TSX DAILY: Russia reported to have manipulated doping data; U.S. wins five Worlds wrestling golds + fourth Skateboard title for Huston

≡ TSX DAILY ~ 23 September 2019 ≡

| 1. |  LANE ONE: Here we go again – Russia could be suspended after evidence of data manipulation!

At the end of a week in which Russia athletes posted dominating performances in multiple sports came news that could shake Russian sport once again.

ARD reporter Hajo Seppelt, whose December 2014 documentary exposed the Russian doping scandal to the world, reported late Friday on Twitter:

RUS under suspicion to have manipulated Moscow lab data (provided to @wada_ama  early 2019). @wada_ama  Compliance Review Committee will inform WADA Exco at Tokyo meeting next week. „Non Compliance” procedure already initiated.

After suspending Russia in 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency controversially reinstated the country’s Anti-Doping Agency to compliant status in September 2018 and was finally able to obtain the Moscow Laboratory testing data from 2011-15 last January and the requested stored specimens last April.

The hard work of comparing the 24 terabytes of data retrieved to a version of the data provided to WADA by a whistleblower then began. In July, WADA sent information on as many as 298 additional positive tests from 2011-15 to the relevant international federations for their review and possible sanctions.

But now there are problems with the data and a story on the Danish site SportsPressen quoted Michael Ask, the Danish head of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Agencies:

“I was informed by WADA about the case last Friday, where I was told that the agency has initiated a process which means that Russia has now been given three weeks to answer WADA’s questions about the inaccuracies in the Russian doping data provided, which the agency’s data experts have found.”

The WADA Executive Committee will meet on Monday (23rd) in Tokyo (JPN) to discuss the issue and the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board has a meeting upcoming from 2-4 October in Lausanne (SUI), by which time the Russia response could have been received. WADA has a further meeting in Poland on 4 November, and the Russian reply will certainly be in by then.

What happens?

Is Russia going to be suspended again? In advance of the 2016 Olympic and 2018 Winter Games, the IOC had only a very short time to make decisions about Russia’s participation. Now it has months ahead of it and plenty of time to implement any desired program.

What about the International Paralympic Committee, which banned Russia from 2015 into early 2019? And the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which has suspended Russia continuously since 2015, will meet this week to consider what further steps to take, if any, concerning reinstatement.

It’s a mess, and a serious one with Tokyo 2020 coming up quickly. More here.

| 2. | WRESTLING: U.S. ends World Champs with wins from Mensah, Dake and Cox

The U.S. claimed its third women’s Freestyle title and two men’s Freestyle titles in the now-concluded United World Wrestling World Championships in Kazakhstan.

After wins by Jacarra Winchester (55 kg) and Adeline Gray (76 kg), Tamyra Mensah (pictured) continued her rampage through the 68 kg division, winning her five bouts by 10-0, 6-1, 10-1, 10-0 and 8-2 in the final against Swede Anna Fransson to claim her first world title. She’s clearly the favorite in Tokyo for 2020.

The U.S. men’s team won four medals, including repeat World Championships golds from Kyle Dake (79 kg) and J’Den Cox (92 kg), with Cox unscored on for the tournament (26-0). Both of these are non-Olympic weights, so they will have to decide at which class they will compete in 2020.

Previous World Champions Jordan Burroughs (74 kg) and Kyle Snyder (97 kg) both won bronze medals, losing very tough, late-scoring matches in the semifinals. They scored the only men’s Olympic qualifying places in the tournament; most of the places will be awarded in regional competitions next year.

Besides Dake and Cox, there were four other repeat champions from 2018: Zavur Uguev (RUS: 57 kg), Zaurbek Sidakov (RUS: 74 kg), Abdulrashid Sadulaev (RUS: 97 kg) and three-time winner Geno Petriashvili (GEO) at 125 kg.

Russia won five of the 10 classes in men’s Freestyle and won the team title easily (the U.S. was third); Japan won the women’s Freestyle team title again, with the U.S. also third. More here.

| 3. | WEIGHTLIFTING: China dominating like it’s 1997 with seven wins in 10 classes!

The 2019 Weightlifting World Championships are all about China. Its lifters have been superb, winning seven of the first 10 classes (of 20) to be contested and winning 12 medals so far, double that of second-place North Korea (6).

The Chinese have regularly led the medal table at the IWF Worlds, but have not had this kind of success – nobody has – since 1997, when the Chinese won 10 golds (in 19 classes), and there are still 10 more classes to be contested.

The record books are also being re-written with eight of the 10 classes completed posting new world marks for the combined lifts:

● Men/55 kg: 294 kg (~648 lbs.) by Yun-Chol Om (PRK) ~ fifth Worlds gold

● Men/61 kg: 318 kg (~701 lbs.) by Fabin Li (CHN)

● Men/67 kg: 361 kg (~796 lbs.) by Zhiyong Shi (CHN) ~ third Worlds gold

● Men/73 kg: 378 kg (~833 lbs.) by Xiaojun Lu (CHN) ~ fifth Worlds gold

● Women/49 kg: 212 kg (~467 lbs.) ~ Huihua Jiang (CHN) ~ second Worlds gold

● Women/58 kg: 246 kg (~542 lbs.) ~ Hsing Chun Kuo (TPE) ~ fourth Worlds gold

● Women/64 kg: 261 kg (~575 lbs.) ~ Wei Deng (CHN) ~ fifth Worlds gold

Deng swept her event with world record in each lift: Snatch 116 kg/~256 lbs.), Clean & Jerk (145 kg/~320 lbs.) and the total. More here.

| 4. | SKATEBOARD: Huston wins fourth Worlds Street title; qualifies for Tokyo

Meet the favorite for the Skateboard Street event at the 2020 Olympic Games: it’s American Nyjah Huston.

Huston (pictured) won his fourth World  Championships gold – 2014-17-18-19 – and a spot for the 2020 Tokyo Games at the World Skate Street World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He was fifth in the semis, but won in the final with two excellent runs of 8.9 and 9.1 points and two high-scoring tricks of 9.7 and 9.3 for a total of 36.9. That was just slightly better than Japan’s Yuto Horigome (36.6).

Brazil’s Pamela Rosa won her first world title in the women’s division, scoring 25.2, well ahead of teammate Rayssa Leal (24.3) and Japan’s defending World Champion, Aori Nishimura (21.6). More here.

| 5. | SHOOTING: Olympic star Hancock and teen Smith win Skeet Fall Selection and lead Olympic Trials

USA Shooting uses a lengthy process to select its Olympic participants and the Fall Selection meet concluded the first half of the program for Skeet.

Following up on the Trap finals held the week before, the competition in Kerrville, Texas saw four days of action, with 75-50-75-50 targets each day, with the top six advancing to an ISSF-style elimination finals.

The men’s event was led by country singer – and ace shooter – Colt McBee, who had a one-point lead over twice-Olympic champ Vincent Hancock. But McBee was quickly eliminated in the finals and with three points for the win, Hancock now leads into the second stage by 248-247-246 over Phillip Jungman and McBee.

The women’s program saw 2019 national champion Austen Smith – still just 188 – confirm her role as a major contender for 2020 by winning the four-day trial with 243 points. She trailed 2017 World Champion Dania Vizzi (241) after the first 250 targets, but Smith won the elimination finals over six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode to finish ahead, 243-241-240-239 over Vizzi, Samantha Simonton and Rhode.

The second half of the Trials will come in February. More here.

| 6. | GYMNASTICS: Total domination – as usual – by Russia in Rhythmic World Championships

Coming into the 2019 FIG Rhythmic Worlds in Baku (AZE), Russia’s domination of the event was so deep that it had won 48 of the last 50 individual events in the prior 10 championships from 2005-17.

Nothing changed.

Russians won all five individual events again, with Dina Averina (pictured) winning her third straight All-Around title, as well as the Ball, Clubs and Ribbon. Teammate Ekaterina Selezneva won in Hoop.

Just behind them was Israel’s Linoy Ashram, who joined Averina in winning five individual medals, with silvers in Hoop, Clubs and Ribbon and a bronze in the All-Around and Ball.

Russia also won the team title, with Israel second, and four athletes – Averina and sister Arina Averina, Selezneva and Ashram – won 16 of the 18 individual and team medals available. More here.

Simone Biles won the All-Around at the USA Gymnastics women’s Team Selection Camp in Sararota, Florida and qualified automatically for the U.S. team for the 2019 FIG World Championships.

Biles scored 58.550 and won the Vault and Floor events to finish ahead of Sunisa Lee (58.200) and Kara Eaker (57.100).  The rest of the women’s team for the Worlds will be announced on Monday. More here.

In the FIG Trampoline & Tumbling World Cup in Khabarovsk (RUS), Americans Jeffrey Gluckstein and Aliasei Shostak won the Synchronized Trampoline event for their first-ever World Cup golds. The pair had won World Cup bronzes together back in 2015 and 2016. More here.

| 7. | BOXING: AIBA men’s Worlds conclude with ex-USSR winners in seven of eight classes

The strange 2019 AIBA men’s World Championships in Yekaterinburg (RUS) concluded last Saturday with Russia and Uzbekistan winning three titles each and Kazakhstan one, all with first-time World Champions.

The only repeat winner was Cuba’s Andy Cruz, who defeated American Keyshawn Davis at 63 kg. It was Cuba’s only gold in a tournament where they were big favorites, but won only three medals. Davis’s silver was the only American medal and the U.S. had only one other quarterfinalist.

Perhaps the most stunning result was Kazak Bakzad Nurdauletov’s victory at 81 kg. He defeated Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz in the semifinals, denying the Cuban and fifth World Championships gold. Kazakhstan actually led the medal table with six (1-1-4).

Because AIBA has been suspended by the IOC, there was no Olympic qualifying from the World Championships; the Tokyo entries will be determined by a series of regional tournaments early in 2020. More here.

| 8. | JUDO: Tushishvili wins in Tashkent; Rio star Rafaela Silva caught for doping

The IJF World Tour was in Uzbekistan for the Tashkent Grand Prix, with Russia winning five weight classes for top honors. The lone top-ranked judoka in the field was Georgia’s 2018 World +100 kg Champion Guram Tushishvili, who won his division. More here.

Off the field, Brazil’s iconic Rio 57 kg Olympic champ Rafaela Silva announced last Friday that she had tested positive during the Pan American Games for a banned substance. “I am clean and I will continue to train and fight to prove my innocence,” she said. “I tested positive for fenoterol … but I did not use this substance, I am not asthmatic.”

She passed a second test on 29 August and has not been suspended as yet. She promises an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

| 9. | COMING ATTRACTIONS: World Champs continue in cycling and weightlifting, start in track and canoeing

A busy week in this “World Championships” season, with four on tap this week:

● Weightlifting in Pattaya (THA): through 27 September
● Road Cycling in Yorkshire (GBR): through 29 September
● Canoe Slalom in La Seu d’Urgell (ESP) from 25-29 September
● Athletics in Doha (QAT): from 28 September to 6 October

Also on this week’s schedule is the annual Berlin Marathon on Sunday. Normally, a race of this magnitude would never be scheduled during the IAAF Worlds, but this is another unintended consequence of the late scheduling of the event in Qatar.