Head of UK Sports Reporting
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Aug 9, 2013

Athletics-Japanese sprinters out to boost Tokyo’s Olympic bid

MOSCOW, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Japan’s two young sprint hopefuls Yoshihide Kiryu and Ryota Yamagata are hoping to catch the eye at the Moscow world championships, not only to develop their own careers but also boost Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Kiryu, 17, is the second fastest Japanese sprinter ever and his 10.01 second run in Hiroshima in April gave him a share of the junior world record with Trinidad’s Darrel Brown and American Jeffery Demps.

Aug 8, 2013

Russian minister tells athletes to relax about anti-gay law

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko on Thursday told world athletics championship contenders to “relax” about his country’s anti-gay propaganda law and said their private lives were safe during the August 10-18 Moscow event.

The recently-passed legislation outlawing gay propaganda has led to worldwide protests, with even U.S. President Obama weighing into the debate.

Aug 8, 2013

IAAF approves return to four-year doping bans

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Athletics will end 18 years of frustration in 2015 by returning to four-year bans for first-time dopers, ending the situation of Olympic athletes suspended for doping turning up to compete in the following Games.

Having been forced to cut its ban from four to two years in 1997 to bring it in line with other leading sports and get worldwide governments on board, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been under increasing pressure to restore the stiffer penalty in the wake of a slew of high-profile doping cases.

Aug 8, 2013

IAAF approves return to four-year bans

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Athletics took a determined step towards the reintroduction of four-year doping bans on Thursday when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Congress approved the move recommended by its Council.

The IAAF cut its ban for first-time doping offenders from four to two years in 1997 to bring it in line with other international bodies but increasing disillusionment with the current situation has led to a u-turn, even though it might isolate the sport from others less inclined to adopt the stricter suspension approach.

Aug 8, 2013

Fit-again Merritt eyes sub-13 world title

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Olympic champion and world record holder Aries Merritt says he finds it a “little strange” that no one has dipped below 13 seconds in the 110 meters hurdles this season and plans to remedy the situation in the world championships.

Merritt missed much of the early part of the outdoor campaign with a hamstring injury but in his absence the best any of his rivals could muster was the 13.03 by his fellow American David Oliver in Lausanne a month ago.

Aug 8, 2013

Fit-again Merritt eyes sub-13 world title in 110 metres hurdles

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Olympic champion and world record holder Aries Merritt says he finds it a “little strange” that no one has dipped below 13 seconds in the 110 metres hurdles this season and plans to remedy the situation in the world championships.

Merritt missed much of the early part of the outdoor campaign with a hamstring injury but in his absence the best any of his rivals could muster was the 13.03 by his fellow American David Oliver in Lausanne a month ago.

Aug 7, 2013

IAAF ready to return to four-year doping bans

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Athletics is set to reintroduce four-year doping bans even though the move risks alienating the sport from the world anti-doping authority (WADA), officials said on Wednesday on the eve of the world championships.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will vote on Thursday to set in motion a return to four-year bans for first offenders, following representations from leading former athletes and in the wake of a series of damaging doping cases.

Aug 7, 2013

U.S. runner Symmonds attacks Russia’s anti-gay law

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Multiple American 800m champion Nick Symmonds has become the first competitor at the world athletics championships to criticize Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law but maintains he will say no more out of respect for the host nation.

Symmonds, fifth in last year’s Olympic 800m final and a medal prospect in Moscow next week, wrote in his blog for Runner’s World magazine that he “disagreed” with the controversial new legislation, which outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and has become a political hot potato for next year’s Sochi winter Olympics, when it will apply to athletes and spectators.

Aug 7, 2013

Athletics-U.S. runner Symmonds attacks Russia’s anti-gay law

MOSCOW, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Multiple American 800m champion Nick Symmonds has become the first competitor at the world athletics championships to criticise Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law but maintains he will say no more out of respect for the host nation.

Symmonds, fifth in last year’s Olympic 800m final and a medal prospect in Moscow next week, wrote in his blog for Runner’s World magazine that he “disagreed” with the controversial new legislation, which outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and has become a political hot potato for next year’s Sochi winter Olympics, when it will apply to athletes and spectators.

Aug 3, 2013

Bolt on board for worlds hit by withdrawals

LONDON (Reuters) – A year after athletics was at the heart of London 2012 the sport’s biennial world championships is in danger of losing its luster after a series of doping and injury withdrawals have robbed the Moscow event of much of its stardust.

True, Usain Bolt is still on board flying the flag and will ensure massive interest but after Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell were ruled out through doping violations and reigning 100m champion Yohan Blake pulled out injured, it seems only a repeat of his false start in Daegu two years ago can prevent the Jamaican taking the title.

    • About Mitch

      "I'm the head of UK sports reporting, based in London. I've been on the Reuters sports desk since 1997 and cover mainly football, rugby, athletics, golf, cycling and cricket."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
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