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4 cyclists with ties to Lance withdraw

Four top U.S. cyclists, all former teammates of Lance Armstrong, removed their names from consideration for spots on the Olympic team before its announcement.

Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie asked that they be taken out of the running for places on the road cycling team for the London Games, USA Cycling said Saturday. "USA Cycling will not speculate on the reasoning behind their requests and will not have further comment," the statement said.

The national governing body for cycling announced the five riders who will compete in London on Friday: Taylor Phinney, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Horner, Timmy Duggan and Tyler Farrar.

The four withdrawn riders were either unavailable or did not respond to requests for comment. All four spent time on the U.S. Postal team with Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France champion who is facing doping allegations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA also has accused Armstrong's former team manager, Johan Bruyneel, and other associates of being involved in a doping conspiracy that supplied those teams.

Armstrong and Bruyneel have denied the allegations.

IOC to investigate black market tickets

LONDON — The International Olympic Committee launched an investigation into allegations that Olympic officials and agents have been offering tickets to the London Games on the black market. The IOC called a meeting of its executive board after the Sunday Times presented evidence on 27 officials controlling the tickets for 54 countries. Reporters, posing as envoys of a Middle Eastern ticket dealer, found 27 agents willing to sell thousands of tickets for up to $9,430.

Romney interest: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, who plan to attend the opening of the Games, now have a personal rooting interest. Jan Ebeling, Ann Romney's longtime riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, co-owned by Ann, earned a berth on the U.S. Olympic dressage team.

BMX: Connor Fields won the U.S. men's trials in Chula Vista, Calif., and qualified for London, holding off a field that included Treasure Island native Josh Meyers.

Beach volleyball: Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal clinched enough points for a trip to London when they beat Latvia in the quarterfinals of an FIVB event in Rome. Defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser had already clinched, as had Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, the No. 1 U.S. women's team.

Diving: Chris Colwill, a 2008 Olympian who went to Tampa Prep, will compete in men's springboard events at the U.S. trials that begin today at Federal Way, Wash. Colwill won the winter nationals and USA Diving Grand Prix and does one of the toughest dives in the world, the forward 4½ somersault tuck. Colwill and Drew Livingston were runnersup at the last two nationals in the men's synchronized event. The top two finishers in each of the four individual events, and the top team in three synchronized events, qualify for London.

Steeplechase: Florida's Genevieve LaCaze, the SEC runner of the year, was cleared to join Australia's Olympic team.

4 cyclists with ties to Lance withdraw 06/16/12 [Last modified: Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:04am]
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