April 4, 2013

Lance Armstrong with his yellow jerseys.     Photo: Twitter

Armstrong Blocked From Swim Event

Governing body denies participation

Despite the buzz surrounding his return to competitive sports, Lance Armstrong will not compete in a masters swim competition in his hometown of Austin, Texas, this week. Swimming's governing body, FINA, has instructed the organizers of the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships to block his participation, citing doping sanctions.

Initially, it seemed that the 41-year-old athlete had been able to work around the World Anti-doping Agency's lifetime ban, which, the organizers said, did not apply. FINA, according to road.cc, did not see it that way:

FINA, alerted to Armstrong's planned participation as a result of media coverage, wrote to organisers US Masters Swimming and said that the event did fall under its umbrella, and cited its rule 15.1, which outlines that athletes serving a doping ban cannot compete and that anti-doping sanctions must be respected.

Armstrong had been seeded second or third in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle events.


    Photo: Courtesy of Yelp

One Missing Teen Found in Trabuco Canyon

Search continues for his companion

One of the two teen hikers missing in southern California’s Trabuco Canyon was found alive on Wednesday night. Nicholas Cendoya, 19, was found severely dehydrated and disoriented by another hiker after a four-day search. His companion, 18-year-old Kyndall Jack, remains missing.

Cendoya was found about half a mile south of the main search site in Trabuco Canyon where heavy vegetation limits visibility from the air and on the ground. Two volunteers even became lost and had to be airlifted out on Wednesday afternoon.

A doctor at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo told the Los Angeles Times that Cendoya was in critical-but-not-life-threatening condition. Rescuers spoke to Cendoya but were unable to get coherent answers regarding what had happened and how he became separated from Jack.

The pair made a 911 call on Sunday but the cell phone battery died before officials could get a fix on their position. According to Orange Country Fire Authority Captain John Muir, Jack’s chances for survival remain strong with the mild weather in the region.


    Photo: Mister-E/Flickr

Pistorius Could Resume Training Soon

Runner photographed on a track

South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who faces murder charges for fatally shooting his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, could be preparing to resume training. According to USA Today, a high school student visiting the University of Pretoria, Pistorius' training grounds, snapped a photo of the double amputee from a bus with her phone. The grainy image showed Pistorius walking the track on his famed blades, hands on his hips, though he wasn't seen running. "He was just walking to the 100 meter end line down the final stretch. It looked like he was going to take his blades off," the student said.

Pistorius' family and his agent, Peet van Zyl, denied any claims that the photo was evidence of the sprinter's return to the track in the midst of the ongoing murder trial, saying he was merely "having a jog around the track." Still, Van Zyl acknowledges that Pistorius could resume training any day.

Arnold Pistorius, the uncle, also appeared to be readying the world for the return of his nephew to running on track regularly, even though he was still "extremely traumatized" by the death of Steenkamp.

"We all encouraged him to get back onto the track to help stabilize him emotionally," Arnold Pistorius said. "We encourage him to start exercising as we believe it is a vital step in helping him deal with the trauma."

Pistorius, who is on bail after pleading not guilty, will head back to court in June to face trial. 


The Carnival Triumph cruise ship     Photo: Stephen B. Goodwin via Shutterstock

Cursed Carnival Triumph Breaks Free of Moorings

Hurricane-force winds to blame in multiple accidents

A 64-year-old shipyard worker is still missing after near hurricane-force gusts threw him and another man into the water at the Port of Mobile on Wednesday. They were in a security guard hut when winds reaching at least 66 mph blew the hut off the dock. The other worker was rescued from the 40-foot-deep waters.

Yesterday's high winds also broke loose the unlucky Carnival Triumph cruise ship, which was moored to a repair dock at the BAE Shipyard where the two men worked. It drifted free for several hours, suffering a gash in the stern after running into a cargo ship. Officials reported it secured at the Alabama Cruise Terminal last night. 

The Triumph made news in February when an engine fire disabled the ship and left passengers onboard to deal with backed-up toilets and limited food for four days.


The outline of Ghar-e-Dosar overlaid on Google Earth     Photo: Iranian Cavers/Google Earth

Giant Cave Discovered in Iran

Ghar-e-Dosar is fourth-biggest chamber

A massive cave room surveyed in Iran last year was confirmed this week to be the fourth-largest subterranean chamber in the world. Located in central Iran near the city of Mehriz, Ghar-e-Dosar covers an area of about 20 acres, descending to a maximum depth of 469 feet. A three-person team measured the cave in February 2012, and used AutoCAD software to estimate the total size of the chamber. Notably, the cavern is easily accessible from the surface via a 130-foot-long passage. While large, Ghar-e-Dosar is a long way from capturing the title of world's biggest cave: it's about half the size of the current record-holder, Malaysia's Sarawak Chamber.

Via Caving News