Olympic Notebook

American Nick Delpopolo fails drug test

Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the London Games and the IOC will seek to have his seventh-place finish changed.
File/FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the London Games and the IOC will seek to have his seventh-place finish changed.

American judo fighter Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympics for doping Monday, saying he unintentionally ate something before the Games that had been baked with marijuana.

Delpopolo is the first of the 10,500 London Games athletes to fail an in-competition doping test. His case is the fifth positive test for a banned substance reported by the International Olympic Committee since the IOC started its London testing program in mid-July. The other four were caught before competing.

The IOC disqualified the 23-year-old Delpopolo from the 73-kilogram class, where he placed seventh.


The IOC said the judoka tested positive for metabolites of cannabis after competing on July 30. He is to be stripped of his accreditation immediately, and the IOC will ask the International Judo Federation to change the standings in Delpopolo’s event.

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The IOC also requested that judo’s governing body ‘‘consider any further action within its own competence.’’

Delpopolo, from Westfield, N.J., said his positive test was ‘‘caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana’’ before he left for the Olympics.

‘‘I apologize to US Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake,’’ he said in a statement released by the USOC. ‘‘I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.’’

Semis in sight

The US women’s basketball team can reach the Olympic semifinals for the seventh straight time by defeating Canada today.


‘‘With our experience we understand what’s ahead of us, what’s at stake, what you have to do, how you have to play, we can lead by example that way,’’ said guard Sue Bird, who helped the Americans win the last two gold medals. The last time the US failed to win gold was 1992.

Canada is playing in its first quarterfinal. Its roster includes several players who played college basketball in the US, including Courtnay Pilypaitis (Vermont), and two current college players: Utah’s Michelle Plouffe and Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa.

‘‘It’s probably a foregone conclusion, but we’re going to go play,’’ Canada coach Alison McNeill said. ‘‘We’re going to play hard and do the best we can do to win.’’

Aussie upheaval

The Swimming Australia federation announced an independent review Monday of the team’s performance at the Olympics — the first time Australia has failed to win an individual gold in the pool since the 1976 Games in Montreal. The review will be conducted by Bill Sweetenham, one of Australia’s most experienced coaches, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Susie O'Neill.

‘‘It is clear the world has lifted the bar when it comes to swimming, and so must we,’’ federation president David Urquhart said.


Australia’s only gold in London came in the women’s 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay. The Aussies also won six silvers and three bronze. Four years ago in Beijing, Australia finished with six golds and 20 medals overall.

Serena thinking Rio

One day after completing a career Golden Slam, Serena Williams said she was already thinking about defending her Olympic tennis gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. ‘‘I plan on being there unless an act of God doesn’t allow me to,’’ said Williams, who also won the doubles title with her sister Venus . . . US gymnast Sam Mikulak will have surgery this month to correct an ankle problem that has bothered him since the Olympic trials in June. Mikulak finished fifth in the men’s vault final Tuesday, sticking both attempts despite a heavily taped left ankle that he sprained during the trials. Mikulak participated in five events during team qualifying in London and four events in the team finals . . . American BMX rider Arielle Martin had surgery after injuring her liver and lung in a crash during practice last week in California that knocked her out of these Games. Martin’s family said in a statement Sunday that the medal contender had a setback after she was upgraded from intensive care to a trauma unit. Martin, 27, sustained a severe laceration to her liver and a collapsed right lung in a crash during a final practice July 30. The operation removed a buildup of fluid, the statement said. Brooke Crain replaced Martin on the US roster. The BMX competition begins Wednesday with seeding runs at the Olympic Park.

Mad over memorial

The widow of an Israeli athlete slain during the 1972 Munich Olympics denounced the IOC during a memorial Monday to honor the dead, shouting ‘‘Shame on you!’’ for failing to offer a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremonies. British Prime Minister David Cameron and top Olympic officials gathered at London’s Guildhall to mark the 40th anniversary of the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes in a terrorist attack in Munich. Ankie Spitzer took the podium during the service and pointedly directed her remarks to IOC head Jacques Rogge. ‘‘Shame on you IOC, because you have forgotten 11 members of the Olympic family,’’ she said. She also claimed the IOC was discriminating against the Israelis because of their Jewish faith . . . Two water polo referees who disallowed what appeared to be a legitimate goal will not officiate another match at the Olympics. Swimming governing body FINA said Boris Margeta of Slovenia and Radoslaw Koryzna of Poland will not be available for any of the remaining men’s or women’s matches after a late goal by Spain’s men’s team was disallowed in its 8-7 group loss to Croatia, despite the shot appearing to cross the goal line. FINA maintained the result despite an official protest from Spain.