2020 Summer Olympics

santadevil

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Awesome Fossum

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From santadevil's link:

The U.S. men's baseball team stumbled in its first attempt to qualify, wasting a ninth-inning lead against Mexico in the final game of the Premier12 tournament in November and losing in the 10th. The U.S. has two more chances to join Israel, Japan, Mexico and South Korea in the Olympic field: an Americas tournament in Arizona from March 22-26 and a final tournament in Taiwan from April 1-5.
Good thing they skipped the Pan Am games. (Edit: I guess that wasn't a qualifier.)
 

Tangled Up In Red

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From Nike: "Features an updated lenticular design that reimagines color in an entirely new way by turning static shades into dynamic hues that shift and change while the body is in motion"
 

jungleboy

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Mar 1, 2016
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Thanks for the heads-up (about the sport I'm commentating on in Tokyo). ;)
Congrats! I am going to Tokyo for OIS - which is now under the OBS umbrella - but we don't have sport assignments yet (and possibly won't get them and will instead be 'roving' each day). But in any case let's find a way to meet up.
 

InstaFace

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Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, who already served a doping suspension in 2014, has been banned for 8 years including Tokyo, after losing his appeal following what WADA calls a voluntary refusal to submit to a doping test in Sept 2018.

You're not going to believe this, but the Chinese are pounding the table and saying the process is a sham. They claim they're going to appeal, though I had thought that CAS was the final court of appeal for such things.

I enjoyed the part from the article describing that in the 2019 FINA World Championships, after the ban but before the appeal ruling, several swimmers refused to share the podium with him and publicly called him a drug cheat. Not just the humiliation side of it, but the sheer fact that athletes are willing to ostracize doping transgressions, rather than a cynical "eh, everyone does it, some get caught" attitude. If only such attitudes were shared across all sports by their premier competitors.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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I am very suspicious of anyone going with the tainted food excuse. She's a world class athlete. Why would she risk eating off a food truck (and where was her nutritionist)? Also, both she and her coach claim to not know what nandrolone was before the positive test. My wife thinks she's clean and it seems that most of the running community is coming out to back Houlihan. What say you, @Marciano490 and the rest of SoSH?
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I am very suspicious of anyone going with the tainted food excuse. She's a world class athlete. Why would she risk eating off a food truck (and where was her nutritionist)? Also, both she and her coach claim to not know what nandrolone was before the positive test. My wife thinks she's clean and it seems that most of the running community is coming out to back Houlihan. What say you, @Marciano490 and the rest of SoSH?
I have a bias and believe most world class athletes are using performance enhancing drugs and believe many of the best are using programs like Balco, Dr. Ferrari with Lance Armstrong or what Alberto Salazar was doing in order to come right up to the limits of what you can get away with while not testing positive.

I hate the logic used that anabolic steroids wouldn't be used by endurance athletes in favor of something like EPO, when we've seen evidence of this from the Oregon Project to the Tour de France. The fact that they're submitting immediate hair samples is to me just indicating that they could have been using for years at levels below the test thresholds and are confident in their abilities to hide it. I think that testing has certainly curbed the ability of athletes to go full chemical, but I even look at Edelman retiring this offseason. Edelman used PEDs in order to recover from his original ACL tear. If everything was available to him, he might very well have been able to get back to playing this season, but as a documented offender he is subject to far more severe consequences trying to use the same assistance to recover.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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This seems...dumb. With a side of racist.

The International Swimming Federation, and by default the IOC, is disallowing a swim cap designed for natural black hair. Their reasoning is that "the caps did not fit 'the natural form of the head' and to their 'best knowledge the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require … caps of such size and configuration.'"

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/02/swimming-caps-for-natural-black-hair-ruled-out-of-olympic-games-alice-dearing
 

Cellar-Door

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That sucks. Feel for her. Seems ridiculous to me. I don't really see the need to test for any substances other than PEDs.
On the one hand I think testing for non-performance enhancers is dumb. On the other hand though... I mean you know it's against the rules, it's not like it's some obscure chemical you could have accidentally ingested. You know you get tested for weed and still make the concious decision to use, I'm not gonna cry too much for you.
 

Fred not Lynn

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https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/07/two-cis-black-women-banned-olympics-natural-testosterone-levels/

Once again, we need to have a discussion about “fairness” and “natural advantages” in sport. Where do we/should we draw the line? Because this seems completely unfair to me to ban these women for having a biological edge without having cheated.
The underlying problem is that sport, like life, will never be completely fair for everyone. No matter where the line is drawn, someone will find themselves on the wrong side of it. And yes, we do ban people with biological advantage all the time…either specifically, like how you’re banned from wrestling in the lightweight division if you’re 210 lbs or circumstantially where you’re effectively banned from playing basketball if you’re 4’3”.

Sport is historically based on the binary (unless you go back to when women weren’t allowed to compete at all - which wasn’t all that long ago) and now we’re trying to fit non-binary people into a framework that didn’t evolve around a non-binary worldview. There are no easy answers…
 
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Cellar-Door

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The underlying problem is that sport, like life, will never be completely fair for everyone. No matter where the line is drawn, someone will find themselves on the wrong side of it. And yes, we do ban people with biological advantage all the time…either specifically, like how you’re banned from wrestling in the lightweight division if you’re 210 lbs or circumstantially where you’re effectively banned from playing basketball if you’re 4’3”.

Sport is historically based on the binary (unless you go back to when women weren’t allowed to compete at all - which wasn’t all that long ago) and now we’re trying to fit non-binary people into a framework that didn’t evolve around a non-binary worldview. There are no easy answers…
I will say in this situation the answer is that the IOC is trash. They set the limits differently for different races, so one of the women involved can run in the 200 meters, but 400 where she was the gold medal favorite and had a real shot a a OR she can't. It seems pretty clear that they are making arbitrary rules that are based on keeping out a few women (all from smaller African nations) when they appear to be threats to win.
 

Fred not Lynn

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I will say in this situation the answer is that the IOC is trash. They set the limits differently for different races, so one of the women involved can run in the 200 meters, but 400 where she was the gold medal favorite and had a real shot a a OR she can't. It seems pretty clear that they are making arbitrary rules that are based on keeping out a few women (all from smaller African nations) when they appear to be threats to win.
I thought the different limits for different races was really weird, too. There are no easy answers, but I am pretty sure the answer they came up with here isn’t the right one!

To be a bit pedantic, I think it’s World Athletics (formerly IAAF) setting those rules, not IOC, but I could be wrong.
 

luckiestman

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luckiestman

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I thought the different limits for different races was really weird, too.
It is, here is where I have some confusion. I thought you could now detect synthetic test vs natural (maybe I’m wrong). The funny thing about thresholds when you can’t detect the difference is that everyone somehow magically comes in right at the number.
 

luckiestman

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And yes, we do ban people with biological advantage all the time…either specifically, like how you’re banned from wrestling in the lightweight division if you’re 210 lbs or circumstantially where you’re effectively banned from playing basketball if you’re 4’3”.
This doesn’t seem like a serious argument to me.
 

Fred not Lynn

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This is fucked up. If they are clean they should be able to compete.
I think you’re misunderstanding the matter. Unlike in most cases, where WADA is testing to make sure people are NOT taking certain substances, the tests here are to make sure these athletes ARE taking something…

They’re not cheating, they never tried to cheat - they were quite literally, born that way. Problem is the binary classification system doesn’t have a proper, fair place for them.
 

reggiecleveland

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On the one hand I think testing for non-performance enhancers is dumb. On the other hand though... I mean you know it's against the rules, it's not like it's some obscure chemical you could have accidentally ingested. You know you get tested for weed and still make the concious decision to use, I'm not gonna cry too much for you.
During our summer pro league championship weekend, there was naturally a big party after. Almost a majority of the Canadian pro players are from Jamaican heritage. So, weed use is accepted. That being said, a friend of one of the players lit up at the party and was greeted with anger. There were lots of guys heading to Europe, and G-league, and most important a number of guys would represent Canada in the Olympic qualifying. The toker, I learned violated an unwritten rule, which was not to smoke around players.
 

Fred not Lynn

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it's not largely legal in her home country though
Whether a substance is or is not legal in a particular country has nothing to do with whether it should be allowed in sport.

Personally, I think the cannabis ban she’s been suspended under is ridiculous. Really IS time to get that sorted out…that said, as an athlete it’s YOUR responsibility to know the rules, know what you can and can not put into your body, and control what goes into your body accordingly.

That all said, I would like to better understand why she was not selected for a relay team - events that occur after her suspension is over, and unless she’s got some history as a monumental klutz with a baton, you’d expect the Olympic Trials winner in the 100m would be on the 4 x 100m relay pretty much automatically. THIS I don’t get…
 

joe dokes

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That all said, I would like to better understand why she was not selected for a relay team - events that occur after her suspension is over, and unless she’s got some history as a monumental klutz with a baton, you’d expect the Olympic Trials winner in the 100m would be on the 4 x 100m relay pretty much automatically. THIS I don’t get…
Every single thing that any sports "federation" does w/r/t international competition seems solely about maintaining its own relevance through exerting power and making sure they keep getting invited to the best IOC parties, while keeping the bribe requirements to a minimum.

So, whatever the worst possible reasons you can think of for "why they did this" are probably closest to the truth.

Her public statements are admirably reasonable, though. I hope she kicks ass and takes names for the next 8 years.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Every single thing that any sports "federation" does w/r/t international competition seems solely about maintaining its own relevance through exerting power and making sure they keep getting invited to the best IOC parties, while keeping the bribe requirements to a minimum.

So, whatever the worst possible reasons you can think of for "why they did this" are probably closest to the truth.

Her public statements are admirably reasonable, though. I hope she kicks ass and takes names for the next 8 years.
I’ve been on the Board of Directors of a sport National Governing Body. Most of what they do is try not to get sued…

Usually if there’s some underlying collusion they’ll at least TRY to rationalize with some lame but acceptable verbiage. What I want is for USATF to at least try to explain why she wasn’t chosen for the relay.

The other thing to remember is that if you ADD her, someone else (probably in a different track and field event, maybe male or female) stays home, and just because that person isn’t embroiled in a whirlwind of controversy doesn’t mean their claim to a place on the Olympic Team is any less important.
 

BaseballJones

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Possible state of emergency in Tokyo when the Olympics arrive.

https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/31776079/tokyo-surging-covid-19-cases-likely-means-new-state-emergency-olympics

"Fans from abroad were banned from attending the Olympics months ago. But just two weeks ago, organizers and the IOC decided to allow venues to be filed to 50% of capacity but not to exceed 10,000.

The soaring cases are likely to mean that venues will be without any fans, although sponsors and others may have access. The no-fan atmosphere could include the opening ceremony at the $1.4 billion National Stadium."


I'm imagining the opening ceremonies in front of....nobody. I get that it's a TV event, but a huge part of what makes it a great TV event is the huge crowd. But I guess we've had over a year to get used to sports in front of no fans.
 

joe dokes

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I’ve been on the Board of Directors of a sport National Governing Body. Most of what they do is try not to get sued…

Usually if there’s some underlying collusion they’ll at least TRY to rationalize with some lame but acceptable verbiage. What I want is for USATF to at least try to explain why she wasn’t chosen for the relay.

The other thing to remember is that if you ADD her, someone else (probably in a different track and field event, maybe male or female) stays home, and just because that person isn’t embroiled in a whirlwind of controversy doesn’t mean their claim to a place on the Olympic Team is any less important.
If I read the reports correctly, two runners who finished behind her were selected. It's too late now, but I'm not sure either of them would have had much of a gripe.

(I also want to say that my post is pretty insulting to a lot of people in your shoes. I apologize for painting so broadly. For as long as I've been paying attention ('68 - the beginning of the end of Avery Brundage), it seems the IOC and many of the national governing bodies hinder the causes they are supposed to support as much as, if not more than, those bodies further those causes.)
 

Kliq

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Japan has just been incredibly slow at vaccine roll-out, as well as some potential cultural issues that may cause vaccine hesitancy. One of our Japanese-based posters could tell us more about it, but the way COVID has been handled in Japan is very strange. The citizens are better at following rules than in America, so they haven't had to put as much restrictions in place to keep the case count relatively low, but at the same time the government has been slow and not really proactive when it comes to implementing policy to stop the spread, which is part of the reason the roll-out of the vaccine there has been so slow.

I was told of one personal incident where someone from Japan was over in the US working for a few weeks last month. They were staying at a hotel in Florida and across the street there was a Target giving out the J&J vaccine, so they just walked across the street and got vaccinated. I don't think that kind of service existed (at the time at least) in Japan.
 

Fred not Lynn

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If I read the reports correctly, two runners who finished behind her were selected. It's too late now, but I'm not sure either of them would have had much of a gripe.

(I also want to say that my post is pretty insulting to a lot of people in your shoes. I apologize for painting so broadly. For as long as I've been paying attention ('68 - the beginning of the end of Avery Brundage), it seems the IOC and many of the national governing bodies hinder the causes they are supposed to support as much as, if not more than, those bodies further those causes.)
Oh, there’s a ton of greasy stuff that goes on, but always behind some smug, lame, barely plausible but legally acceptable rationale.

And when I say someone else would stay home, that could come from anywhere in USATF’s quota - so not necessarily the people in her particular event.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Is the US deep enough to win the W4x100 without her?
Probably, yes. It as also possible that she’s NOT a strong relay runner. It’s really awkward for USATF to leave her off, but could be a legit sport decision…or not a legit sport decision that can be disguised as one. The fuzziness of making subjective calls like this can obscure a whole lot of bullshit.
 

axx

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Somewhat OT, it just dawned on me that the 2022 winter Olympics is only 7 months away. And it's in Beijing. That'll be entertaining.
 

Nick Kaufman

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You can tell the Tokyo Olympics are going to be magical, because they haven't even started and they managed to make all the spectators disappear.
 

Ale Xander

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Somewhat OT, it just dawned on me that the 2022 winter Olympics is only 7 months away. And it's in Beijing. That'll be entertaining.
Part of me wishes the Olympics in 2 weeks without fans were the Winter ones, say held in Christchurch, or Santiago or somewhere else in the southern hemisphere, and then we get the Summer sports in 7 months with fans.
 

Pitt the Elder

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I don't agree with his choice, but he's already had the virus, so he has some degree of natural immunity, and he explains that he chose not to get the vaccine because he didn't want to disrupt his training for 1-2 days. Personally, if I were his coach I would have told him to get the vaccine the day before an off day (no one trains every day) as soon as he could to avoid any risk of getting a symptomatic case or, maybe more importantly, testing positive and getting sidelined in Tokyo. But, athletes are creatures of habit and for swimmers, once you're within a month of a swim meet, you don't want anything to disrupt your final training or taper. Given that Olympic Trials were in mid June, he probably would have had to get his vaccine in early April to avoid his stated worry. With cases so low now (the US swim team is currently training in Hawaii), and with his natural immunity, I don't think it's as risky as the headline makes it seem.

Probably a question for the COVID thread, but how does natural immunity compare to the vaccines?

Also, a fair thread on this topic by Josh Barro:
View: https://twitter.com/jbarro/status/1413971294836695045?s=19
 

MB's Hidden Ball

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Japan has just been incredibly slow at vaccine roll-out, as well as some potential cultural issues that may cause vaccine hesitancy. One of our Japanese-based posters could tell us more about it, but the way COVID has been handled in Japan is very strange. The citizens are better at following rules than in America, so they haven't had to put as much restrictions in place to keep the case count relatively low, but at the same time the government has been slow and not really proactive when it comes to implementing policy to stop the spread, which is part of the reason the roll-out of the vaccine there has been so slow.

I was told of one personal incident where someone from Japan was over in the US working for a few weeks last month. They were staying at a hotel in Florida and across the street there was a Target giving out the J&J vaccine, so they just walked across the street and got vaccinated. I don't think that kind of service existed (at the time at least) in Japan.
It’s a shitshow, and no one is satisfied with the pace of vaccinations.

And the insistence on hosting the Olympics has only made a complex situation worse.
 

Quintanariffic

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I fucking hate the Olympics and the IOC and this tweet largely captures why.

View: https://twitter.com/kentremendous/status/1412545364918300672?s=21
Except that the rules being enforced are not the IOC's rules but those of WADA and USADA. Of course the IOC has influence over those organizations, but not to the degree that they could force an abrupt policy change to favor a single athlete a couple weeks before Tokyo Opening Ceremonies. Certainly the policy itself is stupid, but everyone knew the rules going into the Olympic Trials.