Olympics notebook

Medalist Blonska suspended

Wire Reports / August 22, 2008
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Heptathlon silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska was kicked out of the women's long jump final yesterday following her positive doping test. The International Olympic Committee temporarily suspended the Ukrainian athlete from the Beijing Games pending a final ruling today, the same day as the medal round of the long jump.

The IOC's disciplinary commission met to hear Blonska's case and decided to provisionally suspend her from all competition and cancel her accreditation.

Blonska's "A" and "B" samples both were positive for the steroid methyltestosterone. If found guilty of doping, she will be stripped of her medal and expelled from the Games. She also faces a lifetime ban from the IAAF for a second doping violation.

The third-place finisher in the heptathlon was American Hyleas Fountain, who would be bumped up to the silver if Blonska is disqualified. Russia's Tatiana Chernova would move up from fourth to the bronze.

Foudy falls short on ballot

Chicago's hopes of landing the 2016 Olympics took a slight blow when former US soccer captain Julie Foudy was not among the four newest additions to the IOC athletes' commission.

Voting for the 29 candidates (from 29 countries) took place among nearly 8,000 athletes over the past two weeks in the Olympic Villages. Foudy's seventh-place finish leaves the US with only two IOC members.

Russian swimmer Alexander Popov, South Korean taekwondo champion Moon Dae Sung, German fencer Claudia Bokel, and Cuban volleyball player Yumilka Ruiz were elected to the commission. They will also serve as athletes' representatives on the full IOC for their eight-year terms.

Cormier recuperating

US freestyle wrestler Daniel Cormier remained hospitalized after becoming severely dehydrated and falling ill after making weight. "He definitely had a physical breakdown," said US freestyle coach Kevin Jackson.

USOC chief medical officer William Kuprevich said Cormier was never unconscious and his situation never advanced to being life-threatening.

A finish with a flourish

Olympic closing ceremonies usually offer less of a spectacle than opening nights, and the Beijing finale will have less than half the participants - but that's still about 7,000 people. David Neal, executive vice president of NBC Olympics, watched a rehearsal of the ceremony conducted in secret outside of Beijing. "It's just unlike any other closing ceremony I've ever seen," said Neal, who added that none of the 15,000 people who were in the opening ceremony will be in the finale Sunday . . . FIFA has no plans to strengthen Olympic soccer with full national teams, preferring to stick with its age restrictions. Sepp Blatter, president of soccer's governing body, said FIFA has always refused to allow the Olympic tournament to rival its own World Cup. That's why the restrictions were introduced 20 years ago with the addition of three overage stars. "This system was established in 1988 and we should not leave this system," Blatter said . . . Four horses in the Olympic equestrian team jumping competition, including one from Norway's bronze medal team, were provisionally suspended for testing positive for capsaicin, which is prohibited for its pain-relieving properties. A second blood sample for each horse still must be tested. Norway could lose its bronze medal.

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