ON YOUR MARKS — January

Unlike the robust crowds usually scene at Arkansas, athletes at the ’21 NCAA Indoor will be performing in front of an empty house. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THE NCAA INDOOR will be missing a crucial element: fans. Pandemic safety protocols that will be in place at Arkansas on March 12–13 will also restrict athletes to specific areas of the venue and once an event is completed, participants will have to leave the building…

No spectators will be allowed at the NCAA XC Championships (Oklahoma State, March 15) either…

When the Bowerman TC women ran 16:27.02 in the 4 x 1500 over the summer (T&FN, September/October), it was history’s fastest time, but we noted at the time, “The intrasquad nature of the competition will probably prevent official ratification.” Color us wrong: given the circumstances of the pandemic year, that stricture wasn’t enforced by both USATF and WA, so it was ratified as a WR and AR…

Great Britain’s Sam Atkin, 27, was impressive in running a PR 13:18.57 at The Track Meet and coming back the next day for another lifetime best, 27:26.58, in the 10,000. Back in ’16 he set PRs of 13:57.28 and 29:44.33 for NAIA school Lewis & Clark. Trivia note: his twin sister is Miss Great Britain…

Mississippi senator Roger Wicker named Olympic champion Brittney Reese to the Commission on the State of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics, the body the Senate has formed to look at reforms to the Olympic movement…

Human Rights Watch is urging the IOC not to consider China’s ’32 Olympic bid until the nation addresses concerns about internment camps it has apparently established for its Uighur Muslims…

The Olympics are not out as far as Christian Coleman is concerned. The reigning world 100 champ has appealed to CAS in regards to his 2-year ban for whereabouts violations…

NBC will remain WA’s U.S. network of choice after signing a 10-year contract extension that runs through ’29…

As rare as the standing long jump is these days, the standing triple jump is an even more elusive beast, having last been staged in the Olympics in 1904. Jamaica’s Clive Pullen, a former NCAA Indoor champ for Arkansas, raised eyebrows recently with a 36-4¾ (11.09) performance. The World Record? We’re really not sure…

In early December President Trump signed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which would impose criminal sanctions of people involved with international doping fraud. The bill, which requires restitution for victims, has been opposed by WADA, which takes issue with the its authorization extending beyond U.S. borders…

Team USA will soon be debuting its Athlete Marketing Program, an online platform for athletes to enhance their marketing and earning potential…

With the disputed reelection of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko—and resulting protests and violence—WA head Seb Coe has instructed the Risk Committee to assess the situation and determine whether the Race Walking Team Championships, set for April ’22 in Minsk, should still be held there…

Elsewhere in Belarus, Andrei Krauchanka, the ’08 Olympic decathlon silver medalist, was arrested and jailed for 10 days for participating in protests against Lukashenko. He says he was beaten while in government custody…

Former Notre Dame star Anna Rohrer has joined up with the BAA High Performance team…

Hillary Bor, the reigning USATF steeplechase champion, has signed with Hoka One One…

Arkansas star Taylor Werner, NCAA 5000 runner-up, has turned pro early. She had one season of track eligibility left…

Former New Mexico star Weini Kelati has signed with Under Armour and is now part of the Dark Sky Distance team, coached by Stephen Haas and Shayla Houlihan in Flagstaff…

Canadian decathlete Damian Warner has had to scramble to find a winter training facility. He now reports that he has gotten permission to use one side of a hockey arena: “Time was running out to find a place.”…

Shot putter Raven Saunders is now a graduate assistant coach at West Alabama…

Longtime Michigan State head Walt Drenth has retired…

Former WA Council member Ahmad Al Kamali has been banned for 6 months and fined 5000 Euros for bribing African delegates with watches in an attempt to get their votes for a Council seat.

Steve Bartold, longtime coach at St. Johns and Yale, died at 85 from complications of Parkinson’s Disease…

Tommy Lister died from C19 at age 62. The actor had been the ’82 Div. II shot champ for Cal State LA…

India has announced that its Olympic athletes will get the first shot at a C19 vaccine when it becomes available to the nation…

Mo Farah’s decision to appear in a British reality TV show has caused some controversy—fans got angry when he mistook Scotland for Wales in one episode—however the distance legend will be pocketing $400,000 for his TV work…

Faith Kipyegon says soon it will be time to leave the 1500. where she has won Olympic and World golds, and move to the 5000: “I seek new challenges in my career.”

Connecticut has moved to specifically ban all road races because of the pandemic. In a number of other states, such events are basically banned under the public gathering limitations…

The Big East and MAAC have joined the Ivy League in canceling winter sports, including indoor track…

UMKC has suspended cross country and track, among other sports, “due to the financial implications of COVID 19.”…

California’s CCAA conference, which includes a number of Div. II powerhouses, has canceled all sports for the 1920–21 school year…

French triple jumper Benjamin Compaoré, the World Indoor bronze medalist from ’16, has been given a 6-month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of violence against his partner…

On the list of nations with the most current drug suspensions (per the AIU), Russia leads at 90, followed by Kenya (64), India (48), China (37) and Turkey (31). The United States lags at No. 10 (20)…

Steepler Conseslus Kipruto has been charged with having intercourse with a 15-year-old girl Kenya. He has pleaded not guilty and is out on bond…

British hurdler Cindy Ofili has married and will be competing next year under the name Sember…

Italy has issued a postage stamp to honor former 200 great Pietro Mennea on the anniversary of his ’80 Olympic win…

The ’24 European Championships have been awarded to Rome…

The NCAA’s Div. I Council has granted a blanket waiver that allows for immediate eligibility for all transfers in all sports this year…

A new mile prodigy? Marcus Reilly (Northbridge, Massachusetts) ran a 4:12.77 mile in November, a national age-14 record. Age-group data from other nations is hard to be sure of, but it’s also the best known world-wide…

Because of the pandemic, German jumper Malaika Mihambo has not come to America to train with Carl Lewis as planned.

Bermuda-born Jake Smith broke the Welsh record at the World Half-Marathon Champs only 4 days after becoming eligible to represent Wales in Commonwealth competition. A few weeks later he switched his allegiance to England…

High jumper Mariya Lasitskene received a $2465 prize for winning the Russian Champs in ’20. She gave it away to charity: “I do not at all like the idea of getting 180,000 rubles for winning the Russian championship. Now is not the time for such gestures, when the majority of our citizens are going through a difficult period. Just give me back my rightful opportunity to perform and earn money myself.”…

The Ocean Breeze indoor facility in Staten Island, New York, is installing state-of-the-art MERV filters in its HVAC system to help ameliorate the risk of COVID in the facility…

Hammer Olympian Gwen Berry has been awarded the 2020 Toyota Humanitarian Award for her activism on racial justice. The award allows her to donate $10,000 to the charity of her choice—in this case, schools in three states that encourage minority students…

Speaking of Toyota, USATF has extended its sponsorship with the carmaker. No details were announced…

In an announcement that sounds straight out of Popular Mechanics magazines of the ‘60s, Uber has announced that it is has recruited Hyundai to help out with its plan to develop flying taxis for the ’28 Olympics in Los Angeles…

Former high jump WR holder Tamara Bykova, 61, has recovered from C19, saying she lost more than 20lb (10kg) in 10 days, along with 75% of her lung capacity. She described her experience as, “The feeling that you are going to hell, and the devils begin to fry you in a frying pan.”…

The Brits have set their Olympic marathon trials for March 26 on a flat, fast loop course in London’s Kew Gardens that is designed to help the team hit the Olympic standards…

Former hurdler Jeff Porter has been named to the WADA Athletes Commission…

In preparation of its hosting of the World Junior (U20) Championships next year, Kenya has warned its athletes that it has improved its database and will punish athletes and coaches who are caught falsifying ages.

Sprint legend Donald Quarrie is calling foul after losing his bid to head the Jamaican federation, 236–28. He said that while his opponent, general-secretary Garth Gayle, controlled the election and could lobby the voters, Quarrie was denied a list and could do no direct campaigning…

We often hear of runners moving up to the marathon, but not so much about marathoners moving down to the 1500. Germany’s Homiyu Tesfaye, who ran 3:31.98 in ’14, is moving back down after two years of marathon training netted him only a 2:18:30 best…

After distance runner Kemoy Campbell’s near-death heart stoppage experience in the ’18 Millrose Games, he had outstanding medical bills of $71,000 for his time in the ICU and his pacemaker. The Jamaican government has stepped in and paid the bill…

Laura Muir: “I’m not sure if I’m going to race indoors as yet. Perhaps a few indoor races but we need to wait and see how things are – and if there are races. But everything is focused towards the Olympics. That’s the big target.”…

The Lyles Brothers Sports Foundation is now operational. Say Noah and Josephus, “Our goal is to empower youth through the advancement of health and wellness in our community.”…

Former 5000 WR holder Zola Budd is soon to release Everyone Knows My Name, an autobiography that purportedly will expose sexual harassment and bullying in the sport…

Apparently Kenyan fans got quite offended that marathon WR holder Eliud Kipchoge was recently nominated for an award as a “fitness influencer.” Said one on social media, “The GOAT cannot be compared to digital influencers… no offense, but he is on a league of his own!” □

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