TSX REPORT: L.A. Grand Prix did 846,000 on NBC; five events for Canadian swim star McIntosh; police search Milan Cortina 2026 offices

Olympic 200 m medalist Gabby Thomas: a true professional (Photo: Tim Healy for TrackTown USA)

The Sports Examiner: Chronicling the key competitive, economic and political forces shaping elite sport and the Olympic Movement.★

To get The Sports Examiner by e-mail: sign up here!


1. L.A. Grand Prix track meet gets 846,000 viewers on NBC
2. Gabby Thomas shows what a true professional is
3. Five Paris events for Canada’s teen sensation Summer McIntosh
4. Italian investigators search Milan Cortina offices in probe
5. U.S. Anti-Doping blasts WADA once again

● USATF’s L.A. Grand Prix drew a respectable 846,000 viewers on NBC on Saturday, still short of the million-plus viewers for three indoor meets aired in February. The USA Gymnastics Core Hydration Classic drew 296,000 live on CNBC, but 805,000 for a next-day highlights show on NBC.

● U.S. sprint star Gabby Thomas did not run well in Los Angeles, but explained on X (ex-Twitter) that she was in the middle of a heavy training period, but had (1) committed to the meet and (2) did not want to disappoint her fans. That’s called professionalism.

● Canadian teen superstar Summer McIntosh, 17, qualified for Paris in five events and ranks in the top three in the world in each so far in 2024. Could she be the first woman to win five individual swimming golds in a single Games?

● The Italian financial prosecutors office searched the headquarters of the Milan Cortina 2026 organizing committee, looking for irregularities regarding contracts for digital development services. The prosecutors said no current employees were targets of the probe.

● The U.S. Anti-Doping roared back at the World Anti-Doping Agency, refuting caustic comments concerning U.S. doping programs, and asking for the full file on the 2021 Chinese swimming doping incident to be publicly released.

World Championships: Ice Hockey (Canada and Sweden win men’s Worlds groups) = Judo (Georgia gets second win at IJF Worlds) ●

Panorama: Cycling (Pogacar wins bad-weather Giro stage 16) = Rowing (U.S. picks up four spots at final qualifying regatta) = Swimming (Phelps says he is retired for sure) ●

L.A. Grand Prix track meet gets 846,000 viewers on NBC

Reasonably good viewing audience for Saturday’s L.A. Grand Prix from Drake Stadium at UCLA, as an average of 846,000 U.S. viewers tuned in from 3-5 p.m. Eastern to see wins by Sydney McLauglin-Levrone, Rai Benjamin and others.

That was third in the time slot, behind the PGA Championship on CBS (3.517 million) and a WNBA game on ABC (1.343 million).

Viewership on U.S. television was good during the indoor season, with more than a million for three straight week in February, but then dropped for the World Indoor Championships and since then:

04 Feb.: 1.197 million on NBC for New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
11 Feb.: 1.087 million on NBC for Millrose Games
17 Feb.: 1.051 million on NBC for USATF Indoor Nationals
03 Mar.: 539,000 on NBC for World Indoor Championships
28 Apr.: 790,000 on NBC for USATF Bermuda Grand Prix
18 May: 846,000 on NBC for USATF L.A. Grand Prix

In terms of demographics, NBC had 58,000 viewers from 18-34 for the L.A. Grand Prix, vs. 149,000 for the Sparks at Aces WNBA game and 320,000 for the PGA Championship on CBS.

Cable viewership has been poor, with none of the Diamond League shows (live or replays) reaching the 100,000 level, but:

18 Apr.: 158,000 on ESPN2 for Boston Marathon
05 May: 107,000 on CNBC for World Relays

Sunday’s Diamond League meet from Marrakech did not reach the 100,000 viewership level for Nielsen’s reports. The NBC and CNBC shows are also presented on the Peacock streaming service, for which viewer information is not available.

However, the online-only Atlanta City Games, shown on the adidas YouTube channel and Noah Lyles’ channel, had 170,077 total views as of Monday, with 57,078 views on adidas and 112,999 on Lyles’ channel. It was on from 4:45-7:45 Eastern time, beginning 15 minutes before the end of the L.A. Grand Prix broadcast on NBC.

The USA Gymnastics’ Core Hydration Classic was also a televised highlight of the week and once again showed the impact of network television vs. cable.

On Saturday, the meet – featuring superstar Simone Biles – drew an average of 296,000 for live coverage at 7 p.m. Eastern on CNBC. Not bad, but the highlights show on Sunday on NBC at 2 p.m. Eastern did 805,000 viewers, with 53,000 in the 18-34 demographic.

Being on the network matters, still.

Gabby Thomas shows what a true professional is

One of the unexpected results at the L.A. Grand Prix on Saturday were the modest performances for U.S. sprint star Gabby Thomas, the 2021 Olympic 200 m bronze winner and 2023 Worlds 200 m silver medalist.

At UCLA, she ran an early section of the women’s 100 m, finishing fourth in 11.42 and then, in the featured 200 m, was never in the race and ran 22.68 for sixth. Those are way off her 10.88 wind-aided 100 win and 22.08 200 victory at the Texas Relays at the end of March.

She owned up to the situation on X (ex-Twitter) afterwards:

“Obviously didn’t look like myself today, it happens every season when I compete in the middle of this training block, but I committed to the meet long ago, and I just can’t pull out when fans look forward to seeing us compete. I’m okay, everything is going according to plan.”

Observed: The main takeaway is not that Thomas’ ran poorly; she noted the reason in her post. But her attitude of (1) “I promised I would come” and (2) “fans expect to see me” is a key element not only in respect for her professionalism, but for a sport which too often has seen no-shows for no stated reason, disappointing fans who paid good money for tickets.

Good for her!

Five Paris events for Canada’s teen sensation Summer McIntosh

When you’re planning your Paris viewing, don’t forget Summer McIntosh.

The 17-year-old Canadian swimming star concluded the Canadian swimming trials in Toronto last week with impressive wins that demonstrate she will be in the mix for gold in five events.

Her Trials events and times, and standings in 2024 so far:

200 m Free: 1:53.69, no. 2 in 2024
400 m Free: 3:59.06, no. 1 in 2024
200 m Fly: 2:04.33, no. 1 in 2024
200 m Medley: 2:07.06, no. 3 in 2024
400 m Medley: 4:24.38, no. 1 in 2024 ~ World Record

Interestingly, only her 400 m Medley record is a lifetime best! But she is already a Worlds medalist in four of her five events for Paris:

200 m Free: 2023 Worlds bronze
400 m Free: 2022 Worlds silver
200 m Fly: 2022 and 2023 World Champion
200 m Medley: no Worlds medals
400 m Medley: 2022 and 2023 World Champion

McIntosh will be one of the star attractions in the pool for Paris – not just for Canada – and it would not be a surprise to see her as the winner in what could be the race of the Games: the women’s 400 m Free – in which she is a former world-record holder – against world-record holder (and Tokyo winner) Ariarne Titmus of Australia and Rio 2016 champ Katie Ledecky of the U.S.

And if McIntosh should go wild? Only one woman has ever won four individual events in swimming in a single Games: East German Kristin Otto, in Seoul in 1988 (six total with the relays).

Italian investigators search Milan Cortina offices in probe

The Italian financial prosecutor’s office – the Guardia de Finanza – searched the offices of the 2026 Winter Games organizing committee on Tuesday. Prosecutors explained in a statement:

“The checks underway are aimed at procedures used for the selection of technological providers and sponsors as well as the hiring of employees by the foundation.

“No current manager or employee of the foundation is under investigation.”

The Italian news agency ANSA reportedFormer Fondazione Milano-Cortina 2026 CEO Vincenzo Novari is among three people under investigation in a probe into alleged bribery and perverting the free market.”

Searches were also made at Quibyt (formerly Vetrya), a company which was providing digital services for the organizing committee, and an office of the professional services firm Deloitte (an IOC sponsor), which took over the contract.

The Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano added that investigators were also asking about a possible attempt to interfere with the choice of the Milan Cortina 2026 logo, chosen by a public online vote.

This is yet another organizing committee which has been investigated for possible financial crimes, as was Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024. Criminal prosecutions were made in Rio and Tokyo.

U.S. Anti-Doping blasts WADA once again

Expanding on its frustration and anger with the World Anti-Doping Agency over the handling – in 2021 – of doping positives by 23 Chinese swimmers for Trimetazidine that were dismissed for environmental contamination, and what it sees as further mishandling of the case, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency unleashed yet another broadside on Monday. It included:

● “There is nothing more classic in a cover-up than diversion and smoke and mirrors, which seems to be all we are getting from WADA leadership ever since whistleblowers revealed blatant rule violations stemming from positive tests for the banned pharmaceutical drug, trimetazidine (TMZ). The second most classic response to a cover-up is to attack the messenger, which is the current situation as [WADA President Witold] Banka [POL] and surrogates plumb the depths of misinformation and half-truths to make personal attacks, even stooping so low as to attempt a hit-job on all U.S. athletes.”

“Clean athletes, especially as we approach the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, deserve to know how a prescription drug, only available in pill form, found its way into a restaurant kitchen. Raising even more questions, is the suggestion that the drug managed to remain in that kitchen for months, at a time when strict COVID protocols required the most extensive cleaning regimens of public-facing facilities we have ever experienced. And, of course, even if this ‘immaculate contamination’ did happen, why did WADA allow China to escape its failure to follow the rules in not finding a first violation, no disqualification, or public announcement?”

The statement than went after five separate comments from WADA President Banka concerning U.S. athlete testing, and replied to each. The statement’s conclusion:

“Banka’s statement to WADA Foundation Board members attacked U.S. athletes and manipulated data to create a false narrative that is harmful to all athletes and the entire global anti-doping system. WADA must be a firm and fair arbiter of the rules, not the school yard bully instilling fear and abusing its power.

“Again, WADA can put all the world’s questions to rest by simply being transparent as the rules require and publishing the entire China file. We would hope this is a better outcome for the global anti-doping system than calling athlete’s integrity into question.”

This was USADA’s sixth public statement from 20 April on the Chinese swimming case, when the German ARD channel aired “The China Files” concerning this case.


● Ice Hockey ● Group play concluded at the IIHF men’s World Championship, being played in Prague and Ostrava (CZE), with Canada and Sweden winning their pools and moving on to the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Canadians won Group A at 7-0 (32-18 goals-against), followed by the Swiss (6-1), the host Czechs (5-2) and Finland (3-4). Sweden was also 7-0 and had an outstanding 35-9 goals-against total in Group B. The U.S. was second, winning four straight after a 1-2 start (37-16), followed by Germany (5-2) and Slovakia (4-3). The quarterfinals:

● Canada vs. Slovakia
● Sweden vs. Finland
● Switzerland vs. Germany
● U.S. vs. Czech Republic

The semifinalists will be re-seeded; the medal matches are on Sunday.

● Judo ● Georgia’s Tato Grigalashvili won his third consecutive Worlds gold in the men’s 81 kg class at the 2024 IJF World Championships in Abu Dhabi (UAE) on Tuesday.

He defeated Russian “neutral” Timur Arbuzov, 20, who won his first career Worlds medal. Joon-hwan Lee (KOR) won his second straight Worlds bronze and Somon Makhmadbekov (TJK) took the other bronze medal. Georgia become the first country to score a second gold this year.

The women’s 63 kg winner was Joanne van Lieshout, who moved up from bronze in 2023 by defeating first-time medal winner Angelika Szymanska. Olympic champ Clarisse Agbegnenou won her ninth career Worlds medal (6-2-1) with a bronze, and Kosovo’s two-time European medalist Laura Fazliu got her first Worlds medal.

The tournament continues through Friday.


● Cycling ● Despite rain and snow that chopped up the route, Slovenian star Tadej Pogacar poured it on again, winning a weather-shortened 16th stage of the 107th Giro d’Italia.

Bad weather and a risk of avalanches caused the riders to refuse to ride a shortened route and forced the organizers to change the race to a 118.7 km ride from Laas to the uphill finish at Santa Cristina Valgardena.

Four riders were in front with 5 km left, with Ewen Costiou (FRA) on the attack, but passed by Giulio Pellizzari (ITA), only to be passed by Pogacar, who had moved up and made the decisive move with only 600 m left.

Pogacar won his fifth stage of the 2024 Giro in 2:49:37, 16 seconds up on Pellizzari and Daniel Martinez (COL). His lead is now an enormous 7:18 on Martinez and 7:40 on Geraint Thomas (GBR) with the race finishing in Rome on Sunday.

● Rowing ● At the World Rowing final Olympic qualifying regatta in Lucerne (SUI), the U.S. picked up four more spots for Paris:

Men/Single Sculls: Jacob Plihal (second)
Men/Double Sculls: Sorin Koszyk and Ben Davison (first)
Men/Eights: (first)
Women/Quadruple Sculls: Joyce-Delleman-Cohen-O’Connor (first)

This gives the U.S. entries in 12 of the 14 total events in rowing, equal with Romania for the most events qualified, ahead of Great Britain and the Netherlands (10).

● Swimming ● Michael Phelps is retired and that’s the way he wants it.

Interviewed for a “Meet the Press” segment on NBC, Phelps was asked how long it would take to get back to an Olympic level again:

“I know at my old age – I say ‘old age;’ I’ll be 39 this year – it’ll take five years for me to really get back. You know, I think the whole process of physically and mentally preparing for an Olympic Games is challenging. So, for me to be able to give myself the best chance to be able to perform how I would want to, it would take five years.”

But he also noted, “looking back, throughout my career there’s nothing else to do. And there’s no passion inside here that’s burning to get me out of bed to do it one more time.”

You can receive our exclusive TSX Report by e-mail by clicking here. You can also refer a friend by clicking here, and can donate here to keep this site going.

For our updated, 547-event International Sports Calendar for the rest of 2024 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!