The Sports Examiner

TSX DAILY: WADA confirms Russian doping inquiry on data “discrepancies”; Nye and Rogers in historic 1-2 for U.S. lifters; 13 new U.S. Hall of Fame members

≡ TSX DAILY ~ 24 September 2019 ≡

| 1. |  LEADING OFF: Russian doping data “discrepancies are not random” per AIU 

The World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed the details of its deepened inquiry into the quality of the information retrieved from the Moscow Laboratory in January of this year, while the details of a possible cover-up came from the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit.

WADA issued a statement following its Executive Committee meeting on Monday in Tokyo (JPN) clarifying the current status, noting that WADA’s Compliance Review Committee had opened a formal compliance procedure into possible manipulation of the data on 17 September. The notice to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency provided three weeks in which to explain “inconsistencies” in the data and answers to other questions.

The Moscow Lab data is being compared to a copy provided by a whistleblower in 2015, and the most detailed explanation of the issues was provided by the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit, which was provided with all of the data related to track & field athletes.

The IAAF Council, meeting in Qatar in advance of the World Championships due to begin on Friday, agreed to maintain the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation. The report from its Russian Taskforce chair, Rune Andersen (NOR) explained the issue plainly:

“[S]ome of the underlying raw data and PDFs presenting those data (the chromatograms) in visual hard copy form either are not present or are present only in altered form. 

“Importantly, the AIU advises that these discrepancies are not random: in many cases, they relate to positive findings that appear in the LIMS database copy provided by the informant (including the ‘disappearing positives’ referenced in the McLaren report) but do not appear in the 2019 copy of the database (or in the underlying raw data and PDFs).” (Emphasis added)

Andersen’s report further noted that the “discrepancies” seen by the AIU mirror those seen for other sports by WADA and lead to the inexorable conclusion that even while ostensibly complying with the WADA requirements for reinstatement last January, the cover-up of doping positives by Russian athletes continued.

So the next step will be the comments from Russia, due on or about 8 October. The WADA Compliance Review Committee will then review the replies and then decide what to recommend, if anything, to the Executive Board. The next ExCo meeting is scheduled for 4 November 2019 in Poland and could see the Russian Anti-Doping Agency re-classified as non-compliant, thereby putting Russian participation – as a national team – in the 2020 Tokyo Games in jeopardy.

The WADA statement did note that 47 cases of possible doping positives had been developed from data deemed trustworthy and these had been distributed for further action to the relevant International Federation.

There’s more; the details are here.

| 2. | WEIGHTLIFTING: Historic 1-2 finish for Katie Nye and Mattie Rogers in Worlds 71 kg final

For the first time in 64 years, American lifters finished first and second in a weight class at the World Weightlifting Championships, continuing in Pattaya (THA).

In the women’s 71 kg division, 20-year-old Katie Nye (pictured) led the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and the combined total to win the world title at 248 kg (~547 lbs.), ahead of teammate Mattie Rogers, who lifted a combined total of 240 kg (~529 lbs.) for the combined silver medal.

Nye became only the fourth U.S. women to win a world title in weightlifting, following Karyn Marshall in 1987 (at 82.5 kg), Robin Byrd in 1994 (50 kg) and Sarah Robles in 2017 (+90 kg).

The gold-silver combination was the first ever for U.S. women; the last time it happened for the men was way back in 1955 for Paul Anderson and James Bradford in the +90 kg division, the heaviest at the time.

It’s Nye’s second international title this season, as she also won the World Junior Championships earlier in the year; Rogers won a medal for the third consecutive World Championships, making her one of the most decorated American women in the sport, with a total of six medals (counting medals for individual lifts as well as the combined total).

More here; the championships continue through the 27th, with Robles still to lift.

| 3. | GYMNASTICS: Biles leads U.S. women’s team for World Championships

USA Gymnastics named its six-woman team for the 2019 FIG Artistic World Championships in early October in Stuttgart (GER), selecting the top six finishers from last weekend’s Team Selection Camp in Florida.

There was no doubt about four-time All–Around world champ Simone Biles, of course, who won the U.S. nationals All-Around as well as the Team Selection Camp competition. But some of the other choices were more surprising.

First-year senior competitor Sunisa Lee (pictured) was a stunning second at the U.S. Nationals and second again at the Selection Camp, so she was easily selected. But then it got more complicated.

Grace McCallum was third in the Nationals All-Around and sixth at the Selection Camp, so she was in. But the 4-5 placers at the Nationals – Morgan Hurd (the 2017 World Champion) and Leanne Wong – were only 9-8 at the Selection Camp and left as non-traveling alternates.

Kara Eaker, 10th at Nationals, but third at the Selection Camp made it, as did McKayla Skinner, who was eighth at Nationals, but fourth at the Selection Camp. Jade Carey, who was seventh at Nationals and fifth at the Selection Camp, was named as she is a prime candidate for medals in the Vault and Floor.

Of the six who will go to Stuttgart, five will compete in the Team round, but the declaration does not have to be made until just before the competition starts. More here.

| 4. | FOOTBALL: FIFA annual awards honor Lionel Messi, Megan Rapinoe and Jill Ellis

FIFA announced its annual awards in a ceremony on Milan, Italy, with Argentina’s Lionel Messi awarded the “Best FIFA Men’s Player” for the sixth time and American striker Megan Rapinoe winning the women’s award.

The top coaches were German Jurgen Klopp, who guided Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League title and American Jill Ellis, coach of the two-time U.S. women’s World Cup winners.

The best keepers were Alisson Becker, the Brazilian goalie playing for Liverpool and Sari van Veenendaal (NED), who played a major role in getting the Dutch to the Women’s World Cup final.

Five American women were named to the women’s World 11: Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, Kelley O’Hara and Julie Ertz. The complete list is here.

| 5. | BASKETBALL: Thompson and Mitchell confirm interest in 2020 Olympic team

The outlook for the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team continues to brighten, as a third member of the Golden State Warriors, star shooting guard Klay Thompson, said he planned to play for the American team next summer.

Thompson (pictured) was a member of the 2016 Olympic gold medalists and also played with teammate Steph Curry as a member of the 2014 FINA World Cup winners and – with Curry – can bring the outside shooting touch the U.S. lacked at the recent FIBA World Cup in China.

Thompson is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but is expected back in February.

In addition, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz also signaled his readiness to play in 2020, after being one of the best players on the U.S. team at the World Cup. He averaged 13.1 points per five and 5.0 assists and shot 46.6% from the field (40.5% on three-pointers) in 27.2 minutes per game.

| 6. | ATHLETICS: Sad news of the passing of Olympic discus thrower Jarred Rome

Two-time U.S. Olympic discus thrower Jarred Rome died on Saturday (21st) after complaining of not feeling well the previous evening. He had been inducted into the Snohomish County Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Everett, Washington and had been out with friends on Friday evening at a local casino. No more details of his passing have been published.

Rome, just 42, won national discus titles in 2004 and 2011, made the 2004 and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams and competed in four IAAF World Championships with a best of seventh in 2005. His best of 68.76 m (225-7) came in 2011; he ranks no. 15 on the all-time U.S. list.

¶The IAAF World Championships start on Friday and the IAAF is ramping up its information express with two important documents now available for download:

● Confirmed entry lists, with seasonal and personal best marks, and

● IAAF Doha 2019 Statistics Handbook, a stunning 850-page compilation of past results, records, all-time lists and much more. Amazing, and free to download!

The World Championships are about prestige, but also money. Some $7.53 million in prize money will be handed out to the top placers: $60,000-30,000-20,000-15,000-10,000-6,000-5,000-4,000 for the top eight. Relay teams will be rewarded with $80,000-40,000-20,000-16,000-12,000-8,000-6,000-4,000 for the top eight.

World records will be worth a $100,000 bonus, but it has to be a new record, not a tie!

| 7.| USOPC: Hall of Fame class of 2019 named, including “legends” Tommie Smith and John Carlos

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced its first class of Hall of Fame inductees in seven years, with 13 new members to be enshrined on 1 November.

The five Olympians selected from a field of 15 included:

● Lisa Leslie (Basketball)
● Nastia Liukin (Gymnastics)
● Misty May-Treanor (Beach Volleyball)
● Apolo Anton Ohno (Short Track Speedskating)
● Dara Torres (Swimming)

Three Paralympians were selected:

● Candace Cable (Alpine Skiing/Nordic Skiing/Track & Field)
● Erin Popovich (Swimming)
● Chris Waddell (Alpine Skiing/Track & Field)

The team selection was the 1998 women’s ice hockey team, which won the inaugural Olympic gold medal in the sport.

In addition, the Hall of Fame nominating committee selected four additional inductees:

● Legend: Tommie Smith, 1968 gold in Track & Field (200 m)
● Legend: John Carlos, 1968 bronze in Track & Field (200 m)
● Coach: Ron O’Brien, Diving (Olympic coach in 1972-76-80-84-88)
● Contributor: Tim Nugent, founder of the Division of Disability Resources and Services program at the University of Illinois

The 13 new members bring the Hall of Fame total to 154; the USOPC reported that “nearly 200,000 votes were cast” for the Olympic/Paralympic/Team categories.

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