olympic notebook

IOC chief lauds efforts to fight doping at London Games

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said on Sunday that efforts to fight doping at the London Games were a success.

Through Sunday morning, only one athlete tested positive for a banned substance on the day of competing. Seven more were caught in doping controls conducted since the official testing period for the Games began July 16. One of the seven competed in London before her test result was known.

The IOC formally excluded Colombian runner Diego Palomeque on Sunday for doping, and told team officials to investigate his coach, Raul Diaz Quejada. Palomeque, 18, was barred from the 400-meter heats by a provisional suspension imposed on Aug. 4. He tested positive for testosterone in a urine sample taken in London on July 26. A backup sample confirmed the doping offense.


“I am happy about the fact that we could catch athletes who cheated, both before the Games and at the Games,’’ said Rogge.

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The only athlete to test positive after an event was US judo fighter Nick Delpopolo, with traces of marijuana in his urine sample. Delpopolo blamed ‘‘inadvertent consumption’’ before he left for London.

Rogge said a further 117 out-of-competition cases were recorded since April, preventing athletes from getting to the Olympics.

Rogge cautioned that some samples are still being analyzed and ‘‘we might hear something tomorrow or the day after. Hopefully not, but you never know.’’

Eyes on Rio

With London signing off, the Olympic baton was passed to Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Summer Games.


Rio will be looking to dazzle the world with its beaches and breathtaking views while dealing with the daunting challenge of getting a city ready for the world’s most sweeping sports event.

Rogge said Brazil, which had only three gold medals in London, will need to bolster its sports programs and medal chances ahead of the Rio Games.

‘‘It’s time to start and kick off as soon as possible,’’ he said.

One sport that will be under extreme scrutiny in Rio will be men’s soccer. Coach Mano Menezes’s Brazil team failed to win its first gold medal with a 2-1 loss to Mexico on Saturday.

The Brazilian football federation hinted before the competition that a disappointing result in London could cost Menezes his job. A decision is not expected until the team returns to Brazil later this week.

Let him rephrase


Rogge raised eyebrows last week when he said Jamaican runner Usain Bolt needed to prove his greatness over more than two Olympics before achieving his self-proclaimed status of ‘‘living legend.’’ On Sunday, Rogge relented a bit and came up with a different wording for the six-time gold medalist.

‘‘I mean, this is purely a semantic issue,’’ he said. ‘‘Let me finalize this issue as follows: to say that Usain Bolt is an active performance legend, he is an icon, he is the best sprinter of all time.’’

US’ favorite color

When the men’s basketball team took the title Sunday, it marked the 46th gold medal for US in London, its highest total at a ‘‘road’’ Olympics. The US won 45 golds at Paris in 1924 and Mexico City in 1968. The most golds ever won by the Americans, 83 (and 174 medals overall), came at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, boycotted by most of the Soviet bloc countries . . . The IOC is temporarily withholding a bronze medal from South Korean men’s soccer player Park Jong-woo, who displayed a political sign after the third-place game against Japan. Rogge said FIFA must first decide on possible sanctions, and “we will take a possible decision of what will happen with the medal later.’’ . . . The IOC put on hold its athletes’ election after Japan appealed the expulsion of its candidate. Rogge said ‘‘there is no doubt that rules were infringed,’’ prompting the IOC to remove Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi and Taiwanese taekwondo fighter Chu Mu-yen from the contest. Both placed in the top four among 21 candidates seeking eight-year terms as IOC members. Almost 7,000 athletes voted, comprising 64 percent of London Games participants . . . Roughly 20 people were involved in a protest by Islamists near the Olympic Park, decrying what they described as human rights abuses by China, the US, and the United Kingdom.