US coach claims doping the “biggest threat” to swimming competition at Rio 2016

first_imgThis follows the surfeit of doping-related controversies in the sport, including allegations this month that Russian anti-doping officials unsuccessfully requested money in return for covering up failed drug tests registered ahead of London 2012.Particular concerns have been raised in relation to Russian and Chinese swimmers, with world champion Yuliya Efimova and Olympic gold medal winning counterpart Sun Yang among leading athletes to be implicated.Efimova suffered the second failure of career after testing positive for meldonium in March, but has had her suspension provisionally lifted due to an admission that “more reasearch” is required to assess how long the substance – only banned on January 1 – remains in the human body.Allegations of state sponsored doping in other sports in Russia has heightened fears in recent weeks.”It’s the biggest threat to who should win the medals,” said Marsh ahead of the US Olympic Trials.”It’s the biggest threat to the integrity of the Games.”He described the effects of doping as a “complete game-changer” particularly in women’s events.”With a little bit of extra testosterone, it’s a giant advantage.”Many members of US team admitted to being concerned by possible doping by rivals ahead of the Games.”It’s really disappointing,” freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky told Associated Press.”I think we’re all happy that people are getting caught and they’re being a little tougher on things.”Hopefully, that will continue and we can all feel confident going in that we’re competing against clean athletes.”US swimmers have been implicated in doping scandals themselves, with breaststroke and freestyle star Jessica Hardy serving a one-year ban after failing a test in 2008 before returning in time to win a medley relay gold at London 2012.last_img read more

Joey Barton finally gets Championship winners’ medal after embarrassing mix-up

first_img1 Joey Barton looks glum after initally missing out on Championship winners’ medal Joey Barton and James Tarkowski finally received their Championship winners’ medals on Tuesday having been left empty-handed during Burnley’s promotion parade.The Clarets had celebrated returning to the Premier League in front of thousands of fans on Monday at a ceremony where they were also awarded their champions’ trophy.They had been made to wait two days for that honour, following a controversial order from the Football League not to hand the silverware out at an opposing ground, and Barton and Tarkowski then missed out on the chance to collect a medal like the rest of their team-mates because of an administrative mix-up.The east Lancashire club had only requested 25 medals and they had already been distributed by the time defender Tarkowski and one-time England cap Barton came out with their colleagues for the trophy presentation.However, the error has now been rectified after Burnley uploaded a picture on to their Twitter account of the pair clutching medals alongside the caption: “Thanks to @SkyBet and @football_league for these. #Champions.”Both Barton and Tarkowski also posted images onto social media having played down the incident on Monday night.Defender Tarkowski, who only made four appearances for the Clarets following his mid-season switch from Brentford, had joked he would “use it as a coaster for my hot chocolates now” before saying “It’s not even big enough to fit brew on, I’m sending it back!!”The Football League’s decision not to hand Burnley the trophy on the pitch at The Valley following their 3-0 title-clinching win over Charlton was criticised by players, including Barton, and a delegate from the governing body was jeered by Clarets supporters at the ceremony on Monday.Barton, 33, then refused to lift the cup when it was passed around Dyche’s squad, instead preferring to celebrate with an inflatable version, as the team had done at the weekend.last_img read more