Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

OLYMPICS

RIO DRUG TESTING LAB GETS OKAY FROM WADA

RIO DE JANEIRO — The World Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday that it has reinstated the laboratory that will carry out drug testing for the Olympics, which start in Brazil in just more than two weeks.

The lab was shuttered last month for what WADA called "nonconformity with International Standard for Laboratories."

In a statement, WADA said the Rio laboratory "has successfully complied with the ISL's requirements for reinstatement and no further suspension is required."

The statement will be a relief for local organizers and the International Olympic Committee, which would have been forced to send thousands of samples abroad for testing.

The Rio Olympics have faced myriad problems: the Zika epidemic, soaring crime and security worries, slow ticket sales and severe water pollution in venues for sailing, rowing, canoeing, triathlon and distance swimming.

RUSSIAN DOPING: Russia's top Olympic official says he expects a final decision by Sunday on whether the entire Russian team will be banned from the Games. The IOC is examining the legal options after a report by WADA accused Russia's sports ministry of overseeing doping of the country's Olympic athletes. Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov says "the issue will be finally resolved by the end of this week, probably on Sunday." Meanwhile, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland will rule today on an appeal filed by Russia's track and field team of 68 athletes against a ban imposed by the sport's world governing body, the IAAF, after the doping allegations.

TOUR DE FRANCE

Froome hangs on in Alps

Nairo Quintana was expected to celebrate Colombia's national holiday with a major offensive in the Alps that would see him close in on Tour de France leader Chris Froome.

It didn't happen.

Despite being a specialist in mountain stages, Quintana surrendered to the defending champion in the first Alpine leg of this year's Tour, won by Russian all-rounder Ilnur Zakarin.

Froome made the most of a brutal final ascent to the artificial lake of Finhaut-Emosson, Switzerland, to tighten his grip on the race and take another step toward a third title in four years at cycling's biggest event.

Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara withdrew to focus on his preparations for next month's Olympics.

NFL

NFL doctor forced out

Longtime NFL doctor Elliott Pellman is retiring, and the league will look for a chief medical officer to work on health and safety issues on a full-time basis, commissioner Roger Goodell informed all 32 clubs. The controversial Pellman, who for years downplayed the link between football and brain injuries, was asked by Goodell to retire, the Los Angeles Times reported.

SOCCER

England picks new coach

England is on the verge of hiring Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce to take charge of the national team as Roy Hodgson's successor. The FA has to secure Allardyce's release from Sunderland, which urged for a swift resolution last week after revealing that the Englishman had held talks with England. Allardyce, 61, has 25 years of experience in management.

MLS: Jason Kreis was introduced as Orlando City's coach. Kreis, 43, led Real Salt Lake to two MLS Cup appearances.

ET CETERA

HORSES: Tampa Bay Downs three-time riding champion Antonio Gallardo, 29, earned his 1,000th career victory with The Fazz Man at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa.

MMA: UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes was suspended for two years after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

TENNIS: Playing his first tournament in 10 months, Jurgen Melzer upset fellow Austrian and top-seeded Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Generali Open in Kitzbuehel, Austria. … Top-seeded Angelique Kerber rallied to beat Cornelia Lister 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the Stockholm Open.

WNBA: Seimone Augustus scored 19 to help host Minnesota beat Atlanta 83-65 for its fifth straight win.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

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