August 7, 2012

    Photo: urbanora/Wikimedia Commons

Runner Reinstated After Expulsion for Not Trying

Taoufik Makhloufi to race in 1,500m final

Algerian distance runner Taoufik Makhloufi was expelled from the Games for failing to provide a "bona fide effort" after only running 200 meters of his 800m semifinal heat on Monday. He has since been reinstated after medical evidence was provided for his failure to complete the race. Makhloufi qualified for both the 800m and 1,500m competitions, but on Sunday he notched the fastest qualifying time in the 1,500m semifinals, making him one of the favorites for gold in that event. The Algerian team failed to remove Makhloufi from the 800m semifinal by Sunday’s deadline, so he was forced to run the race. After falling behind early, Makhloufi stopped running and walked off the track in what appeared to be an attempt to conserve energy for the event in which he could actually win gold. After the race, the International Association of Athletics Federations suspended Makhloufi for the rest of the Olympics for unsporting behavior. The Algeria team then argued that Makhloufi was suffering from a knee injury, and after an Olympic medical official examined Makhloufi and provided evidence, the IAAF reversed its decision late Monday. The 1,500m is schedule to take place Tuesday afternoon. 

Via The Guardian


Cameroon soccer fans     Photo: manbeastextraordinaire/Flickr

Cameroon Athletes Vanish in London

Thought to be seeking asylum

Seven Olympic athletes from Cameroon have disappeared from the Olympic Village in a presumed attempt to seek asylum in Europe. A reserve goalkeeper for the women's soccer team was the first to vanish, followed by a swimmer who had failed to advance, and five boxers who had all completed their matches in London. "The conditions in Cameroon are very difficult—there are no opportunities here and if you have the chance to go the UK, it's understandable that you would want to stay there," Henri Tchounga, a tour guide in Yaounde, told The Guardian. Before the opening ceremonies, Sudan's embassy confirmed that three athletes from their delegation had gone missing, all expected to apply for asylum. Olympic athletes are given visas that entitle them to stay in the country until November, so no laws have been broken by their absence. When asked by Reuters about the Cameroonian athletes' disappearance on Tuesday, I.O.C. officials said they had heard nothing about it.

Via Reuters


Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite

Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite     Photo: jcue786/Flickr

San Franciscans to Vote on Hetch Hetchy

Ballot measure seeks to drain reservoir

San Francisco residents will vote on a ballot measure this fall that seeks to drain Hetch Hetchy, the controversial 80-year-old valley-cum-reservoir in Yosemite National Park that has drawn the ire of environmentalists since the days of John Muir. The measure asks voters to decide whether San Francisco officials should come up with a new water treatment plan and study other possible reservoirs to replace Hetch Hetchy. Studies by the state and outside groups have suggested that San Francisco could feasibly collect water downstream from the Tuolumne River without the dam. While environmentalists and Republicans, including Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, Donald Hodel, back the removal, Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee oppose it. "It's a Trojan Horse for those that wish to have our public tricked into believing we have an adequate substitute for the Hetch Hetchy reservoir," Lee said. "We do not."

Via Atlanta Journal-Constitution


    Photo: Tim de Waele

Contador Returns to Racing

Will target the Vuelta after end of doping suspension

Alberto Contador returned to racing Monday at the Enco Tour after the conclusion of his retroactive two-year doping suspension. He and his Saxo Bank-Tinkoff team plan to target the upcoming Vuelta a Espana which begins only a week after the Enco Tour. Before then, Contador will have a chance to test his fitness in the penultimate stage’s 17.4 kilometer time trial. For now, he will focus on avoiding crashes and regaining his race rhythm. He is expected to contend for his second victory at the Vuelta. "Those six months have been difficult and I’ll remember them forever. I did not want to stand, I changed my training places, there have been days of having more desire and others less, but I'm just as tired as other years at this time because I trained hard to get into good condition," he said. Contador tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour and was suspended in February of this year after a Court of Arbitration hearing.  

Via CyclingNews