The Latest: Ban Ki-moon to carry Olympic torch

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Latest from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (all times local):

8 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will carry the Olympic torch and take part in the opening of the 31st Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban will fly to Rio Wednesday night and take part in Friday’s relay in which the Olympic torch is handed over.

He said the secretary-general will also visit the Olympic Village and meet competitors including the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team.

That 10-member team includes two refugees from Syria, five from South Sudan, two from Congo and one from Ethiopia.

Ban carried the Olympic torch at the 2012 summer games in London and the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia.

Dujarric said Ban will also attend a meeting Friday night for heads of state hosted by Brazil’s acting President Michel Temer.


7 p.m.

FINA is denying that Russian swimmers Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev have been cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics.

Morozoz and Lobintsev were among the athletes implicated in the McLaren report, which found widespread, state-sanctioned doping in Russia.

The International Olympic Committee ruled that no one named in the report could take part in the Rio Games. Morozov and Lobintsev were among those who appealed, and media reports out of Russia say they will be allowed to compete.

FINA said Tuesday those reports are premature. The appeal is still pending before the IOC’s three-person committee that will make a final ruling on the eligibility of Russian athletes.

Australian freestyle star Cameron McEvoy says he’s not concerned about the possibility of swimming against Morozov, who’ll be a medal contender if cleared to compete. McEvoy says “absolutely nothing changes regardless of any decision outside my little bubble.”

FINA also says it retested the samples taken from Russian athletes at last year’s world championships in Kazan. There were no positive findings.


6:25 p.m.

IOC President Thomas Bach says he does not want to destroy the World Anti-Doping Agency, he just wants to improve the global drug-testing system to avoid future scandals.

Bach spoke after WADA President Craig Reedie defended his agency’s handling of the Russian doping crisis. Bach and IOC members had accused WADA of failing to act sooner on evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia.

Bach says “this is not about destroying structures, this is about improving significantly a system in order to have a robust and efficient anti-doping system so that such a situation that we face now cannot happen again.”

Bach has called for drug-testing to become independent of sports organizations. He said a WADA conference in September and an Olympic summit in October should chart the path for a new testing system.


6:20 p.m.

World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie has defended his organization’s investigation of doping in Russia.

Reedie delivered a report to the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday a few hours after many members accused WADA of failing to act sooner on whistleblower evidence of state-sponsored doping.

Members also blamed WADA for failing to contain the doping problem and of putting the IOC in a bind by releasing damning allegations so close to the start of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Reedie says “I had a view this morning that the system is broken.’”

He adds: “I would like to think not all the system is broken, that part of the system is broken, and we should start to identify those parts that need full attention.”

Reedie also says that much work still need to be done to fix the doping problem in Russia.

He says “it is absolutely essential that we cannot have the biggest country in the world non-compliant on a permanent basis.”


4:40 p.m.

One player from the Australian women’s water polo team remains in isolation after being stricken with a gastrointestinal virus.

The rest of the team moved into the Olympic Village on Tuesday, including three other players who were initially quarantined because of the virus.

Those three have recovered enough to rejoin the team for an evening training session at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center. But goalkeeper Lea Yanitsas is staying with the team doctor in separate housing to ensure she is fully recovered.

Delegation leader Kitty Chiller says Yanitsas may be able to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

The Aussie players apparently picked up the virus during a pre-Olympic training camp in Rome.

The women’s water polo competition begins Aug. 9.


4:40 p.m.

The Australian team is hustling to make travel arrangements for tennis player Sam Groth, who has been added to the field for the Rio Olympics.

The 28-year-old Groth is going through a disappointing season, dropping to No. 168 in the world rankings. But a men’s singles spot opened up Tuesday with the opening of the games just three days away.

Australian team leader Kitty Chiller says Groth is eager to get to Rio after losing to Jared Donaldson in the opening round of the BB&T Atlanta Open. She says “we’ll facilitate that flight as soon as we can.”

The tennis competition begins Saturday.

Groth’s addition means the Aussie contingent for Rio will be 421 athletes, including 10 tennis players.


4:10 p.m.

A Swiss court has thrown out a $1 million lawsuit filed by Kuwait against the IOC over the Gulf nation’s suspension from the Olympics.

The IOC suspended Kuwait’s Olympic committee last October, citing government interference.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, a civil court in Lausanne, Switzerland, rejected the Kuwaiti government’s suit against the IOC.

The court ordered Kuwait to pay the IOC 11,125 Swiss francs ($11,500) in court costs.

The suspension prevents Kuwaiti athletes from representing their country at the games in Rio de Janeiro, which start Friday.

However, the IOC executive board ruled that Kuwaiti athletes who qualify for the games would be allowed to compete as independent athletes under the Olympic flag.

The Kuwaiti government also recently filed a $1.3 billion suit against 14 board members of the Gulf state’s Olympic committee, as well as national federations of several sports.


3:25 p.m.

A South Korean road cyclist was hit by a car in Rio de Janeiro during practice for the Olympic Games, police said.

A Rio policeman told the Associated Press that 21-year-old cyclist Kim Ok-Cheol only suffered minor injuries and was rescued by a car of the South Korea Olympic team.

The incident took place at Estrada da Vista Chinesa, a Rio South Zone road commonly used by cyclists for practice in the middle of a forest area.

The driver involved in the incident offered assistance, the policeman said.

The Associated Press could not reach the South Korea Olympic team and Kim for comment.

The men’s road race is scheduled for Aug.6.


3:15 p.m.

Swimming great Michael Phelps tried out the Olympic pool in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday, along with U.S. teammates. Phelps joined several other members of the U.S. team at poolside before listening to a brief talk by swimming coach David Marsh. At the end the team clasped hands, shouting loudly, “USA.”

He then took to the water for a few lengths.


2:20 p.m.

Fourth-ranked Stan Wawrinka is withdrawing from the Olympics because of injury, leaving the Rio Games without half of the ATP’s top 10.

The two-time major champion Wawrinka joins Swiss teammate Roger Federer in skipping the games. They won a doubles gold medal together at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Another Swiss tennis player, Belinda Bencic, has also pulled out of the Rio Games.

A statement issued by Wawrinka’s management company says he “felt increasing pain” during the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week and was told by his doctor after an MRI exam to “reduce his physical activity for an undetermined period.”

The statement does not say where Wawrinka is injured.

The draw for tennis in Rio is Thursday. Play begins Saturday.


2:10 p.m.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden are skipping the Olympics.

The White House says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the U.S. delegation to the games. He’ll be the highest-level U.S. official attending.

The U.S. delegation will also include swimmer Mark Spitz. He has nine Olympic gold medals, plus a silver medal and a bronze medal.


1:10 p.m.

The 10 members of the Olympic refugee team received a standing ovation when they were introduced Tuesday at the IOC’s general assembly meeting.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says “the ultimate goal of the refugee team is that we don’t need one anymore.”

Bach seemed to be near tears as he introduced the athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Congo and Ethiopia, and then gave a big hug to the leader of the delegation, the former Olympian Tegla Loroupe from Kenya.

Addressing some 100 IOC members, Bach says we “wanted to send a message of hope to all refugees. The refugee team will make the world more aware of the crisis.”

Yusra Mardini, a swimmer from Syria, says “we didn’t choose to leave our homelands, we didn’t choose the name of refugee.” And she added “we are still human, we are like everybody else.”


10:05 a.m.

IOC President Thomas Bach is asking the full committee to support the decision to reject a complete ban on Russian athletes for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Bach opened the International Olympic Committee’s three-day general assembly Tuesday with another defense of the executive board’s handling of the Russian doping scandal.

He again pointed blame at the World Anti-Doping Agency for failing to act sooner on evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia, and said it would be wrong to make individual athletes “collateral damage” for the wrongdoing of their government.

Citing the strong criticism that the IOC has faced for deciding not to impose a full ban on Russia, Bach told the approximately 100 members “we are asking you for your support today for the decision we have taken.”


8:20 a.m.

British cyclist Lizzie Armitstead has won an appeal against an anti-doping violation and is free to compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Armitstead, one of the favorites for the women’s road race, missed three doping tests in a 12-month period, leading to a charge by U.K. Anti-Doping and a provisional suspension.

She appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and a statement released on Armitstead’s behalf on Monday said the first missed test — from August 2015 — was declared void by CAS because UKAD’s doping control officer had failed to follow procedure.

On Tuesday, UKAD confirmed the ruling by CAS and chief executive Nicole Sapstead said “we respect the outcome” of the hearing.

The 27-year-old Armitstead is the current world champion in the road race.

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[Source:- The Washington Post]