and field champions face doping cases

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Russian Olympic track and field champions Natalya Antyukh (400m hurdles, 2012) and Andrey Silnov (high jump, 2008), both retired, have pending Court of Arbitration cases appearing related to evidence from the 2016 McLaren report on Russian doping.

Antyukh, Silnov and two more Russian track and field athletes who haven’t competed in years, hammer thrower Oksana Kondratyeva and middle-distance runner Yelena Soboleva, appeared this week on the Athletics Integrity Unit’s list of pending first cases. The Athletics Integrity Unit handles doping cases in track.

All four cases involve alleged violations of using prohibited substances or methods, tacked with “McLaren evidence.”

Antyukh, who last competed in June 2016, held off American Lashinda Demus by seven hundredths of a second in the 2012 Olympic 400m hurdles final. Antyukh lowered her personal best by .22 in clocking 52.70.

Silnov won the 2008 Olympic high jump by clearing 2.36 meters. The late British athlete Germaine Mason took silver, followed by another Russian, Yaroslav Rybakov. No American was in the final.

In June, Silnov told Russian state news agencies he had received a notification from the Athletics Integrity Unit that he was under investigation. Silnov stepped down as senior vice president of the Russian track and field federation, which has been banned from competition since 2015. The AIU said his case included suspicions of using a banned steroid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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