Jasmin Taylor
British telemark skier Jasmin Taylor.

Olympic links: 23 April, 2015

Headlines

French swimmer’s book ’causes fury’, UAE appeals equestrian suspension, Sweden may bid for 2026 Olympics, Radcliffe ‘unprepared but healthy’ for marathon finale, Jo Pavey’s fears over ‘unethical’ thyroid medication, Britain’s ‘deadly Downies’, how sports bras transformed life for female athletes.

2024 Summer Olympics

NBA legend Larry Bird and baseball’s David Ortiz have been appointed to the board that will try to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston.

2026 Winter Olympics

Sweden may bid for the 2026 Olympics.

Athletics

Paula Radcliffe is “unprepared but healthy” ahead of her career finale at this weekend’s London marathon:

Throughout her career she has suffered from persistent foot and Achilles tendon injuries, with the latter proving a hindrance in her preparation for London.

“It’s definitely looking a lot better now than even three weeks ago,” she said.

“It was going really well. I went out in Kenya in February, I thought I was being really careful and not getting carried away, but I probably did start thinking about what times I might be able to run.

“The trails are pretty rocky out there and I tweaked my Achilles. I didn’t think it was that big a deal at first. It took about six weeks to settle down.”

Boxing

Chinese and American women are training together ahead of an “international clash of champions” on Saturday.

Cycling

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde won the Fleche Wallonne classic in Belgium for the second consecutive year.

Former Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke wants to return to cycling in 2016 after his two-year doping ban.

Doping

European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey fears some athletes are using ‘unethical’ thyroid medication to enhance their performance:

As she pounds the roads near her home in Devon preparing for a new season, it’s not just the long training sessions occupying Pavey’s mind. She’s getting increasingly troubled by the rumours circulating athletics about the hormone-replacement medication thyroxine.

It is not outlawed but in her view it is very definitely unethical, if taken by those who don’t clinically need it. What’s more, those rumours suggest its use among elite athletes in Britain and beyond is not uncommon.

In short, Pavey wants it investigated.

“It is a hormone, it’s not a vitamin supplement. I believe it’s an unethical area. There are athletes who are full-out drugs cheats, there are athletes who would never take anything and there are athletes who would push the boundaries and take things that I consider unethical.”

Synthetic thyroxine is replacement medication for those who suffer from an underactive thyroid gland.

Many believe that for the athlete who doesn’t clinically need it, it can aid recovery from heavy training sessions and also, because of its effect on the body’s metabolism, it assists weight loss. For endurance sport you can see the potential benefits.

Equestrian

Eventing’s Kentucky four-star event, one of the biggest in the sport, begins today. Here’s a preview with Britain’s Nicola Wilson.

The national federation of the United Arab Emirates has appealed its suspension at the hands of world governing body the FEI:

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on 12 March 2015 for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

Prior to lodging its appeal, the UAE National Federation had sent a formal request asking the FEI Bureau to lift the suspension. The request was rejected by the FEI Bureau and, as a result, an official appeal has been lodged by the UAE National Federation.

“It is disappointing that an appeal has been lodged and that the UAE National Federation has chosen to go down the legal route rather than seeking ways to solve the issues and make a lasting commitment to improving the welfare of the horse at Endurance events in which it is involved,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said.

Gymnastics

Nadia Comaneci believes Simone Biles’ routines are not far off those of some leading male competitors when it comes to difficulty.

We’ve had the “fierce five”. Now, it’s the “deadly Downies”:

The Downies are fast turning into household names who could be a marketing dream come the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

“Maybe they will take the place of Jessica Ennis!” joked mum Helen, who followed the action in France from the family home on Nottingham Road. “It was all very nervewracking, but I was so proud,” she beamed. “Ellie was amazing. To do what she did was so unexpected. It was fantastic for her.”

Hockey (field)

Helen Richardson-Walsh could make her first GB appearance in more than a year after being named in the squad to face Japan in London on Sunday.

Rio 2016

Ten sports where Brazil will look to win medals at their home Games.

Shooting

A target sports centre in Dorset has regained its licence and can now once again serve as an important training venue for British athletes.

Skiing

Turin 2006 freestyle skiing gold medallist Jenn Heil, also the hosts’ first medallist at Vancouver 2010, led a list of athletes added to the Canadian sports hall of fame on Wednesday.

Swimming

French swimmer Amaury Leveaux’s “cocaine and decadence” claims about the national team in his new book have “caused fury”:

The French Swimming Federation (FNF) has reacted with outrage to Leveaux’s claims, with vice-president Lucien Gastaldello saying the swimmer had “shot himself in the foot” and should now repay his debts to the federation.

“Everyone is disgusted by his attitude,” said Gastaldello. “He was going to do television commentaries on some forthcoming events. He can forget that. Who would speak to him now?”

Leveaux – who comes from a modest background in the eastern city of Belfort – reserves some of his strongest criticism for members of the elite Marseille Swimming Club, who have dominated the sport in France in recent years . They are, he writes, “pretty boys with big heads”.

He also lays into the sport’s governing body, describing the FNF as “dinosaurs” who have brought “Nothing with a capital N” to swimming.

“They squeeze swimmers like lemons and then chuck them into the rubbish bin when they are through.”

Are slower times a concern for the US men?

Keri-Anne Payne is trying to get into the British team for open-water Worlds, despite losing funding after taking time out of her sport.

Table tennis

The world championships begin in Suzhou, China, on Sunday. Here’s a GB preview.

Taekwondo

MMA star and drugs cheat Anderson Silva met with Brazilian officials on Wednesday as he tries to get into the country’s taekwondo team for Rio 2016. “I know there will be difficulties, but it’s a challenge I want to face.”

Georgia Barnes has been drafted into the British squad for the world championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, next month.

Triathlon

British former world champion Helen Jenkins on her “overwhelming desire” to reach Rio 2016.

Other news

SportAccord’s Marius Vizer has apologised for the manner of his attack on the IOC this week – but stands by the criticisms he made.

How sports bras transformed sport.