Yuriy Ganus has been removed as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) director general, prompting concerns over its independence from the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

RUSADA's supervisory board earlier this month recommended its founders - the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee - dismiss Ganus, advice that was taken on Friday.

Deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya and the supervisory board's independent international expert member Sergey Khrychikov resigned this week.

RUSADA's non-compliance case is pending before the Court of Arbitration for Sport after it appealed the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) four-year suspension of Russia from global sporting events.

WADA and the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) each responded to news of Ganus' removal with unease.

WADA, which previously said it was "extremely concerned" by the supervisory board's recommendation, said: "These developments reinforce the concerns expressed by WADA in its statement of August 5 in relation to the manner in which the founders reached the decision regarding Mr Ganus following a recommendation by RUSADA's supervisory board.

"[The developments] re-emphasise the critical importance for RUSADA to maintain its operational independence going forward.

"WADA is in contact with RUSADA and other relevant Russian authorities to get further clarifications on the latest developments."

It added: "It is a critical element of the World Anti-Doping Code that national anti-doping organisations, such as RUSADA, remain safe from interference in their operational decisions and activities in order to conduct their work independently and effectively.

"This is why the Compliance Review Committee made it a condition of RUSADA's reinstatement that WADA remains satisfied that RUSADA's independence is being respected and there is no improper outside interference with its operations."

iNADO said: "iNADO is deeply concerned by the control that the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee exercise over RUSADA.

"This was made evident today in the dismissal of Yuriy Ganus as director general by these two organisations."

It added: "It is a clear conflict of interest when sport organisations have the power to remove the head of a national anti-doping agency unopposed."

Athletics legend Usain Bolt should be held responsible for his behaviour after he tested positive for COVID-19, days after he was spotted with patrons sans social distancing and masks, for his surprise birthday party.

Petersfield High School track coach Machel Woolery is in a state of shock at the news of the arrest of Kevin Nedrick in Minnesota on rape charges.

Jamaican thrower Kevin Nedrick is to appear in a Minnesota Court today charged with rape, according to reports.

Nedrick, who represented the University of Minnesota in NCAA athletics this past indoor season, was charged on Tuesday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, following allegations that he raped a woman in her campus apartment. He remains in jail on a USD$75,000 bond.

According to the Star Tribune, UMN has suspended him from team activities.

Reports said the police were called at about 1:15 am to the apartment where the woman told officers that she was there celebrating her roommate’s 21st birthday with friends on Monday night.

The woman said she went to aid her roommate, who was throwing up in the bathroom. When the woman left the bathroom, Nedrick pushed her into her bedroom and onto her bed.

Nedrick got on top of her as she said, “I don’t want to do this,” the criminal complaint read.

The woman reported that she estimated Nedrick's weight at 300 pounds and suspected he “had a lot to drink.”

She claimed that the assault continued until he let her check on her ailing roommate.

She reported what had happened to a building security agent came into the apartment.

Upon Nedrick’s arrest, physical evidence was collected from his mouth and hands.

The woman underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital, where she “provided a consistent account” to the nurse, the charging document read.

The nurse noted bruises on the woman’s left forearm and fresh marks on her neck.

While at Petersfield High School, Nedrick won gold after setting a national junior record of 20.65m at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships in 2017.

He won a scholarship to Barton County and in 2018 he had top-five finishes in the NJCAA Outdoor Championships with third-place finishes in the shot put and discus and fourth place in the javelin.

He was the runner up in the shot put at the NJCAA Indoor Championships.

In 2019, he won the NJCAA national title in the shot put with a throw of 18.14 m and the NJCAA Region VI title in shot put.

Earlier this year, competing for UMN, Nedrick earned his first letter in track & field. He finished seventh in the shot put at the Big Ten Indoor Championships • recorded a career-best throw of 19.05 m to place fourth in the shot put at the Meyo Invite.

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she is not yet ready to explain her coaching situation.

Jamaican Olympian Jason Morgan has been nominated for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, The Young Professionals and Bayou Life Magazine 2020 Top20 Under-40 Awards.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce said she was excited after running another world-leading time in the 100m at the Velocity Fest meeting at the National Stadium on Saturday in what could probably be her final race of the season.

The Bahamian pair of Steven Gardiner and Tynia Gaither ran out winners in the 100m at the American Track League meeting at the Life University in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday.

Usain Bolt says he has not confirmed that he has COVID-19 but is in self-imposed quarantine until his test results are back.

Nationwide News reported on Monday that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist had tested positive for the Coronavirus. The news, NNN said, triggered a host of his associates and friends including football players Raheem Sterling, Leon Bailey and recording artiste Chris Martin being tested for the virus as they were in attendance at his birthday party last Friday, August 21. 

However, in a 50-second video posted on Twitter, Bolt said he heard the news regarding his positive test like everybody else; on social media despite reports that indicate that he was notified by health officials on Sunday.

“I did a test on Saturday to leave because I have work,” he said.

“Trying to be responsible so I am going to stay in and stay away from my friends and also, having no symptoms, going to quarantine myself and wait on the confirmation to see what is the protocol and how I should go about quarantining myself from Ministry of Health.”

Meantime, he is encouraging those who might have come into contact with him to be safe and enter quarantine.

More than 1500 Jamaicans have been confirmed to be infected by the virus. 116 Jamaicans were confirmed over a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday.

Olympic legend Usain Bolt has reportedly been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to media reports.

Nationwide radio reported on Monday that the now-retired 100m and 200m world record holder had tested positive for the virus.

Bolt, who celebrated his 34th birthday last Friday, is among the latest numbers of Jamaicans to have tested positive to the virus that has infected more than 1500 Jamaicans to date. Fifteen of those infected have died.

I have scoliosis. Constant stinging sensations, unintentional bad posture and stares from strangers that slowly leads to dwindling confidence are just some of its effects. Luckily the greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt helped me.

I was diagnosed in 2010. My type of scoliosis is called idiopathic scoliosis.

Doctors don’t know the exact reason for a curved spine and so I don’t have all the answers.

It's frustrating.

Still, I had no choice but to live with it and reduce some of its effects. I started with the physical ones; my curved spine, uneven shoulders etc. My doctor, at the time, suggested I get a back brace. I did. People with scoliosis get a brace to restrict further curvature of the spine. A brace does not correct the curve at all, surgery does that.

While my bulky brace prevented my curve from getting worse, the attention it brought lessened my confidence.

People were rude. Especially when I wore my brace outside of my clothes to reduce the impressions and bruises it left on my skin after long hours of wearing it (I was allowed to remove my brace for showers only).

However, there were others who were genuine and encouraging. On some random day a curious man asked me about my back brace. I told him the basics and he replied, “do you know who also has scoliosis? Usain Bolt!”

According to Bolt’s autobiography, ‘Faster Than Lightning Bolt’, scoliosis curved his spine to the right and made his right leg half an inch shorter than his left.

Research studies were conducted to examine it more closely. Researchers are eager to know if his scoliosis works for, or against him in races.

An article published on July 2017 in the New York Times headlined, ‘Something Strange in Usain Bolt’s Stride’ said, “shortly after Bolt retires, the Southern Methodist University (S.M.U.) researchers hope to persuade him to visit their lab for more direct testing on a treadmill.”

The last thing on my mind was believing that Bolt could be a guinea pig. Instead, I thought about the hope that his exceptional performances gave me in spite of having scoliosis.

Happy 34th Birthday Bolt. Overcoming the emotional effects of scoliosis seemed nearly impossible until I witnessed your fearlessness.

I owe you a big thank you!

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

It’s difficult for our voices to be heard and our stories to be told around the world when one resides on an island in the West Indies.

It comes with the territory of being the smallest in the room. Other nations puff out their chest and roar, and because of that noise, our expressions are akin to squeaks. What is lost in all that noise? Truth.

American sport is huge! They’ve made it so. We have bought into the hype that a U.S. city can win a national basketball title, labelled ‘World Champions’. Incredible.

And we’ve also fallen into the trap of using American analogies to bring home a point. For e.g., the headline for this opinion piece.

However, it has become the language we speak when we try to make reference to something monumental. Pardon my use, this one time.

Who are some of the greatest athletes of all time?

Some names come into the discussion right away. Pele, Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Garfield Sobers and Tom Brady would be some of the names listed. And immediately your brain fires off names which should have been listed.

In 2012, Usain Bolt said he wanted to be remembered as one of the greatest of all time, to be mentioned with the likes of Ali and Jordan. He felt that defending his Olympic sprint double in London would go a far way in making that case. And of course, Bolt went on to do just that and more.

In 2016, he went further into unchartered waters by becoming a sprint double champion at the Olympics for the third consecutive time. Bolt was the most dominant force in the sport of track and field from 2008 to 2016. And many would argue that, that was athletics greatest era, not only because of the Jamaican but because of his competitors.

Another great Jamaican athlete Yohan Blake, despite the ridicule he received by many on his island home, was correct. He, as well as the rest of the world’s best athletes, were overshadowed during that time. Blake is the second fastest over 200 metres at 19.26 seconds. He is also the joint second-fastest over 100 metres at 9.69 seconds. His lone individual world title came in the aftermath of a shocking Bolt false start in 2011.

The phenomenal American sprinter Tyson Gay was born in the wrong era too. He holds the American 100-metre record of 9.69 seconds. The previous American record of 9.71 seconds was set at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009, and by all indication should have been good enough to win gold … except, Bolt ran 9.58 in the same race.

Overshadowed.

When Bolt was young, we all thought he would’ve been remarkable at the 200 metres and the excitement would have been amplified when he became the youngest ever male winner at the World Junior Championships at 15 years and 332 days, back in 2002 in Kingston.

The fact that his foray into the 100 metres began as a light-hearted moment with his coach Glen Mills seems so preposterous now. It’s all part of the folklore. It’s all forged in history.

We speak of Usain Bolt as if he is an old man, but he turns 34 on Friday, August 21. I remember interviewing him on the telephone upon his return from Osaka in 2007 where he finished second in the 200 metres behind Tyson Gay. I was one year his senior, and I was able to relate to his unbridled joy and sense of relief that he finally made an impact on the world stage. That silver medal is almost like a footnote now.

What are the traits an all-time great athlete should have?

They should have been the best in their sport over a sustained period of time (which is the lowest denominator). They should have statistics, records and titles or championships to back their claim. And they should also be transcendent. How did they impact the sport or change the game?

Who else has dominated their sport to the degree which Bolt has done in what was supposed to have been a competitive era? The American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian of all time with 28 medals, including a record 23 gold, is the first athlete who comes to mind. He was the most successful Olympian for four straight Games. He had set 29 individual records in the pool, and he presently holds on to one.

Muhammad Ali also comes to mind. He had a larger-than-life persona in and out of the ring. He was arrogant enough to think he could beat the likes of Sonny Liston and George Foreman… and he did. But he also lifted up his race, which was his biggest fight. He utilised his voice against injustice in ways we hadn’t seen before or since.

It is difficult to gauge the impact of team players. However, Pele stands out for winning three World Cups over the span of 12 years. And Michael Jordan revolutionized basketball and made it global so much so, everyone wanted to be “like Mike”. Thanks, Gatorade.

And of course Tiger Woods. As far as the eye test is concerned, is the best many have ever seen. However, in a sport which is singular in nature, the fact he is still 3 majors behind Jack Nicklaus (18) puts an asterisk beside his name, for now.

Notable Mention

Notable mention must be made of “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky who has been regarded as the greatest ice hockey player of all time. He has 61 NHL records, but he doesn’t have an Olympic medal.

We see you fam… we see you.

It is reasonable to assume, running, is the oldest sport known to man. There is some evidence based on drawings in caves in 3000 BC that wrestling was also right up there as one of the ancient pastimes. However, when stripped to the bare bones, for hundreds and hundreds of years, the best athlete was considered to be the one who could run.

Archery, Swimming, Boxing and even Hockey are all considered ancient sports.

Bolt deserves his place with the elite. And any serious sporting discussion, even the ones in the United States of America, should show the Jamaican the respect he deserves.

Bolt, Phelps, Ali and Pele are on my Mount Rushmore.

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

His love for track and field was the driving force behind Michael Frater’s decision to start his own track club.

There has to be something said for being the best your country has ever produced.

For every personal milestone to be considered a ground-breaking moment for your land and for every step up the international ladder to be treated as a moment for major celebration are feats worthy of being honoured.

St Lucian high jumper Levern Spencer has had to deal with the expectations and thankfully admiration that comes with being her country’s best and often only hope when it comes to the sport of track and field.

At 36 years old, she is no doubt wrapping up what has been a noteworthy career and one that nobody else in her country can boast.

In 2018, Spencer won St Lucia’s biggest ever title, Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

She returned to Castries to a hero’s welcome, one reminiscent of those winning World and Olympic titles in other countries, such was the significance of what she had achieved, 56 years after St Lucia first graced the Commonwealth stage in Perth 1962.

“This is all I have sought to do for all my professional career,” she said after being taken amidst fanfare in a motorcade to Castries.

She explained that her life’s dream had been, “to place St Lucia on top of the world, and show, that despite our size, we can soar to great heights.”

St Lucia wasn’t exactly on top of the world, but in that moment it must have felt like it, since it was the highest they had ever been.

Spencer had given her island of just under two hundred thousand people, a taste of international glory three years prior when she won Gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.

It is important to point out that Spencer’s two biggest titles came after the age of 30 but her impact on St Lucia’s athletics started when she was just 17 years old.

In 2001, at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen Hungary, Spencer leapt 1.81 metres to secure the bronze medal.

It remains their only medal at the event.

She dominated at the Central America and Caribbean, CAC, track and field Championships, winning the high jump on all six occasions she participated.

At the CAC Games, she won 3 of the 4 times, including at the 2018 edition in Barranquilla, Colombia.

She successfully defended her Pan Am Games title in 2019 and has also won two Commonwealth Games bronze medals to go with the 2018 Gold.

Her story is indeed one of perseverance which has culminated in triumph.

Despite all that however, Spencer and maybe St Lucia would be, if only a little, disappointed that she has not been able to cop a medal at the Olympic Games or senior World Championships.

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, she had her best shot, having finally reached a final.

She soared to a commendable 1.93 metres but it wasn’t enough as she had to settle for 6th.

And while she would have been disappointed, it was the best St Lucia had ever done at the Games and for today’s story that is the most important take-away.

And so, as Levern contemplates whether to give it one or two more attempts in the coming years, we say well done for what has already been achieved.

The way is paved and the next generation of St Lucian athletes have a marker for which to chase.

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of Usain Bolt’s unbelievable and glorious achievement in Berlin, 2009- setting the 100m World Record.

However, on August 1, the BBC World Service uploaded an episode of ‘Sportshour’ featuring Jamaican 1500-metre runner Aisha Praught-Leer. She told BBC, just as she wishes to inspire the next generation of middle-distance runners so the island can become known for more than sprinting.

She plans to do this by fixing her eyes on the Tokyo Olympics.

If successful, Praught-Leer will be the first from Jamaica to run the 1500m in the Olympic games. For her, it will bring “more eyes and opportunity and representation to the island and to all the other little girls who are not quite ready to run the 400m or the 200 or the 100.” It would be a way to say to little girls “hey, there are more options for you.”

Admittedly it would be a personal achievement for the athlete but at the same time will transcend personal gain. It could bring social and cultural changes.

Alisha said, “I really look at my career and think what am I doing out here? Of course for myself. I really want to be the best that I can possibly be; I want to be one of the best in the world. But I also want to look around and gather people together and bring others with me and when I put on the ‘Change Jamaica’ jersey, I know I’m doing that. It tells that little girl that you can do that too.”

There was a segment in the podcast where she was asked to comment on Jamaica’s representation in the 1500m.

Praught-Leer responded by saying “there have been successful middle-distance athletes that come from Jamaica, but not many. There were two before me; two female steeplechasers who were really good but it’s not necessarily the culture to be a middle-distance powerhouse. The culture is sprint...the culture is just not set up at the moment to be a middle-distance powerhouse in Jamaica.”

It’s the way it is because, according to Praught-Leer, “there aren't many post-high school coaches or groups, or no infrastructure set up so that you graduate from high school and roll into the next phase of your life and grow as a middle-distance runner.”

Undoubtedly the talent is there. Praught-Leer acknowledged Natoya Goule, Simoya Campbell and said there were more athletes with unbelievable potential who just needed others to give support in whatever way.

“I am not the only middle-distance runner. We have a really incredible 800m women- Natoya Goule, Simoya Campbell. There are many more in the ranks that have the ability and we just need to show them that you can and give help where we can.”

When asked what seeing the Jamaican flag at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics would mean, Praught-Leer gasped in excitement before answering, “I mean I got a small taste of how that feels when I won the Commonwealth Games in 2018 in the steeplechase and it was groundbreaking for the island and something that has never been done before- a medal hadn't been won [in a distance of] over 800 metres ever! It brought such joy and meant so much to so many people. I won a silver in the American Games last summer in the 1500 and again that's just another first and I just want to keep on bringing those firsts and being able to share that with everyone.”

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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