TSX REPORT: LA28 hires ex-Lt. Gen. Hoover as CEO; Kenya suspends 33 (!) for doping; Kremlin says Microsoft disinfo report “slander”

Former U.S. Army Lt. General and new LA28 organizing committee chief executive Reynold Hoover (Image: U.S. Department of Defense video screenshot)

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!

Friends: This site is free, but we have expenses, especially for technical support. If you can support our coverage, please donate here. Your enthusiasm is the reason this site continues. Thank you. ★


1. LA28 names retired Lt. Gen Reynold Hoover as CEO
2. Report: Kenya suspends 33 for doping; Kipruto gets 6 years
3. Samuel wins crazy 10,000 m finish at NCAA T&F Champs
4. Teen Yohannes stars as U.S. women beat Korea, 3-0
5. Kremlin calls Microsoft disinformation report “slander”

● The LA28 organizing committee named former U.S. Army Lt. General Reynold Hoover as its new chief executive. A West Point graduate, he served in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Afghanistan, but was also a lawyer in private practice and an advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on security issues. He will start next week, taking over a small team of 180 that will eventually grow to about 4,000.

● News reports in Kenya said that the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) suspended 33 athletes, with 26 in track & field and small numbers in basketball, rugby and handball. In addition, the Athletics Integrity Unit suspended Kenya’s 10,000 m star Rhonex Kipruto – the world 10 km road world-record holder – for six years for doping.

● The men’s semifinals and a few finals were held at Wednesday’s NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, with New Mexico frosh Habtom Samuel from Eritrea winning the 10,000 m after being in a crash on the track in the final 1,000 m. USC’s JC Stevenson was the surprise long jump winner at 8.22 m (26-11 3/4) in the final round.

● The U.S. women won their second straight friendly over South Korea on Tuesday, 3-0, but it was tougher than the first game. Substitutes Mallory Swanson, Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman brought instant offense in the 62nd minute and Lily Yohannes, 16, dazzled with her poise, passing and scored a goal as well!

● The Kremlin denounced the Microsoft report on Russian disinformation efforts against the Olympic Games in Paris as “slander,” but the U.S. State Department acknowledged the report and indicated the U.S. had its own intel on what the Russians were doing.

Panorama: Los Angeles 2028 (LA28 and City of L.A. in intel property agreement) = Milan Cortina 2026 (first inspection of sliding venue construction) = Winter Games 2030 (French government bid guarantees not complete) = Archery (Ellison defends U.S. field title) = Athletics (Boston Marathon raises record $71.9 million for charity) = Skiing (U.S.’s Paine elected to Council, no FIS Games ‘28 award yet) = Swimming (3: P&G joins USA Swimming as 2024 sponsor; Trials pool complete at Lucas Oil Stadium; McMahon banned for four years for doping) = Triathlon (USA Tri names Paris team) ●

LA28 names retired Lt. Gen Reynold Hoover as CEO

“Today, the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games announce Reynold Hoover as Chief Executive Officer, leading the Organizing Committee’s staff through the planning and execution of the Games. Hoover comes to LA28 following leadership positions in the U.S. Military, along with senior civilian roles in the federal government, and brings significant experience in planning, operations and logistics to help deliver the world’s largest peacetime gathering – the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Hoover, 63, is a retired U.S. Army Lt. General, beginning his career as a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and serving through December 2018, retiring as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Northern Command. He served in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and served in Afghanistan in 2009-10 as the Commanding General of the Joint Sustainment Command.

His career, however, has also included significant civilian assignments, including as a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as Chief of Staff for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and as a Special Assistant for U.S. President George W. Bush for Homeland Security matters.

In addition, he’s a lawyer, graduating from The Catholic University of America in 1997 and has been an attorney in private practice and chief counsel at CSX Intermodal.

His appointment was confirmed on Wednesday (5th) and he will begin his tenure on 10 June 2024 at the LA28 offices in Los Angeles. Said LA28 Chair Casey Wasserman:

“Reynold is one of the few people in the nation who possesses the operational and logistics expertise that the Olympic and Paralympic Games require.

“He’s been tasked with some of our nation’s most complex challenges, and we are fortunate to have him on our team as we prepare to welcome the world in 2028.”

Observed: Hoover will inherit a series of contradictions when he starts at LA28 next week. The LA28 Games has the advantages of a no-build plan, requiring no new venues to host the Games, a huge advantage over most prior organizers.

Moreover, Wasserman and former chief executive Kathy Carter have repeatedly insisted that already-contracted revenues from the International Olympic Committee, sponsors, licensing and hospitality are sufficient to hold the Games now, and that more commercial agreements are on the way. Hiring Hoover and noting his logistical expertise underscores the confidence in the finances.

But: LA28 is a small group so far, with about 180 staff now and 10 jobs currently listed for hire. That team will expand to about 4,000 by the middle of 2028 and then shrink to almost nothing by the end of that year. It’s a big undertaking to find the right mix of people and programming to get everyone moving together toward a common goal.

Those who have engaged with the LA28 staff have found them dedicated and personable, but there are concerns that the planning effort is not as advanced as it could be at this stage. The management turnover has quite a bit to do with this, and it’s now up to Hoover to create and sustain momentum toward ultimate success in 2028.

Report: Kenya suspends 33 for doping; Kipruto gets 6 years

The Kenyan newspaper Nation reported Tuesday that the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) has suspended 33 athletes for doping, with 26 in track & field and seven others in basketball (3), rugby (3) and handball.

This kind of mass suspension has been forecast in November 2023, when ADAK chief executive Sarah Shubutse said that 50 athletes would be suspended by the end of that month. Instead, the mass suspension announcement came seven months later.

The leading athlete reported to be on the list – which was not posted on the ADAK Web site as of Wednesday – is Joshua Belet, 26, who won the 2023 Amsterdam Marathon in a lifetime best of 2:04:18, no. 12 on the world list last year. He also represented Kenya at the World Athletics Championships in the marathon, but did not finish.

This kind of mass sanction had been expected since the Kenyan government, after liaison with the Athletics Integrity Unit, promised added funding of $5 million per year for five years beginning in 2023 to try and reverse the alarming doping trend in the country, which was on the verge of suspension.

The Nation story quoted ADAK legal officer Bildad Rogoncho as crediting the increased funding to allow the agency “to visit camps countrywide to conduct more out-of-competition testing, especially on second and third-tier competition athletes.”

He added that ADAK is cooperating with another national anti-doping agencies to maintain testing protocols on athletes, such as in Peru.

The 2022 World U-20 5,000 m champion David Kiprotich Bett was also suspended; sanctions among the 33 varied, with the maximum of four years.

In addition to the mass suspensions reported to be imposed by ADAK, the Athletics Integrity Unit slammed 24-year-old Kenyan 10,000 m star Rhonex Kipruto with a six-year banafter a Disciplinary Tribunal ruled irregularities in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) resulted from doping.”

He was provisionally suspended on 11 May 2023, and a hearing on his case centered on readings from his Athlete Biological Passport. The disciplinary panel concluded that the “cause for the abnormalities in the ABP is more likely to be due to blood manipulation,” with the likely cause to be via use of recombinant human erythropoietin (rEPO), as “no other plausible explanation” was available for the abnormal values. Kipruto denied any and all doping, but the panel noted that he could not explain the test results in his Athlete Biological Passport.

Moreover, abnormal scores were shown close to major events, such as the 2020 Valencia road 10 km where he set the current world record of 26:24, and his 2019 World 10,000 m bronze medal in Doha (QAT). He is now banned until 10 May 2029.

Kipruto can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The AIU also provisionally suspended Rueben Kiprop Kipyego, 27, who ran 2:03:55 in 2021 for second at the Milano Marathon for whereabouts failures; he has not raced since 14 May 2023.

Also provisionally suspended was Ethiopian Ebsite Tilahun, 22, a 2:27:47 women’s marathoner from 2022, for use of the prohibited synthetic corticosteroid Triamcinolone acetonide.

According to the AIU’s current Global List of Ineligible Persons, Kenya now has 84 listed, second to India (89), and ahead of Russia (81). Ethiopia has 14 on the list and the U.S. has 12.

Samuel wins crazy 10,000 m finish at NCAA T&F Champs

The men’s qualifying and a few finals of the NCAA Track & Field Championships were featured on Wednesday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, with a wild finish in the only track final.

The men’s 10,000 m had a dozen in contention with three laps to go, but coming into the home straight, Alabama’s Patrick Kiprop (KEN) tripped and a major crash ensued, with about six runners impacted. But national no. 2 Habtom Samuel (ERI-New Mexico) got up quickly, kept his composure and worked himself back into the top four at the bell.

With 200 to go, Samuel – who had competed for Eritrea at Hayward Field at the 2022 World Championships – hit the jets and ran away with the race with a 58.16 last 400 m and a 28:07.82 final. Kiprop got up for second on the final straight in 28:08.59. Kenyan Denis Kipngetich (Oklahoma State) got third in 28:10.25. The field events were also entertaining, although slightly less dramatic:

● There were five field-event finals, starting with the hammer and California’s Rowan Hamilton (CAN) winning with his third-round throw of 77.18 m (253-2), just ahead of defending champ Kenneth Ikeji (GBR: 77.12 m/253-0).

● In the vault, Kentucky senior Keaton Daniel was the first to clear 5.62 m (18-5 1/4) and then 5.72 m (18-7 1/4) to win. Only Kansas’ Clayton Simms could also clear 5.62 m and finished second. In his four years at Kentucky, Daniel finished second, third, eighth and first as a four-time scorer at the NCAA.

● USC sophomore JC Stevenson was standing seventh through five rounds in the long jump, then exploded to a lifetime best of 8.22 m (26-11 3/4) in the sixth round, the collegiate leader and moving to equal-eighth in the world for 2024! Florida State senior Jeremiah Davis had been the leader since the second round at 8.07 m (26-5 3.4), but had to settle for second.

● In the shot, Mississippi’s Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan had the lead from round one at 20.42 m (67-0) and no one could match that. With the title secured, he scored a lifetime best of 20.88 m (68-6). Wisconsin’s Jason Swarens got second at 20.38 m (66-10 1/2).

● The javelin belonged to 2022 champion Mark Minichello, who was then at Penn and now at Georgia. His second-round throw of 80.70 m (264-9) wasn’t challenged and he won his second title easily. Washington’s Chandler Ault moved up to second in round five at 79.31 m (260-2).

In the track qualifying, Britain’s Louie Hinchliffe (Houston) and Nigerian Kanyinsola Ajayi (Auburn) won their heats in the 100 m in 10.09 (wind for both: +0.3 m/s) and Ghana’s Saminu Abdul-Rasheed (South Florida) took heat three in 10.14 (-0.3). Penn State senior Cheickna Traore (CIV) stormed down the straight to take the first 200 m heat in 20.02 (+0.7), Alabama’s Tarsis Orogot (UGA) took heat two in 20.09 (+0.5), and Abdul-Rasheed came on late to win the third heat in 20.15 (0.0).

World 400 m leader Christopher Morales Williams (CAN-Georgia) had to work hard in the final 50 m to win heat one in 44.96, Nigeria’s Samuel Ogazi (Alabama) won heat two in the final 10 m (45.14), and USC’s Johnnie Blockburger took heat three in 45.13.

Virginia’s Shane Cohen was eighth with 100 m to go in the first heat of the 800 m, but first at the line in 1:46.94. National leader Sam Whitmarsh (Texas A&M) took the lead on the final turn in heat two and won in 1:46.01 and Indiana’s Camden Marshall charged down the straight to win heat three in 1:48.17.

Elliot Cook (Oregon: 3:37.25) and Liam Murphy (Villanova: 3:39.68) won the two 1,500 m heats, with Abdelhakim Abouzouhir (MAR-Eastern Kentucky: 8:32.58) and James Corrigan (BYU: 8:28.84) taking the Steeplechase prelims.

World no. 7 Ja’Kobe Tharp (Auburn) was an impressive winner in the first heat of the 110 m hurdles, equaling his lifetime best of 13.18 (+0.2). Darius Luff (Nebraska) won heat two in 13.31 (+1.0) and 2023 runner-up Da’Vion Wilson (Houston) took heat three in 13.34 (-0.4).

Baylor’s Nathaniel Ezekiel (NGR) took the first heat of the 400 m hurdles in 48.93, then Caleb Dean (Texas Tech) went wild in heat two, equaling his lifetime best of 48.05 and no. 6 in the world this season. France’s Clement Ducos (Tennessee) came off the turn even with defending champ Chris Robinson (Alabama) in heat three and they finished 1-2 in 48.64 and 48.79.

As usual, the relays were sensational, with Auburn (38.38), Houston (38.48) and Florida (38.45) winning the three semifinals; all three are among the top 17 in the world for 2024. In the 4×400 m, Florida won heat one in 3:01.78 over LSU (3:02.95), then Texas A&M ran down Arkansas, 3:01.17 to 3:01.56 in heat two and Alabama held off USC, 3:01.88 to 3:02.29 in heat three.

The decathlon was all about defending champion and collegiate record-holder Leo Neugebauer (GER-Texas), who won the long jump, shot put and high jump to compile a collegiate-record 4,685 first-day total. He scored 4,591 on the way to a collegiate record 8,836 last year. Wow!

Thursday has the women’s semifinals, some field finals and the last half of the decathlon.

Teen Yohannes stars as U.S. women beat Korea, 3-0

Unlike the 4-0 drubbing that the U.S. women’s national football team gave to South Korea last Saturday in Colorado, Tuesday’s rematch was proving to be much more difficult.

Yes, the rainy conditions at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota had a lot to do with it – and the U.S. changed nine starters – but after midfielder Crystal Dunn scored off a cross from Jenna Nighswonger that looped behind the Korean defense in the 13th minute, the Americans had trouble solving the entrenched Korean midfield defense. The half ended 1-0, with the U.S. holding only a 6-4 edge on shots.

More of the same to start the second half, until the 62nd minute, when Saturday’s offensive stars – Mallory Swanson, Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman, plus midfielder Sam Coffey – came in.

The game changed immediately, with Smith feeding Jaedyn Shaw, who barely missed to the right of the Korean goal in the 65th. Then Rodman sent a pass across the Korean defense to Smith past the left post, which she controlled and then sent a seeing-eye shot from a bad angle into the goal for a 2-0 lead in the 69th.

The U.S. was now in control of the game and creating more chances and coach Emma Hayes (GBR) sent in 16-year-old Lily Yohannes for her first international appearance in the 72nd. In the 76th, she fed Rodman for a hard shot that was saved by Korean keeper Jung-mi Kim. Swanson almost got a third goal for the U.S. in the 80th, but Kim saved it, but Yohannes scored in the 82nd off a Rodman pass that found her open about 10 yards in front of goal for the 3-0 final.

Casey Murphy was sharp in goal for the U.S., with two strong saves in the second half.

Impressive would be an understatement on Yohannes, who became the third-youngest American woman to ever score an international goal, and was the youngest player to play for the national team since Amy Steadman and Kristen Weiss debuted against Italy in March 2001.

The U.S. finished with 68% of possession and a 14-7 edge on shots, with two more  pre-Olympic friendlies scheduled on 13 and 16 July against Mexico and Costa Rica. And Hayes now has to think about whether Yohannes’ debut was so good that she has to be on the plane for Paris.

Kremlin calls Microsoft disinformation report “slander”

The Kremlin took notice of Sunday’s report from the Microsoft Threat Analysis Center, which noted:

● “[W]ith less than 80 days until the opening of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the Microsoft Threat Analysis Center (MTAC) has observed a network of Russia-affiliated actors pursuing a range of malign influence campaigns against France, French President Emmanuel Macron, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the Paris Games. These campaigns may forewarn coming online threats to this summer’s international competition.”

“Modern Russia, as well as its predecessor the Soviet Union, has a longstanding tradition of seeking to undermine the Olympic Games. If they cannot participate in or win the Games, then they seek to undercut, defame, and degrade the international competition in the minds of participants, spectators, and global audiences.”

● “Starting in June 2023, prolific Russian influence actors—which Microsoft tracks as Storm-1679 and Storm-1099—pivoted their operations to take aim at the 2024 Olympic Games and French President Emmanuel Macron. These ongoing Russian influence operations have two central objectives: to denigrate the reputation of the IOC on the world stage; and to create the expectation of violence breaking out in Paris during the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.”

On Tuesday, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters in Moscow that the report is “sweeping criticism that has no basis in argument, nothing.

“Unfortunately, we are increasingly faced with such [criticism], but it has nothing to do with reality, it is absolute slander and nothing more.”

On Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller was asked about the Microsoft report:

“[Y]eah, I would say first of all it’s not surprising to see that the Kremlin is seeking to disrupt the Games with disinformation. We’ve seen them sow disinformation across any number of fronts. And it’s especially not surprising that they’re doing it with respect to the Olympics, where their athletes are banned from competing under the Russian flag because of the Kremlin’s long history of abusing fair competition in the Olympics.

“When it comes to a message for people that want to attend the Olympics, I think they should look at the information that law enforcement puts out, look at the information that the French Government puts out. We have been working with the French Government for some time to ensure a safe, secure Olympics, and we’ll continue to do so.”

Queried whether the U.S. government had its own information on Russian disinformation actions and the Paris Games, Miller added:

“We do have information as it relates to that, in fact, yeah. … There is information that we have engaged with our allies and partners with respect to that report, and I think I’ll leave it at that.”


● Olympic Games 2028: Los Angeles ● The City of Los Angeles and the LA28 organizers have prepared an agreement to share intellectual property, specifically a set of LA28 Olympic and Paralympic “host city” logos that the city can use for its own promotions moving forward.

LA28 for its part, will get to use the City’s logo; interestingly, the City flag has not yet been included in the agreement, but can be added later.

There are no financial elements to the agreement, and it can be expected to sail through the City’s committee structure and get eventual approval by the City Council and Mayor Karen Bass.

● Olympic Winter Games 2026: Milan Cortina ● Positive results from the first test of the construction effort on the sliding venue in Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) for the 2026 Winter Games. The first 15 m of the sliding track was inspected on 29 May by the government commissioner.

Following “was an inspection by the representatives and experts of the various stakeholders of the track construction site and in the late afternoon, the spritz beton procedure, which is concrete sprayed through an air-compressed nozzle onto the iron framework, was carried out.”

● Olympic Winter Games 2030 ● The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board will meet next week and is expected to recommend to its membership the election of the French Alps to host the 2030 Winter Games and Salt Lake City to host 2034.

The French all-sports daily, L’Equipe, reported, however, that the national guarantees are not yet signed by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. The delay is reported to be on the budget, with the government not in agreement with the bid committee on the amounts to be raised commercially from sponsorships, tickets and merchandising.

The bid is reported to see the budget at €1.8 billion, with €420 million to be raised by the organizing committee (€1 = $1.09 U.S.), but the government thinks the needs will be higher. This needs to get resolved.

● Archery ● Two-time World Field Champion Brady Ellison defended his USA Archery Field Nationals title in a weather-shortened event that finished Tuesday in Noblesville, Indiana.

Ellison, also on his way to a fifth Olympic Games in Paris, outscored Matthew Nofel and Alex Gilliam in the final round, 68-54-54, to take top honors. Ellison’s wife Toja, was the silver winner in the women’s Compound division.

Savannah Vanderwier won the women’s Recurve title with 53 points, to 52 for Molly Nugent and 50 for Heather Jane Koehl.

● Athletics ● The Boston Athletic Association announced that the 128th Boston Marathon set a new fundraising record of $71.9 million for charity:

“Combining funds raised through the 168 non-profit organizations in the Bank of America Boston Marathon Official Charity Program – $45.7 million – with other donations and fundraising from race participants, the 2024 total surpasses the previous record of $40.2 million set last year. This brings the total charitable fundraising since the program began in 1989 to over $550 million.”

● Skiing ● The 55th International Ski & Snowboard Federation Congress met in Reykjavik, Iceland and elected a new FIS Council, with American Dexter Paine elected and re-joining the Council, on which he served from 2014-22.

The existing FIS Council, meeting a day earlier, awarded the 2029 World Alpine Championships to Narvik (NOR) – the first time ever for the standalone Worlds in Norway! – and Val Gardena (ITA) for 2031. The Freestyle and Snowboard Worlds in 2029 will be in Zhangjiakou (CHN), but the Lahti (FIN) bid for the 2029 Nordic Worlds “did not meet some of the requirements to be formally appointed and will now have 30 days to submit its case to the FIS Council.

The massive, new FIS Games for 2028 was not awarded, with FIS stating, “In agreement with Swiss-Ski and candidate Engadine/St. Moritz, the FIS Council has decided to postpone the process of awarding the hosting of the FIS Games 2028.”

● Swimming ● USA Swimming announced a short-term sponsorship with Proctor & Gamble for its Gillette Venus brand – the “Official Razor of Team USA” – as a trusted blade for competition prep at the highest level:

“As part of the sponsorship, Venus will be featured on a 50’ tall digital board greeting the athletes as they walk to the starting blocks at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming, presented by Lilly. A celebration party for the American swimmers at the conclusion of the Olympic Games in Paris will be supported by P&G. The company will also show its support via a donation to the USA Swimming Foundation which demonstrates P&G’s passion in the long-term growth and development of the sport for young and old.”

Construction of the competition and three auxiliary pools inside Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials has been completed, after a 12 May start. The Myrtha-built facilities took just about three weeks to finish.

The main pool was placed into a built-up platform about 10 feet above the football field, with pool depth at about eight feet.

Freestyle swim star Kensey McMahon of the U.S. has been suspended for four years in a decision from an independent arbitrator:

“[T]he arbitrator determined that McMahon will receive a four-year sanction after testing positive for vadadustat during an in-competition drug test at the Phillips 66 National Championships on July 1, 2023. … Vadadustat is a non-specified substance in the category of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics and is prohibited at all times.”

McMahon won a Worlds Short Course bronze medal in the women’s 1,500 m Freestyle and was third at the 2022 U.S. Nationals in the 400-800-1,500 Frees. In 2023, she won the NCAA title in the 500 yards and 1,650 yards for Alabama.

● Triathlon ● USA Triathlon confirmed its Paris 2024 Olympic team, with the already-qualified Morgan Pearson and Taylor Knibb to be joined by Seth Rider, and Kristen Kasper and Taylor Spivey.

Knibb was a Tokyo silver medalist in the Mixed Relay, and is also qualified to compete in road cycling in the women’s Time Trial, while Kasper and Spivey are first-time Olympians. Spivey, Knibb and Kasper were the three highest-ranking American women in the ITU Olympic ranks in 4-7-15.

Pearson was also a member of the Tokyo Mixed Relay silver team, while Rider is going to his first Games.

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!