Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Doping (Sports)

I Investigated Bonds and Clemens. Yes, They Belong in Cooperstown.

I Investigated Bonds and Clemens. Yes, They Belong in Cooperstown.

Sports
Friday is the last day for voters in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to submit their 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballots. Listed on those ballots are two players in their 10th and final year of Hall of Fame eligibility who truly dominated their era but haven’t been voted in: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.Undoubtedly, this is because toward the end of their careers, both men faced allegations that they had used performance-enhancing drugs (P.E.D.s) banned by their sport. But as a federal agent who investigated both men for years and, as The New York Times reported in 2007, “dug up the evidence that a grand jury used” to indict Bonds on charges related to those allegations, I’ve come to this conclusion: Bonds and Clemens played at a time when the widespread abuse of P.E.D.s in ba...
In Sarasota Springs, Horse Racing’s Troubles Cloud a Tradition

In Sarasota Springs, Horse Racing’s Troubles Cloud a Tradition

Sports
The most recent are the most damning.The trainer Jorge Navarro — caught on videotape calling himself the Juice Man — pleaded guilty to giving his horses multiple performance-enhancing substances and admitted that he distributed them to others. Navarro was perennially atop the Monmouth Park trainer standings and said he had doped numerous horses, including Sharp Azteca, a Grade I winner who now is a stallion.Kristian Rhein, a veterinarian, admitted to doping horses including the Jason Servis-trained Maximum Security, who won four Grade I races and was disqualified from first place for interference in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.Servis has pleaded not guilty and is contesting the charges.“Kristian Rhein and Jorge Navarro represent the supply side and the customer side of the market in performanc...
Sha’Carri Richardson Finishes Last in 100-Meter Return

Sha’Carri Richardson Finishes Last in 100-Meter Return

Sports
Sha’Carri Richardson sent a message before she returned to the track on Saturday.“Aug. 21,” she wrote alongside a video she posted on Instagram this week, “and I’m not playing nice.”The message was clear: Weeks after a positive drug test cost her Olympic dream, Richardson was, in the video and in real life, ready to run again. On Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., though, her return to competition at the Prefontaine Classic did not go as planned.Facing a field that included all three Olympic medalists in her marquee event, the 100-meter dash, Richardson was beaten badly, finishing last in a time of 11.14 seconds. That was more than half a second behind the time of Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica, the Tokyo gold medalist.Thompson-Herah’s countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finishe...
Nike Renames the Alberto Salazar Building After Lifetime Ban

Nike Renames the Alberto Salazar Building After Lifetime Ban

Sports
Nike confirmed Tuesday that it had renamed the Alberto Salazar Building on its Beaverton, Ore., campus, whose namesake was the famed distance running coach who has been barred from the sport for sexual and emotional misconduct. The change is a stunning and perhaps complete termination of the relationship between Nike and Salazar, who have been tightly linked for nearly four decades.The final straw seems to have been a ruling last month from the U.S. Center for SafeSport that barred Salazar from the sport for life. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee established the center in 2017 to protect athletes from sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Salazar can appeal the ruling.“This change follows the SafeSport decision to permanently ban Alberto from coaching,” a Nike spokeswoman said i...
Alberto Salazar Barred for Sexual, Emotional Misconduct

Alberto Salazar Barred for Sexual, Emotional Misconduct

Sports
“I was told I was too fat and ‘had the biggest butt on the starting line,’” Yoder Begley wrote.Goucher, another American Olympian who once trained with the Nike Oregon Project, told The Times that after being cooked meager meals by an assistant coach, she often ate more in the privacy of her room, nervous that she would be heard opening the wrappers of energy bars she furtively consumed.Salazar replied to Cain’s 2019 video in a statement to The Oregonian newspaper: “Neither of her parents nor Mary raised any of the issues that she now suggests occurred while I was coaching her. To be clear, I never encouraged her, or worse yet, shamed her, to maintain an unhealthy weight.”Cain acknowledged at the time that she had sought to train again with Salazar, seeking an apology, closure and his appr...
Russia Is Banned, Yet It’s Everywhere at the Games

Russia Is Banned, Yet It’s Everywhere at the Games

Sports
TOKYO — For a country officially barred from the Olympics, Russia is very much a presence at this summer’s Tokyo Games.Take Friday’s opening ceremony. A significant Russian delegation marched in the parade of nations — right behind San Marino and just ahead of Sierra Leone — under the banner of R.O.C., the acronym for the Russian Olympic Committee. That is the official label under which more than 330 Russian athletes are competing here, a bit of disciplinary sleight of hand required by punishments imposed after the country’s recent doping scandals.In the days since marching proudly into the Olympic Stadium in central Tokyo, Russian athletes in Russia’s national colors have competed in dozens of sports, from archery to diving, fencing to gymnastics, tennis to taekwondo. On Sunday, Russia ev...
Tadej Pogacar Claims Second Straight Tour de France Title

Tadej Pogacar Claims Second Straight Tour de France Title

Sports
Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia won his second straight Tour de France on Sunday, entering a new era of dominance after reigning over his adversaries for nearly two weeks and leaving little room for any serious competition.The race’s outcome had been known for days, and Pogacar, 22, entered the traditionally celebratory final stage with an unassailable lead of 5 minutes 20 seconds, a margin he maintained as he crossed the finish line. Even after Pogacar’s eighth-place finish in the time trial on Saturday, fans of the Tour were left with the overwhelming impression that there was limited competition for the young champion.In fact, Pogacar would step onto the podium in Paris three times on Sunday, donning the yellow jersey for the general classification winner, the polka-dot jersey awarded to the ...
Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar Claims Second Straight Title

Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar Claims Second Straight Title

Sports
In the penultimate stage of the Tour de France on Saturday, Tadej Pogacar rode across the vineyards of the Bordeaux region with a mix of prudence and distraction, confident that, this time, the final time trial would not be a game changer.A year ago, he had used a similar race against the clock to turn the tables in the final weekend of the race. This year, the job, for all intents and purposes, was already done when he rolled off the starting line. Now he just had to close it out, avoid disaster, defend an insurmountable lead — and then carry it into Paris and claim his prize.With a lead of 5 minutes 20 seconds entering the traditionally celebratory final stage on Sunday, Pogacar, a 22-year-old from Slovenia, is all but assured to win his second straight Tour de France.In fact, Pogacar wi...
Sha’Carri Richardson Will Miss Olympics After Not Being Chosen for Relays

Sha’Carri Richardson Will Miss Olympics After Not Being Chosen for Relays

Sports
Sha’Carri Richardson, the American sprinter who lost her spot in the women’s 100 meters at the Olympics because she used marijuana before her qualifying race, will miss the Tokyo Games entirely after coaches decided not to put her on a relay team, American track officials announced Tuesday.Richardson, who confessed to using marijuana to cope with the death of her biological mother and the pressure to perform at the U.S. track and field trials, could have been selected for the women’s 4x100-meter relay race, an event U.S. women are favored to win and her last option to compete in the Games.Richardson, 21, the fastest American woman, was suspended 30 days for the drug violation, and her victory in the 100 meters at the trials was invalidated. To make the U.S. team in a track and field event,...
Sha’Carri Richardson and Her Now Uncertain Path to the Olympics

Sha’Carri Richardson and Her Now Uncertain Path to the Olympics

Sports
When Sha’Carri Richardson starts talking, the declarations are grand.“I am it.”“I am who I say I am.”“Talent is talent. If you got it, you go fast.”Her performances have been just as bold. Richardson, 21, could claim to be America’s fastest woman after winning the 100 meters at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials last month in Oregon, drawing attention for her speed, outspoken nature and billowing orange hair in homage to her athletic hero. Her time of 10.86 seconds instantly made her a gold medal favorite at the Tokyo Olympics that begin this month, mostly because it was not even the fastest she has run this year.Yet her place on the team is in jeopardy because of her marijuana use, putting her at the center of debate and discussion about the drug and the fairness of the rules of the ...