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LONDON — As the clock ticks down to the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, international Olympic leaders are facing a seminal moment.

With the credibility of the fight against doping on the line and the image of the Olympic movement at stake, the IOC will hold a crucial meeting today to consider whether to ban Russia entirely from the Games in Brazil because of systematic, state-sponsored cheating.

Short of a blanket ban, the International Olympic Committee could leave it to individual sports federations to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow Russian athletes in their events.

The doping crisis represents one of the Olympic movement's biggest challenges since the boycott era of the 1980s, and how it plays out may well define Thomas Bach's IOC presidency.

The IOC's ruling 15-member executive board will meet via teleconference to weigh the unprecedented step of excluding Russia as a whole from the Games. Bach and others have spoken of a need to balance "individual justice" versus "collective punishment."

Time is of the essence, with the Games set to open in Rio on Aug. 5. Russia's track and field athletes have already been banned by the IAAF, the sport's governing body, after allegations and reports of state-directed doping.


Serve carries Karlovic

Ivo Karlovic saved all five break points he faced and ran his service-game record to 43-for-43 this week, beating No. 5 seed Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Citi Open final in Washington. Karlovic, 37, faces No. 2 seed Gael Monfils, a 6-4, 6-0 winner over Alexander Zverev. In the women's semifinals, No. 7 Yanina Wickmayer beat No. 6 Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-2 to reach her first WTA final of the year. Unseeded Americans Lauren Davis and Jessica Pegula met in the other semifinal.

GENERALI OPEN: Paolo Lorenzi became the oldest first-time winner of an ATP event at 34 years, 7 months, beating Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-4 in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

CROATIAN OPEN: Andrej Martin and Fabio Fognini face off in today's final in Umag.

SWEDISH OPEN: Katerina Siniakova and Laura Siegemund meet in today's final in Bastad.


Holm falls again

Valentina Shevchenko won by unanimous decision over Holly Holm in a UFC bantamweight bout in Chicago. Holm lost her second straight match since her upset win over Ronda Rousey in November. Shevchenko, ranked No. 7 in the world, improved to 13-2.


NFL: Bears OL Nate Chandler retired at age 27. Chandler appeared in 37 games with 19 starts for the Panthers from 2012-14. He sat out last season because of a right knee injury and joined Chicago in June.

NHL: The Coyotes signed D Luke Schenn to a two-year contract. Schenn, 26, had four goals and 12 assists in 72 games with the Flyers and Kings last season.

SOCCER: David Moyes was hired to take charge of Sunderland as Sam Allardyce's successor, returning to Premier League management two years after being fired by Manchester United. … In MLS, Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes scored in the first 11 minutes and Los Angeles beat host Portland 2-1 to snap the Timbers' nine-game undefeated streak.

TRACK: Mo Farah cruised to victory in the 5,000 meters and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fell short in a sluggish sprint in contrasting fortunes for the Olympic champions in London in their final races before heading to Rio de Janeiro.

Times wires

Sports in brief 07/23/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 23, 2016 11:36pm]
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