SUMMER OLYMPICS
Sports SUMMER OLYMPICS

Full coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Russian Olympic medalist, a Trojan Swim Club member, tests positive for meldonium but won't be punished

Nikita Lobintsev and two other Russian swimmers have been barred from competing in the Rio Summer Olympics. (Francois Xavier Marit / AFP/Getty Images)
Nikita Lobintsev and two other Russian swimmers have been barred from competing in the Rio Summer Olympics. (Francois Xavier Marit / AFP/Getty Images)

Nikita Lobintsev, who trains with the USC-based Trojan Swim Club, tested positive for meldonium, but won’t be punished for the infraction, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday.

The World Anti-Doping Agency banned the use of meldonium earlier this year. Lobinstev, a two-time Olympic medalist, told the USADA that he stopped using the drug last October after being introduced to it eight years ago by a Russian national team doctor.

USADA concluded that Lobinstev’s positive test in June stemmed from use before the ban on meldonium.

“The disturbing pattern of use associated with this performance-enhancing drug,” USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said, “appears to be one more example of a growing practice in sport in which coaches ask for, physicians prescribe, and athletes use pharmaceuticals not for their primary purpose of health and wellness, but to enhance athletic performance."

Earlier this week, Lobintsev and two other Russian swimmers were barred from competing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by the International Swimming Federation because they were named in a WADA investigation headed by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.

The swimmers are expected to appeal the decision.

Rio 2016 Olympics: Highlights and news

LA 2024 releases renderings of updated Coliseum, temporary swim stadium

Artist's rendering of an updated Coliseum (From LA 2024)
Artist's rendering of an updated Coliseum (From LA 2024)

LA 2024 officials have released artist renderings of an updated Coliseum and temporary swim stadium that would be used if Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Some of the proposed upgrades to the Coliseum would be included in USC’s planned renovation of the historic stadium, a project that is currently estimated at $270 million but could grow larger.

L.A. Olympic officials would add a track by creating a temporary floor above the football field. There would be room underneath this athletics deck for warm-up areas.

“Our goal with all of our venue choices has been first and foremost to deliver an excellent field of play and the perfect conditions for the athletic performances of a lifetime,” LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said. “After that, we have tried to create an interesting blend of ultra-modern venues and upgraded iconic sites.”

Artist's rendering of a temporary swim stadium in and around USC’s baseball facility (Courtesy of LA 2024)
Artist's rendering of a temporary swim stadium in and around USC’s baseball facility (Courtesy of LA 2024)

The temporary swim stadium would be built in and around USC’s baseball facility, Dedeaux Field.

LA 2024 had earlier considered putting a pool inside the Los Angeles Football Club’s proposed stadium, which would be constructed on the Sports Arena site.

“When I look at the aquatics venue, it’s perfect to have the world’s greatest stage in such a stadium,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said.

LA 2024 has put forth an Olympic budget that could exceed $6 billion. Bid officials predict they can pay for the Games and generate a $161-million surplus through broadcast rights, sponsorships, ticket sales and other revenue sources.

When do the 2016 Rio Olympics start?

Maracana Stadium (Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP / Getty Images)
Maracana Stadium (Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP / Getty Images)

The 2016 Rio Games run Aug. 5-21 — that is, the date of the opening ceremony to the date of the closing ceremony.

The first-night festivities at Maracana Stadium, including the Parade of Nations, start at 4 p.m. PT, but viewers in the U.S. won't be able to watch it live.

Because NBC wants to show the popular event in prime time, the opening ceremony will be broadcast on a four-hour tape delay on the West Coast, starting at 8 p.m. PT.

The tape-delayed local broadcasts will begin at 8 p.m. in the Eastern time zone and 7 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones.

To make things even more confusing, the soccer tournament begins two days before the opening ceremony. The group round of the women's competition starts Aug. 3, with a slate of six games from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.

The U.S. women take on New Zealand at 3 p.m. PT.

The men's action starts the next day, with eight games in the same time frame.

The only sport with events scheduled on Aug. 5 is archery, with men's ranking rounds at 5 a.m. and women's at 9 a.m. PT.

A father's tough love mixed with a son's talent puts boxer Carlos Balderas in the Olympics

Carlos Balderas will compete in the lightweight division in the 2016 Rio Olympics. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Carlos Balderas will compete in the lightweight division in the 2016 Rio Olympics. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The boxer dances across an empty ring, moving to a beat only he can hear. His punches snap with a grace honed by years of hard work.

All the times he rose early as a boy, running cold streets while classmates watched from a passing school bus, made him quick. All the times he trudged across town, lugging a duffel bag full of gear, made him strong.

Carlos Balderas remembers wanting to skip workouts.

“Growing up, I had friends and they always hung out,” he says. “My dad made me go to the gym.”

International Olympic Committee decides against banning all Russian athletes from Rio Games

The Russian flag, left, and the Olympic flag fly during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. (Kay Nietfeld / EPA)
The Russian flag, left, and the Olympic flag fly during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. (Kay Nietfeld / EPA)

With the 2016 Summer Games drawing near, Olympic leaders now find themselves facing questions — if not outright criticism — over their decision not to ban Russia from the competition.

The International Olympic Committee had felt the pressure to take action in response to allegations of systemic doping among Russian athletes.

Yet, on Sunday, the IOC’s executive board asked the international federations that govern each sport to do most of the work in deciding who is eligible for Rio de Janeiro next month.

The IOC did, however, lay down strict ground rules, suggesting that Russians should be presumed guilty unless they can prove otherwise.

Through the darkness, blind veteran Brad Snyder becomes one of the best swimmers in the world

Brad Snyder takes a deep breath after a heat in the 400-meter freestyle race at the U.S. Paralympic trials June 30. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
Brad Snyder takes a deep breath after a heat in the 400-meter freestyle race at the U.S. Paralympic trials June 30. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

"I'm dead.” The thought settled on Brad Snyder in the middle of a cloud of dust and smoke raised by the blast of a homemade land mine. He lay in a fetal position on a patch of grass next to a ravine in southern Afghanistan. The Navy lieutenant couldn’t make out any blood through the haze. His arms and legs were still attached. He didn’t know anyone who survived one of these explosions with all of their limbs intact.

An instant earlier, Snyder rushed past the patrol’s Navy SEALs and Afghan commandos with a stretcher for two Afghans torn apart by a similar device. He heard a loud pop. The blast slammed him backward and bent his rifle across his body armor. The world sounded like a flatlining heart monitor.

Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski seeks one last Olympic gold

Coach Mike Krzyzewski, right, chats with center DeMarcus Cousins during a Team USA practice. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
Coach Mike Krzyzewski, right, chats with center DeMarcus Cousins during a Team USA practice. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Mike Krzyzewski’s last journey as coach of the U.S. men’s national team doesn’t include a detour down Memory Lane on the way to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

There’s too much work to do, too many elements for him and his staff to fuse together in a short period for him to lapse into being sappy about the approaching end of his remarkable coaching tenure with USA Basketball. As in his gold-medal successes with the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams and his triumphant World Cup and world championship ventures, the longtime Duke coach and five-time NCAA champion has been his usual methodical and meticulous self while interacting with players and coaches gathered here this week.

“He’s still the same person, the same personality,” said New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, the lone holdover from the 2008 Olympic squad and, with Kevin Durant, one of two holdovers from 2012. “It’s great. He’s the same motivator, the guy that I’ve become closer and closer to over the years. I don’t think he’s changed a bit.”

Soccer star Carli Lloyd silences her critics

 (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

When former soccer star Mia Hamm returned to her hometown of Selma, Ala., last winter, she was presented with a key to the city.

When Carli Lloyd, the U.S. team’s current star, returned to Burlington County, N.J., after last summer’s World Cup, she was presented with the key to the Evesham Township Recreational Facility.

It may have been the most appropriate gift she’s ever received, given that Lloyd has spent more hours in the rec center than anywhere else near her South Jersey home.

Olympic gymnast Sam Mikulak used recovery time to get stronger and promote business

Sam Mikulak competes on the pommel horse during the U.S men's Olympic gymnastics trials on June 23. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
Sam Mikulak competes on the pommel horse during the U.S men's Olympic gymnastics trials on June 23. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

First off, the patient in the operating room was a gymnast. In fact, the best male gymnast in the country, Sam Mikulak, the reigning national champion and 2012 U.S. Olympian.  

Surgeon Scott Forman, a foot and ankle specialist, needed no such reminders when the patient had surgery last year, but his associate, Sam’s father, Stephen Mikulak, brought it up. They are in the same orthopedic practice in Newport Beach.

“Little pressure there … I have his dad in the room,” Forman said, smiling. “And he’s going, ‘You know, Scott, if you mess up, all his hopes and dreams of being an Olympic champion are out the window.’”

Sanya Richards-Ross pulls up at Olympic trials

Sanya-Richards Ross (Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
Sanya-Richards Ross (Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

Sanya Richards-Ross and Galen Rupp lingered on the sun-baked track at Hayward Field on Friday long after their races were done, savoring moments that were memorable but for dramatically different reasons.

Richards-Ross, the 2012 Olympic 400-meter gold medalist, had said she would retire after this season, but it ended abruptly and too soon.

Pulling up when she felt “a grab” from her injured hamstring before the final turn of her first-round race in the 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, she was unable to finish. Her slow turn around the track became a thank you and a farewell shared by the savvy crowd and the elegant Richards-Ross, whose career will end with three Olympic gold medals and one bronze.

Santa Clarita's Abbey Weitzeil wins 100 freestyle to qualify for Rio

Abbey Weitzeil swims in a preliminary race for the 100-meter freestyle. (Orlin Wagner / Associated Press)
Abbey Weitzeil swims in a preliminary race for the 100-meter freestyle. (Orlin Wagner / Associated Press)

Santa Clarita’s Abbey Weitzel hung on during the final stretch to win the 100-meter freestyle Friday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials and qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“I knew I was going to have to put my head down and fight it out,” the 19-year-old said.

Weitzeil finished in 53.28 seconds -- her personal best in the event -- while Simone Manuel, also 19, touched the wall less than three-tenths of a second later. The winning time is the seventh best in the world this year.

Weitzeil deferred enrolling at UC Berkeley until this fall in order to train for the trials and Olympics.

“This is what I’ve been working for the last year,” she said. “I’m on top of the world right now.”

Weitzeil will also swim the 50 freestyle at the trials. The preliminaries and semifinals are Saturday with the finals Sunday.

Riverside's Tyler Clary finishes third in 200 backstroke, misses out on defending Olympic gold in event

Tyler Clary swims in a men's 200-meter backstroke semifinal at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Tyler Clary swims in a men's 200-meter backstroke semifinal at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Tyler Clary won’t have the opportunity to defend his Olympic gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke.

Clark, who grew up in Riverside, finished third in the event's final Friday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

The 27-year-old said after the race that he is retiring from competitive swimming.

“I’m looking forward to turning the page in the book of my life and starting a new chapter,” Clary said.

He’s long planned to pursue NASCAR racing when his swimming career ended.

Clary’s immediate to-do list includes racing go-karts with his family on Saturday.  

Katie Ledecky takes it easy in 800 freestyle preliminary, still records third-fastest time in history

 (Nati Harnik / Associated Press)
(Nati Harnik / Associated Press)

Katie Ledecky cruised to the third-fastest 800-meter freestyle time in history Friday during the event’s preliminary heats at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

The 19-year-old didn’t even appear to be winded after the race.

“I took it pretty easy,” Ledecky said.

That still allowed her to finish in 8 minutes, 10.91 seconds, a few seconds shy of the world record of 8:06.68 she set in January.

Ledecky made a split-second decision to sprint the last few meters to the finish to practice for Friday night's 100 freestyle final.

“I still think I can be up there,” she said of the shorter race.

Ledecky has already won the 200 and 400 freestyle at the trials. The 800 freestyle finals are Saturday.

Josh Prenot is making a name for himself at the U.S. swim trials

Josh Prenot nearly set a world record in the 200-meter breaststroke on Thursday. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)
Josh Prenot nearly set a world record in the 200-meter breaststroke on Thursday. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

A young fan stopped Josh Prenot on his way into CenturyLink Center for the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Thursday.

The girl called him Chuck. That didn’t work. She tried Adam. Nope.

“She eventually got to the correct one,” Prenot said.

Whatever anonymity surrounded the 22-year-old physics major from Cal vanished a few hours later. In his final opportunity to qualify for the Olympics at these trials, Prenot surged past Kevin Cordes in the final seconds to claim the 200-meter breaststroke.

Prenot finished in 2 minutes 7.17 seconds, the second-fastest time in history, only a tenth of a second off the world record set by Japan’s Akhiro Yamaguchi in 2012. Five days into the trials, Katie Ledecky is the only other swimmer to record a world-best time.

“This was my last race, my last chance to make the team,” Prenot said. “I didn’t feel like waiting another four years, so the pressure was on.”

Some Russian rowers won't be allowed to compete in Summer Olympics

Russia's quadruple sculls team, including Sergey Fedorovtsev, competes in the 2013 world rowing championships in South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)
Russia's quadruple sculls team, including Sergey Fedorovtsev, competes in the 2013 world rowing championships in South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Russian men's quadruple sculls team has been disqualified from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for a doping violation, world rowing's ruling body announced Thursday.

The Russians will be replaced at the Summer Games by New Zealand.

The World Rowing Federation says that trimetazidine, a banned substance, was found in a urine sample given by rower Sergei Fedorovtsev in an out-of-competition test on May 17. 

He competed a week later at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in Switzerland, where Russia finished first to qualify for Rio. 

As Fedorovtsev, who won a gold medal in quadruple sculls at the 2004 Athens Olympics, had provided a positive doping test, the federation said that “the results of all competitions in which the rower participated after 17 May 2016 are therefore automatically disqualified.” 

New Zealand, which finished third behind Russia and Canada in the qualifying event, will replace the Russian crew in Rio. Canada also qualified by finishing second, joining the top eight crews who secured their Olympic places at the 2015 world championships, held in France. 

The disqualification of the rowers is just the latest doping scandal involving Russia ahead of Rio. 

Russia's track and field athletes have already be banned from competing for their country for a systematic doping system that operated “from the top down” and tainted the entire team. 

The IAAF, track's world governing body, upheld a ban on Russia's track and field federation, but left open a “tiny crack” that would allow any individual Russian athletes who have been untainted by doping and have been subjected to effective testing outside Russia to apply to compete in the games. 

Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Belarus, also faces a possible one-year suspension from international weightlifting competition following the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. 

The International Weightlifting Federation said the final decisions on whether the countries will be allowed to compete at Rio will be made after the International Olympic Committee makes a definitive ruling on the retests. Russia is one of six countries that have already had some of their quota places for Rio withdrawn by the IWF. 

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO doesn't have major concerns about health or security in Rio de Janeiro

Scott Blackmun (Francis Vachon / Canadian Press via the Associated Press)
Scott Blackmun (Francis Vachon / Canadian Press via the Associated Press)

U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Scott Blackmun doesn’t have major concerns about health or security issues at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, despite a stream of troubling news in recent weeks from the host city.

“At the end of the day, it’s a complicated world and there’s risk associated with everything,” Blackmun said Thursday between sessions at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. “But we feel really good about Rio’s preparation. … There’s risk associated with any Games, whether it’s terrorism or crime or transportation. Whatever it is, you’re always going to have something.”

Blackmun noted that he’s bringing his immediate family to the Games.

“I feel like the safest place in the world is going to be in the [Olympic] village and at the competition venue,” he said. “I think our athletes will be among the safest people in Rio because of all the security that’s going to be around them. Candidly, I am not concerned about it. I’m not concerned about it for my family.”

Blackmun said he’s heard from only one athlete concerned about the Zika virus — via their agent — and directed the query to the Centers for Disease Control.

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte advance in the 200 individual medley

Ryan Lochte swims in the men's 200-meter individual medley preliminaries on Thursday. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Ryan Lochte swims in the men's 200-meter individual medley preliminaries on Thursday. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Longtime rivals Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps recorded the two fastest qualifying times in the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Thursday.

Lochte finished in 1 minute, 58.05 seconds, the eighth-best time in the world this year, but remained in pain from the injured groin that’s bothered him all week.

To compensate for the discomfort on the breaststroke leg, Lochte used a smaller kick.

“I can’t do a normal kick because it hurts so bad,” he said.

Phelps, who turned 31 on Thursday, touched the wall in 1:58.95. After qualifying for his fifth Olympics on Wednesday night with a victory in the 200 butterfly, Phelps struggled to sleep last night. He resorted to shooting text messages to coach Bob Bowman.

The 200 IM semifinals are Thursday and the final is Friday.

“This is the grind time for me,” Phelps said.

Abbey Weitzeil clocks top preliminary time in 100-meter freestyle

 (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Santa Clarita’s Abbey Weitzeil recorded the fastest preliminary time in the 100-meter freestyle Thursday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials and set a personal best in the process.

The 19-year-old Weitzeil finished in 53.58 seconds, well ahead of her previous best of 53.77 seconds.

"I'm happy with it, but I really, definitely want to be faster," she said. 

The semifinals are Thursday night at CenturyLink Center, and the finals are Friday.

Amanda Weir, who set the American record in the event in 2009, finished second in 53.76 seconds.

Other big names advancing in the event include Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin and Simone Manuel.

Human body parts found near beach volleyball site for Olympics in Rio

Young beachgoers walk near body parts, covered in a plastic bag, discovered on Copacabana Beach near the Olympic beach volleyball venue, top right, on Wednesday. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Young beachgoers walk near body parts, covered in a plastic bag, discovered on Copacabana Beach near the Olympic beach volleyball venue, top right, on Wednesday. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

A human foot and another body part were found washed ashore Wednesday on Rio's Copacabana Beach, just in front of the venue where beach volleyball will be played during the Olympics in a matter of weeks, according to police near the site.

A beachgoer found the remains, which police say appear to have belonged to a woman or young adult.

Several incidents of violence have overshadowed Olympic preparations in Rio de Janeiro over the past several weeks.

Numerous gun battles — responsible for 10 deaths, according to the O Globo newspaper — have taken place in Rio's slums as police try to recapture drug trafficker Nicolas Labre Pereira, nicknamed “Fat Family,” who escaped from a Brazilian hospital on June 19.

A police officer bends over human remains, covered in a plastic bag, discovered on Copacabana Beach near the Olympic beach volleyball venue on Wednesday. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
A police officer bends over human remains, covered in a plastic bag, discovered on Copacabana Beach near the Olympic beach volleyball venue on Wednesday. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

In addition, an off-duty bodyguard for Rio's mayor was killed in an apparent mugging, a 34-year-old doctor was killed in her car on a main expressway and members of the Australian Paralympic team were mugged at gunpoint.

Acting Gov. Francisco Dornelles told O Globo on Tuesday a promised $860 million from the federal government for increased security and transportation efforts has yet to come in.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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