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    Shelby Houlihan banned from Tokyo Olympics after positive drug test as US runner claims she at dodgy PORK BURRITO

    SHELBY HOULIHAN will not race at the Tokyo Olympics after blaming a dodgy pork burrito for her positive drugs test.The US middle-distance runner was banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit following a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling after a presence of anabolic steroid nandrolone was discovered in a doping sample.
    American 1500m and 5000m record-holder Shelby Houlihan says she is ‘devastated’ to be banned for a failed drugs test she blames on dodgy porkCredit: Sportsfile
    The 28-year-old denies any wrongdoing and reckons the adverse finding may have come from eating contaminated meal the night before her test.
    Houlihan said: “I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I’ve loved and poured myself into.
    “I want to be very clear. I have never taken any performance-enhancing substances.
    “I have since learned that it has long been understood by WADA that eating pork can lead to a false positive for nandrolone – since certain types of pigs produce it naturally in high amounts.
    “Pig organ meat has the highest levels of nandrolone.
    “In the following five days after being notified, I put together a food log of everything that I consumed the week of that December 15 test.
    “We concluded that the most likely explanation was a burrito purchased and consumed approximately 10 hours before that drug test from an authentic Mexican food truck that serves pig offal near my house in Beaverton, Oregon.
    “I notified the AIU that I believed this was the source.”

    Houlihan insisted: “I did everything I could to prove my innocence.
    “I passed a polygraph test. I had my hair sampled by one of the world’s foremost toxicologists.
    “Wada agreed that test proved that there was no build up of this substance in my body, which there would have been if I were taking it regularly.”

    Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto rules out postponing Olympics More

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    Team GB stars threatened with deportation, jail and Olympic medals being stripped if they break Tokyo quarantine rules

    TEAM GB athletes have been threatened with strict SIX-day hotel quarantine spells when they arrive in Tokyo for next month’s Olympics.And all athletes taking part in the Games have been warned they face fines, disqualification, being stripped of medals, or even deportation if they break Covid protocol requirements THROUGHOUT their stay in Japan.
    Team GB athletes face deportation if they break Covid protocol in JapanCredit: Reuters
    The Japanese Government is currently locked in a stand-off with Olympic chiefs over Covid rules.
    But the UK and India are among countries on Japan’s “red list” requiring what is in effect seven nights of one-room incarceration on arrival, with the first evening viewed as “Day Zero”.
    The latest official “Playbook” for the Games, published today, said: “Border measures may be strengthened upon entry to Japan in relation to the handling of Covid-19 variants of concern.
    “The Government of Japan may implement additional restrictions, for Games participants from designated countries.”
    Asked to confirm that meant six days of quarantine for UK athletes, Tokyo 2020 Operations Chief Hidemasa Nakamura replied: “Yes. Quarantine for six days is required for some countries where the same treatment will be imposed on athletes and media.
    “This is for countries with the variants — we wanted to make sure we have a counter-measure with variants.
    “Now the Japanese government and the IOC are currently in ongoing discussions about what our counter-measures will be during the Games.
    “Our perspective is that we have to make it absolutely a safe Games and these are the things that we are looking at.”
    The Government has said there must be actions where there are malicious violations that impose risks to health or life and for those who break border controlsTokyo 2020 Operations Chief Hidemasa Nakamura
    Team GB chiefs have sought to protect British athletes from the toughest measures by ensuring all squad members have received two vaccinations before travelling and pledging they will be doing everything possible to minimise any risk to the people of Japan.
    Christophe Dubi, executive director of the Games, signalled the IOC’s efforts to prevent the quarantine measures being forced on Team GB.
    He said: “Those countries that are affected by the variants have also made a pledge that was sent to Tokyo 2020 and the IOC, whereby they will take extra measures on their side.
    “They will ensure that a maximum number of their people are vaccinated.
    “If there is a problem, of course we will follow the rule as established by the authorities, but we can do more, and this is what these delegations have pledged to do.”
    Team GB bosses are hoping that the IOC win the battle on their behalf, avoiding the most severe restrictions.

    But in addition, the IOC has given ground on punishment for any athletes who ignore the strict testing and other Covid requirements.
    Any athlete testing positive on arrival will be forced to stay in a “quarantine hotel” outside the Olympic Village and all competitors and officials must take DAILY tests for the first fortnight in the country.
    Failing to wear masks, follow social distancing rules, using non-Olympic transport or eating outside permitted areas could bring major sanctions.
    Potential punishments range from a simple warning for minor infractions, to temporary or permanent withdrawal of accreditation, short-term or permanent exclusion, disqualification, fines, medals being stripped and forced deportation.
    Nakamura added: “The Government has said there must be actions where there are malicious violations that impose risks to health or life and for those who break border controls.
    “We have to give confidence to the Japanese people.”

    Dubai added: “I will not speculate on what will happen and we do not believe anybody will be coming to breach the rules.
    “But if they do, there is a disciplinary commission for all those who contravene the rules.
    “And we will also have random testing to make sure all the daily saliva samples are being properly collected and treated, to prevent people cheating.”
    Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto rules out postponing Olympics More

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    Mo Farah could MISS Tokyo Olympics after Brit hero tastes 10,000m defeat for first time in TEN years

    MO FARAH’S chances of making a fourth Olympics are in major doubt following a first 10,000m defeat for TEN years.The reigning Olympic champion has only three weeks to prove his form for Team GB after failing to secure the qualifying time of 27 minutes 28 seconds.
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    Mo Farah faces a race against time to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 10,000mCredit: Getty
    Farah says he struggled with a knee injuryCredit: Reuters
    Yorkshireman Marc Scott, 27, was seventh (27:49.83) in the European Cup last night at the University of Birmingham with Farah lagging behind in eighth (27:50.54).
    Age has finally caught up with the 38-year-old, who has until June 27 to find a race globally where he can dip under the necessary standard – if not, then he will stay at home this summer.
    In his first track race since 2017, Farah blamed his slowest time over the distance for seven years on a left ankle injury.
    He said: “I’m obviously disappointed with the result but it is what it is.
    “Without making any excuses, the last ten days haven’t been great since I came back from training but it was important I came to the trials.
    “With 15 laps to go, you know my face, but I was hurting hard. I just had to keep fighting, keep digging.
    “I’ve been carrying a niggle since I got back from training. It is frustrating.
    “It just suddenly came on. I have had some treatment to it and then coming back, it really flared up.
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    “To be honest, this is the first bit I have done of track in the last two weeks. It is not ideal.
    “I have no fears you know this is part of the sport.
    “What makes us great is being able to challenge yourself and prove it. So that is what you have got to do as the next stage.
    “I am a four-time Olympic champion but that doesn’t mean nothing. You’ve got to go out there each race and mix it with the best and give yourself a chance.”
    Scot Eilish McColgan won a thrilling women’s race in a time of 31:19.35 and she will be joined on the flight to Tokyo by Jessica Judd, who clocked a personal best of 31:20.96.
    The British hero finished eighth last night with a time of 27:50.54 in BirminghamCredit: PA

    Farah trains with deer in park as he reckons Olympics delay could help gold bid More

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    Tokyo Olympics: When are the games, will they go ahead and what is Covid like in Japan?

    THE TOKYO OLYMPICS are finally set to go ahead this summer, but coronavirus cases are on the rise in Japan.Positivity remains within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the games will go ahead as planned.
    The Tokyo Olympics were due to take place last summer but were postponedCredit: AFP
    But Tokyo currently stands in a state of emergency, as the pandemic rages on with vaccines being rolled out at a slower than anticipated pace.
    The games were supposed to take place last year, but they were postponed, as were the Paralympics, in favour of putting them on this summer.
    When are the Tokyo Olympics?
    The games were originally supposed to take place between July 24 and August 9, 2020.
    But because of the coronavirus pandemic, which also shelved football’s European Championships, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed for the first time in history.

    The Olympics will now take place this summer, between July 23 and August 8.
    It’s ‘highly unlikely’, however, that international spectators will be allowed into Japan to watch the events.
    The British Olympic Association said: “This is very sad news, not only for British fans but particularly for the family and friends of athletes.”
    Will the Tokyo Olympics go ahead?
    Yes, the games could be postponed, but it could take clear civil unrest for the plug to be pulled.
    The IOC stand to make around 70% of its finances from broadcast rights and TV deals, with close to 20% coming from sponsorships.
    Cancelling or postponing the events again could completely rupture the IOC’s funding.
    Polls show majority of Japanese population DON’T want Olympics to go aheadCredit: Reuters
    The IOC are absolutely insistent that the games will go ahead this summer, state of emergency or not.
    “We’ve successfully seen five sports hold their test events during the state of emergency,” IOC vice-president John Coates said.
    “All of the plans that we have in place to protect the safety and security of athletes and the people of Japan are based around the worst possible circumstances, so the answer [to whether the Games could take place during a state of emergency] is absolutely yes.
    “The advice we have got from the World Health Organisation and all of the scientific advice, is that all the measures we have outlined in the playbook, all those measures are satisfactory to ensure a safe and secure Games in terms of health, and that’s whether there is a state of emergency or not.”
    Concern has been expressed about the games going ahead, however.
    Japan’s biggest sports star Naomi Osaka has called for debate over the issueCredit: PA
    The Olympics were postponed last summer for the first time everCredit: EPA
    The World Players Association, which represents close to 90,000 athletes in over 60 countries, want more rigorous testing and stricter social distancing guidelines.
    And polls in Japan have shown there to be a huge disparity between those who want the games to go ahead, and those who don’t.
    Around 70% of those voting in said polls DON’T want the Olympics to go ahead.
    What is the Covid situation like in Japan?
    Not good, as things stand.
    For a long time, Japan had a low Covid case-rate in the country.
    But in April, cases began to rise amid a huge second wave which has caused over 12,000 deaths.
    Tokyo, along with other parts of the country, are in a state of emergency until at least the end of May.
    Naoto Ueyama, Chairman of the Japan Doctors Union, wants the games haltedCredit: Alamy
    But restrictions could go on as late as June 20, a month before the games are due to start.
    Vaccines were rolled out for the first time in February, which is later than other, similarly-developed countries.
    Just 2.3% of the Japanese population, which is close to three million, are fully vaccinated. More

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    Team GB stars who refuse coronavirus vaccine will NOT be banned from Tokyo Olympics with 870-plus to be offered jab

    TEAM GB stars who refuse the Covid vaccine will not be barred from competing at the Tokyo Olympics.Last Saturday SunSport reported that more than 370 Olympians and about 500 support staff will be offered both jabs before flying.
    Team GB stars will not be banned from the Olympics if they refuse the vaccineCredit: Bradley Ormesher – The Times
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    The option is being offered by the International Olympic Committee through their Pfizer inoculation scheme.
    The British Olympic Association are discussing the logistics of getting doses to competitors spread around the world at various training camps.
    Yet if any anti-vaxxers reject the offer, they will not be penalised and refused entry into Japan.
    BOA boss Mark England said: “Having a vaccination is not a pre-requisite for going to the Games.
    “It is not a pre-requisite from the IOC, the Tokyo government or ourselves.
    “We are suggesting it is an opportunity to protect not only our own delegation but a great opportunity to protect the Japanese public as well. We are certainly encouraging that to happen.”
    It is not a pre-requisite from the IOC, the Tokyo government or ourselvesMark England
    More than 60 million vaccines doses have been administered in the UK according to Government data.
    Asked if he anticipated that 100% of Team GB athletes would be vaccinated before travelling, England said: “I’m very hopeful that that is the case.
    “We spent all weekend and will be continuing this week to work through the mechanics of that.
    “We will prioritising the athletes in that. But this is not taking away vaccinations from the vulnerable or those in the age-related categories.

    “This is 100% taking the opportunity to take advantage of the IOC/Pfizer agreement.
    “We have always said and we are steadfast that we would never queue jump. But the news that we will be vaccinated is great.
    “So we will see how that rollout goes and I am very hopeful that everybody that will have the opportunity will take that up.”
    Tokyo 2020 Olympics BAN fans from overseas this summer because of Covid fears and travel restrictions More

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    What are Nike sprint ‘super shoes’ worn by Dina Asher-Smith and why was the original design axed for Toyko Olympics?

    NIKE’S have released a new sprint ‘super shoe’ after the originals were axed by the company – because they would not have got approval from World Athletics.And the company have released an adapted version of the running spikes to be worn by Dina Asher-Smith at the Toyko Olympics.
    Dina Asher-Smith wore the new Nike spikes which are a scaled-down version of the Viperfly at the Diamond League Gateshead meetingCredit: PA
    Nike’s new running spikes have been shelved ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
    The shoes are a different design to ones we have seen before on an athletics track
    The controversial shoes were being branded as a Usain Bolt-busting solution from Nike – but the American company have shelved the shoes with World Athletics approval all but impossible.
    Instead they have released an adapted version, which have been approved by boffins at World Athletics.
    And rival companies are also coming up with footwear that has similar technology – with Adidas among the chasing pack.
    Expect this to be a big talking point at the Olympics this summer.
    What are the Nike Zoom Air Viperfly spikes and will they be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics?
    Nike’s cutting-edge running spikes are designed specifically for 100m sprinters.
    All sprinters wear footwear with small metal spikes on the bottom for better grip.
    Over the last few decades, manufacturers have found ways to make the foot plate more rigid and lighter, which has been approved by athletics officials.
    But the Nike shoes have a carbon fibre mechanism under the ball of the foot that acts like a springboard, generating more power in the sprinter’s stride.
    Nike said: “This composition, developed alongside the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, was designed to provide responsiveness and energy.
    “It follows deep study of the strategy and performance of the race, and focuses attention on what athletes need most in the last 20 meters of the sprint.”
    Currently, we will NOT be seeing these spikes at the Tokyo Olympics, if it goes ahead in the summer of 2021.
    Nike will not make these shoes available for athletes in Japan.
    The shoes have to be approved by World Atheltics, which approve certain lines of footwear ahead of each world championships, with specific limits on sole thickness.
    Nike told SunSport: “World Athletics changed the rules so the shoe will not be produced given Nike respects the rules.
    “We have been researching, developing, building, and testing performance footwear for half a century.
    “The athlete will always be our focus and we will continue to create new and better solutions for their needs.”
    The black and green spikes are being described as the fastest of all time
    What shoes did Usain Bolt run his 100m and 200m world records in?
    Retired Jamaican track icon Bolt ran 9.58sec in the 100m in 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin.

    He then went on and broke his own 200m world record, setting an all-time fastest of 19.19sec in the half lap sprint.
    Bolt wore Puma spikes his whole career and was endorsed by the German company since his earliest days as a promising young teenager.
    Usain Bolt broke the 100m and 200m world records in Berlin in 2009, which still stand todayCredit: AFP – Getty
    Usain Bolt is rightly regarded as the greatest sprinter of all timeCredit: Getty Images – Getty More

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    Twenty-one runners killed in China ultramarathon as sudden ‘disastrous weather’ batters mountain race

    AN INVESTIGATION is underway after 21 runners died in an ultramarathon in China.The 100-kilometre (62 miles) race in Yellow River Stone Forest, Gansu province, was hit by sudden torrential weather.
    Rescuers were called to Yellow River Stone Forest on SaturdayCredit: Reuters
    The 100km race was called off as the rescue mission beganCredit: Reuters
    Gale-force winds, hail and snow storms led to several of the 172 participants requiring medical attention.
    Local media reports confirmed 151 runners were accounted for, eight of which required hospital treatment for minor injuries.
    Many had to be rescued after the storms battered the mountainous track between kilometres 20 and 31 at 1pm local time on Saturday.
    At 2pm, the race was called off and runners were seen being stretchered away and huddling under heavy-duty blankets.
    Among the dead was Huang Guanjun, an elite Chinese distance runner who was deaf-mute.
    One survivor is quoted as saying: “My whole body was soaked through, including my shoes and socks.
    “I couldn’t stand up straight because of the wind, I was very worried I’d be blown over. The cold became more and more unbearable.
    “While descending the mountain, I was already experiencing hypothermia symptoms.”
    Mountainous Baiyin city is prone to sudden snow and hail stormsCredit: Getty
    An investigation has been announced with some runners still in hospitalCredit: Alamy

    An investigation is underway after criticism of organisers for allowing the race to take place despite forecasts of potential storms.
    Zhang Xuchen, mayor of Baiyin city in northern China where the race was held, expressed his sorrow at the incident.
    He said: “As the event’s organiser, we feel a deep sense of guilt and self-blame, express our deep mourning for the victims and deep condolences to their families and the injured runners.”
    Mystery as 900ft China skyscraper sways back and forth sending onlookers fleeing as no earthquakes recorded More

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    How tall is Olympic gymnast Simone Biles?

    SIMONE Biles is one of the most decorated female gymnasts of all time.She recently went viral after she landed her Yurchenko double pike at podium training ahead of the 2021 US Classic.
    Simone Biles is an American gymnastCredit: Athleta
    How tall is Olympic gymnast Simone Biles?
    Simone Biles is 4ft 8in.
    Biles is the owner of a total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.
    She is the most decorated American gymnast and the world’s third most decorated gymnast, behind Belarus’ Vitaly Scherbo, who has 33 total.
    Simone Biles represents Team USACredit: PA:Press Association
    The gymnast is a five-time World all-around champion, five-time World floor exercise champion, three-time World balance beam champion, two-time World vault champion, and six-time US national all-around champion.
    Biles is the first American female gymnast to win a World medal on every event.

    On May 21, @NBCOlympics posted a video of the 24-year-old gymnast landing her Yurchenko double pike at podium training.
    The stunt has never been performed by a woman in competition before.
    “I was like, ‘It’s OK, I’ve done this so many times. I’ve been doing this for months now,'” Biles told NBC Sports.
    She said that she feels “really good going into tomorrow.”
    The athlete will appear in the US Classic on May 22, making it her first meet in more than 18 months.
    What is gymnast Simone Biles’ net worth?
    Simone Biles has a reported net worth of $6million.
    She has obtained most of her fortune through endorsements, sponsorships and Olympic wins. 
    On April 23, 2021 it was announced that Biles was ending her partnership with Nike and was signing with Gap’s Athleta brand for an undisclosed amount.
    Simone Biles is worth millions of dollarsCredit: Teen Vogue
    In this new venture, Biles will have her own performance wear line, which will include products for wearing to and from the gym, according to the company’s statement.
    The gymnast will also have a platform to be an activist for women and other female athletes.
    Biles released a statement regarding the new partnership, saying: “Using my voice has been very empowering for me and I am grateful to embark on this new journey with Athleta to inspire young girls and women to do the same. 
    “I admire Athleta for their commitment to recognize and support women’s individual and collective strength.
    Who is Simone Biles boyfriend Jonathan Owens?
    Biles has been in a relationship with NFL star Jonathan Owens since August of 2020.
    Her fans first started speculating about the couple’s relationship in June when she wished Jonathan a happy birthday on social media.

    Her new relationship status comes after she confirmed her split from WWE star Stacey Ervin Jr. in July of 2020 in a cover story for Vogue.

    The athlete revealed that they called time on their three-year romance in March.
    She told the publication: “It’s hard being young and having that long of a relationship and then ending it. But it was for the best.”
    The former couple went public in 2017 and regularly shared social media posts throughout their relationship. More