STATUS QUO — November/December

HERE’S THE LATEST in the aches, pains & eligibility departments. Elsewhere in this issue you’ll find our in-depth report on the collegiate recruiting scene.

Runner-up Shaunae Miller-Uibo wasn’t thrilled at the CAS decision, but Salwa Eid Naser gets to keep her World Champs 400 gold. (GLADYS CHAI/ASVOM AGENCY)

In another important development in the collegiate world, the NCAA Council announced that athletes in winter sports would be given an extra year of eligibility. Said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun of Penn, “The pandemic will continue to impact winter sport seasons in ways we can’t predict. Council members opted to provide for winter sport student-athletes the same flexibility given spring and fall sports previously. The actions today ensure the continuation of local decision-making in the best interest of each institution and its student-athletes.”

Euro decathlon champ Arthur Abele is finally training healthy again after 2 years of injury. He plans to retire after the ’22 Euros in Munich. “That’s the deadline. That’s enough—then I’m really old,” says the 35-year-old German.

Steeplechaser Noah Affolder, who recently transferred from Syracuse to Oregon, has announced that he has retired from the sport for medical reasons. “I have asked a lot from my body and it always provided,” he said, “but now my body is asking me to look out for my long-term physical and mental health.”

Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from the London Marathon because of injury: “I was in good shape but then I picked up a niggle in my left calf after two fast training sessions too close together in the last weeks of preparation.”

After recently completing an 8-year doping ban, the ’08 Olympic 20K walk champion Valeriy Borchin has decided not to return to competition.

Logan Boss, who won All-America honors in the high jump for Mississippi State, but had to serve a 6-month ban after testing positive for a masking agent at the ’18 USATF meet, has retired at age 23.

Pole vaulter Nicole Büchler of Switzerland has retired at age 26.

Unless his appeal is successful, there will be no Christian Coleman in Tokyo, as CAS ruled that he should serve a 2-year sentence for whereabouts failures.

Germany’s Rico Freimuth, 2-time World Champs decathlon medalist, has retired at age 32.

Eliud Kipchoge blamed a blocked ear for his loss in the London Marathon, his first defeat in 7 years. He says that later tests showed nothing and that it was probably due to the rain and cold.

German steepler Gesa-Felicitas Krause has returned to light training after October operations (wisdom teeth, nose).

Dutch runner Susan Krumins, the Euro 5000 silver medalist, withdrew from the World Half-Marathon with an injury.

CAS ruled against Paralympian Blake Leeper in the case of his prosthetics being illegal (see “Last Lap”).

Taoufik Makhloufi, winner of Oly 1500 gold in ’12, is reportedly the focus of a French investigation after investigators found doping paraphernalia in a bag allegedly belonging to him.

CAS has overturned the whereabouts conviction of Salwa Eid Naser (see “Last Lap”). The world 400 champ lost no honors as a result of the earlier suspension.

Michael Schrader of Germany, the ’13 WC silver medalist in the decathlon, has retired at 36.


In The Covid Ward

Spain’s Antonio Abadía, the ’16 Euro bronze medalist at 10,000, had to withdraw from the World Half-Marathon because of a positive C19 test. He is asymptomatic.

Noah Droddy, who set a marathon PR of 2:11:42 at Chicago a year ago, reports that he has tested C19-positive. “I have no symptoms and have notified those I’ve been in contact with. Of course, I won’t be traveling or racing.”

Loïc Gasch, a Swiss high jumper with 7-6½ (2.30) credentials, is dealing with C19. Reportedly, he has a lung infection along with liver and muscle inflammation. His doctors ordered a 6-week break from exercise.

Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi, earlier sidelined by C19, had surgery in early November to remove a heel spur.

British middle distance ace Jake Wightman had C19 in early October and reported mild symptoms.


Doping/Whereabouts Bans
4 years—Clémence Calvin (France, distance), Samir Dahmani (France, 800), Robel Fsiha (Sweden, distance), Maksim Krasnov (Russia, walks), Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya, marathon);
2 years—Christian Coleman (US, sprints), Lyudmila Yeryomina (Russia, pole vault). □

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