June 14, 2011

Legendary Runner Charged with Murder

Tim Danielson ran 3:59.4 in 1966; now he's in jail.

Only five high schoolers in American history have run under four minutes in the mile, and the second to do it, Tim Danielson, is now in jail for allegedly killing his wife and then trying to kill himself. According to San Diego-area news reports, Danielson, 63, was taken to the hospital early Monday with severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency personnel found Danielson's ex wife dead from a gunshot wound and a generator running in the couple's bedroom. Authorities arrived after Danielson's sister-in-law received what would have been a suicide note claiming responsibility for the killing. Since Danielson ran sub-4, only three American high schoolers have dipped under the barrier. The most recent prep sub-4 came Saturday in New York, when 18-year-old Lukas Verzbicas ran 3:59.71.

Read More from Sign On San Diego


FBI Steps Into Armstrong Doping Feud

Was it a not-so-cordial conversation, or witness tampering?

The latest in the Lance Armstrong saga took another turn on Tuesday when Federal agents requested surveillance tapes from Cache Cache, the Aspen, Colorado restaurant where Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton had words on Saturday night. (Outside's Abe Streep was the first to report the incident.) In May, Hamilton told 60 Minutes that he saw Armstrong take performance enhancing drugs. But Hamilton also told a grand jury about Armstrong's alleged drug use last year, which means a threat from Armstrong could constitute witness tampering. Armstrong says the two men had a tense but civil conversation at Cache Cache; Hamilton says Armstrong threatened to make his life a living hell if the case went to trial. Non-violent witness tampering is a federal crime, and a conviction could bring a jail sentence of up to 20 years.

Read More from The New York Times


FDA Cracks Down on Sunscreen Manufacturers

New rules about SPF can help you decide what to buy now.

The Food and Drug Administration—after 33 years of deliberation—is finally cracking down on sunscreens that embellish SPF ratings and fail to provide protection from ultraviolet A rays, the ones scientists think may cause cancer. Most sunblocks provide protection from UVB rays, which cause sunburn, but many don't block the more-dangerous UVA rays. Beginning next summer, sunscreens with both broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage, plus an SPF rating of between 15 and 50, will get the administration's seal of approval. The FDA doesn't believe a rating of greater than SPF 50 is possible and will ask sunscreen manufacturers to cap the number there. Claims that sunscreens are water- and sweat-proof, which FDA scientists call "exaggerations," will also be prohibited. 

Read More from the Associated Press.


What's Wrong with the Gulf of Mexico Now?

Scientists predict the biggest Dead Zone ever.

A season of heavy flooding in the Mississippi River valley has poured fertilizer into the Gulf, sending nitrogen levels 35 percent higher than the 32-year average. The runoff water is perfect for algae blooms, which consume oxygen and cause marine life to abandon the northern Gulf or die. The dead zone is now on track to cover between 8,500 and 9,400 square miles, more than the 8,400 square miles recorded in 2002. The extra runoff is also slowing recovery from last summer's Deepwater Horizon disaster, which released upwards of 200 million gallons of oil into the ocean.

Read More from Reuters.


Contador Yes to Tour; WADA Rule Change?

The Spanish rider has IOC-head Rogge's approval, but he's not out of the woods yet.

Contador won the Giro de Italia in May but only announced his entry into the 2011 Tour de France on Saturday. After winning the 2010 Tour, Contador tested positive for the banned hormone clenbuterol, but in January, UCI, the international cycling body, cleared Contador to compete. The World Anti-Doping Agency appealed that ruling, but it leaves Contador free to compete until a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in August. International Olympic Committee Jaques Rogge said Tuesday that he has "no problem" with Contador's decision to race in June and July. "I agree that it will cast a question mark on the validity of the result until the verdict is rendered..but there is a presumption of innocence," Rogge said. Meanwhile, WADA is thinking about introducing a benchmark by which to measure clenbuterol in athlete's bodies.

More, from the Associated Press.