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Shorts: US Olympic champ Dwyer retires after doping ban

October 12, 2019 08:55 IST

Summary of sports persons and events in the news on Friday.

Conor Dwyer

IMAGE: Conor Dwyer celebrates after the men's freestyle 200m finals in the US Olympic swimming team trials in 2016. Photograph: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters /span>

American double Olympic champion Conor Dwyer on Friday said he was retiring from swimming on the day he was handed a 20-month doping ban that ruled him out of next year's Tokyo Olympics.

 

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) earlier announced that an independent three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) determined the suspension after Dwyer was found to have had testosterone pellets inserted in his body.

Dwyer, 30, tested positive for an anabolic agent in three out-of-competition urine samples last November and December, USADA said in a news release.

"Following a full evidentiary hearing, the panel found that Dwyer had testosterone pellets inserted in his body in violation of the rules," USADA said.

Dwyer said he was following a doctor-prescribed medical treatment that he did not realise contained the banned substance testosterone and noted that the panel said in its report that he was not significantly at fault for the violation.

"My doctor assured me that the United States Olympic Committee had approved the treatment before I agreed to it," he said in a statement.

"Absent of these assurances, I never would have agreed to this medically necessary treatment.

"Regardless of the result of the arbitration ruling, I have decided to retire from swimming to pursue other professional interests.

"It was an honour to represent my country alongside my team mates and with the support of my coaches, family, and friends."

Dwyer was part of the US 4x200m freestyle teams that won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He also claimed bronze in the individual 200 freestyle at Rio in 2016.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart said: "As noted in the panel’s decision, USADA is independent of sport and here to help athletes ensure they compete clean and protect their health and well-being within the rules.

"It’s frustrating that Mr Dwyer did not take advantage of this support and hopefully this case will convince others to do so in order to protect fair and healthy competition for all athletes."

Dwyer’s 20-month ban began on December 21 last year, the date of his provisional suspension.

Farah defends reputation after Salazar suspension

British Olympic runner Mo Farah addresses a news conference for the Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday.

IMAGE: British Olympic runner Mo Farah addresses a news conference for the Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday. Photograph: Maria Alejandra Cardona/Reuters

British Olympic champion Mo Farah defended his reputation at a news conference ahead of the Chicago Marathon on Friday after being bombarded with questions about his former coach Alberto Salazar who has been banned for doping violations.

Farah, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, worked from 2011 to 2017 with Salazar, who was given a four-year ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Sept. 30.

The 36-year-old Farah, speaking for the first time since Salazar was suspended, responded angrily to questions about his former mentor, with whom he achieved some of his best performances.

"It’s very disappointing to see you guys going at it again and again, and headlines, ‘Farah, Farah, Farah'," he said.

"I’ll just say there’s no allegation against me. I’ve not done anything wrong.

"If I tell you guys and talk to you guys and be nice to you, you’ll still be negative. If I don’t talk to you, you’ll still be negative.

"I’m aware I can’t win. You’re already made up your mind what you’re going to write –- that is a fact."

Asked if he regretted staying with Salazar, particularly after a 2015 BBC documentary made a series of allegations against the American, Farah said he had confronted his coach.

"I was out in Birmingham (England) racing, I pulled out (of) the race in 2015," he told reporters. "I wanted some answers and I flew to Portland to get some answers from Alberto.

"Talked to him face-to-face and he assured me at the time, 'These are just allegations. This is not true. There are no allegations against you, Mo.' He promised me. And that hasn’t been true."

Farah, who won Olympic gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the 2012 and 2016 Games, said he was unaware until after the ban was announced that Salazar was charged with doping in 2017.

Salazar has denied any wrongdoing and said he plans to appeal against the suspension.

Defending Chicago marathon champion Farah and 2017 winner American Galen Rupp plus women's marathon runner Jordan Hasay are among Salazar's most decorated athletes.

Nike announced on Thursday that it would shut down the Nike Oregon Project, the elite programme overseen by Salazar, where Rupp and Hasay trained.

Neither Rupp nor Hasay has been accused of any wrongdoing.

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