More about Marion

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 6:35 pm by Nicole

Marion Jones’ drug admission, Day Two. Links below to the standout articles I’ve seen today:

Jones’ plea might shift case to Bonds (San Jose Mercury News)

Knapp: Olympic winner Marion Jones now loser after doping plea (San Francisco Chronicle)

Golden girl of 2000 Olympics quits after drug admission (The Independent, UK)

Jones admits to lying about steroid use (Los Angeles Times)

Marion Jones drags others into selfish, steroid mess (New York Daily News) CSB Editor’s Note: This is the first writer I’ve seen bring up the issue of the 2004 Olympic women’s 4×100 relay team and what the fates of Jones’ team members would have been if Jones hadn’t botched the baton pass to Lauryn Williams and they had subsequently won a medal with a tainted teammate. While I don’t want to dwell in the negativity around those who would dismiss Jones unequivocally as a liar who deserves the worst, Filip Bondy of the Daily News has some good points to make about the extent of Jones’ selfish actions in trying to avoid admitting her steroid use before she finally confessed.

Ekaterini Thanou in line for Marion Jones’ gold (The Daily Telegraph, UK)

IAAF head: Jones will go down as a fraud (Associated Press)

IAAF statement on Marion Jones (Friday, October 5) (IAAF.org)


Marion Jones finally admits what everyone else knew

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 8:07 am by Nicole

It will be a long time before I can get the image of Marion Jones angrily denying the BALCO allegations, calling USADA a “kangaroo court”, and playing us all for fools as the proof of her doping gradually trickled out of the investigations, out of my head.

Today throughout the track community and throughout the world of international sport en masse, there is cause for great sadness, but also for hope. It was an American athlete who finally admitted to doping en route to five Olympic medals in Sydney – but it was also an American investigation that caught her, and finally impressed upon her that it is harder to live a lifetime of a lie, than to admit the truth and hope that the future of sport – and her own personal future – will be better for it.

My hope for Marion Jones today is that she dedicates the rest of her life to being a positive force for change in international track and field and a role model for athletes who want to be able to compete on a clean level playing field. Kelli White made that choice in 2004 when she admitted her role in the BALCO scandal, and she remains a deeply admirable person for having done so, giving talks worldwide to help uncover the sinister side of elite sports competition. I look forward to seeing Marion Jones join that fight. That means more than any Olympic medal.

Marion Jones admits to doping (AP, via Sports Illustrated)

Report: Jones used steroids for two years before 2000 Games (ESPN)

Hunter was right – Jones got big boost from steroids (ESPN)

Olympic champion acknowledges use of steroids (New York Times)

A tarnished golden girl can’t outrun the truth (New York Times)

Rival sickened by Jones’ drug admission (The Age, Australia)

Former sprint queen admits doping (AFP)

Marion Jones admits to steroid use (Washington Post)

Games soured by cheat Jones (The Daily Telegraph, Australia)

Jones to plead guilty to doping (BBC)

Olympic champion Jones’ plea may reignite BALCO probe, IOC says (Bloomberg)


Yi, Liu, World Cup

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Basketball, Tennis, Track and Field/Athletics at 9:23 am by Nicole

Since my last update (head hanging in shame…Osaka was wonderful but hot – which saps everyone’s energy and makes it twice as hard to get everything done), Yi Jianlian has signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, Liu Xiang won his first world championship in the 110-meter hurdles, and the women’s World Cup tournament has started in China. Not to mention the world gymnastics championships in Stuttgart where China, always a superpower, faced off against the world. There’s also the China Open (tennis) to look forward to this month, as well as the Asian IAAF track and field season, with its annual stop in Shanghai.

The tide has definitely turned – ever since the one-year-out mark to the 2008 Olympics, it’s felt like there’s a critical mass of information out there on the China sports world. That makes life busy…but also fascinating, as always, as we watch China develop into a sports superpower and experience the range of emotions and concerns that arise as the rest of the world attempts to understand China on that journey.

Following, a selection of news coverage and resources from the big events of the last few weeks – and of course, lots of information on World Cup:


FIFA Home Page
FIFA Women’s World Cup home page (English)
FIFA Women’s World Cup home page (Chinese)

China opens door to World Cup (USA Today)
Women’s World Cup Primer: Frenzy is gone, but plenty of entertainment awaits (Los Angeles Times)
Host China enters World Cup amid criticism, heavy expectations (USA Today)
U.S. women hope to get off on right foot (The Sports Network)
U.S. team is ready for the world (Washington Post)
Sawa key for Japan against the Three Lions (The Sports Network)
England: We don’t want Rolexes, just more recognition (Times Online, UK)


Liu Xiang wins world gold; Americans 2-3 (International Herald Tribune)
Liu Xiang looking for an edge from the feet up (The Guardian, UK)
Liu Xiang delighted to deal with the pressure (The Guardian, UK)
Liu Xiang taking life one hurdle at a time (The Guardian, UK)
Coach: Liu Xiang confident of winning in Osaka (Xinhua, via ChinaView)


No. 6 pick Yi Jianlian finally signs with Milwaukee Bucks (International Herald Tribune)
Yi Jianlian finally signs for Milwaukee Bucks (Reuters Canada)
Chinese center Yi Jianlian signs with Milwaukee to start NBA career (Xinhua via China View; NB: I believe Yi will be playing power forward, not center, but he’s tall enough to go either way…)


What we learned from the world gymnastics championships (Sports Illustrated)
U.S. women beat China to win gymnastics world championship (Xinhua, via Mathaba News Agency)


Draw set for 2007 China Open (Xinhua-PR Newswire, via EarthTimes.org)
Gonzales sneaks out first-round win in Beijing (The Sports Network)



Posted in Track and Field/Athletics at 7:37 pm by Nicole

Hot, humid, sunny, and full of great track performances – that’s Osaka, Japan, where the CSB is camping out for the 11th rendition of the IAAF World Championships in Track and Field.

Updates to come as I’m able during the week – for now, a tidbit from a certain 110-meter hurdler who met a few journalists (present company included) at a Nike press conference yesterday at a downtown hotel.

China’s Liu hopes to go about his business of being the world’s best (International Herald Tribune)


Lots of news

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Badminton, Doping, General, Sports Business, Tennis, Track and Field/Athletics at 7:13 am by Nicole

So many news clips, so little time.

World University Games (Universade):

The Chinese team had a great Universade, winning the medal count with 32 golds and 87 total medals.

A year out from the Beijing Olympics, China wins University Games gold race (International Herald Tribune)

A memorable Universade for hosts (The Nation – Thailand)

Universade concludes, China topping medal standings (China View)

Involvement of colleges leads China sports to sustainable development (People’s Daily Online)

China on way to sports system transformation (People’s Daily Online)

Nice haul for Canada at Bangkok Universade (Winnipeg Free Press) Editor’s note: This article isn’t about China, but I’m feeling a little guilty at not having posted more news of the World University Games (Universade) while they were being contested, so this is the CSB’s attempt at a touch of penance…it’s a great event, one that China has hosted in the past, and one well worth paying attention to.

World Badminton championships:

Trio of medals for China (SportingLife.com)


Report on Yan Zi in Montreal (Edmonton Sun) It’s old news now – Yan Zi lost after this article was posted – but it’s worth reading about how China’s stellar doubles player made it all the way to the singles semifinals against Justine Henin in Montreal from the qualifying rounds.

World Track and Field Championships (Starts Saturday August 25 in Osaka, Japan):

Event website

Sweet and sour taste of reality (The Herald) Coverage of the British national track and field team that will compete in Osaka, with some thoughts about 2008.

China hoping a strong comeback in athletics (Sri Lanka Daily News)

Yen for running (Times Online) Not a Chinese story, but a great feature on Britain’s Mara Yamauchi, her country’s top entry for the marathon at the world championships (fellow Briton and world record holder Paula Radcliffe had a baby in January and will not be competing in Osaka).

2008 Olympics:

Summer Games are coming, but U.S. dominance is over (SportingNews.com)

Beijing sees Olympics as China’s shot at gold (Hollywood Reporter)

Olympic sailing test event: Report on the British team (SportingLife.com)

IT at Beijing Olympic Games to cost US$400 million (Washington Post)

Beijing’s weekend smog experiment (Blog entry at The Lede, New York Times)

More important than gold medals (Japan Times)

Olympic education for 400 million young people in China (International Olympic Committee)

IOC still believes in Beijing (BBC: Sport Editors’ Blog)

State Councilor urges better implementation of anti-doping regulation (People’s Daily Online)

WADA asks China to increase doping tests for athletes (Voice of America)

Smog casts a cloud over Beijing (BBC)

Coastal city pulsates with Beijing (People’s Daily Online)


Justin Gatlin and the feds

Posted in Doping, Track and Field/Athletics at 9:15 am by Nicole

Last summer I was heartbroken at the positive doping tests of Justin Gatlin and Floyd Landis – and saddened (but not surprised) when Marion Jones’ “A” sample turned up with EPO (yes, I know her “B” sample was deemed clean, but she’s not the first person I’d put on my list of “athletes I think are competing without drugs,” not by a long shot). So today’s news that Justin Gatlin has been actively assisting federal investigators in their investigation of Trevor Graham is intriguing and hopeful.

Gatlin assisted investigators in BALCO probe (Washington Post)

Any story about doping is a Beijing Olympic story, as far as I’m concerned – doping has finally, finally started to be looked at seriously by the governing bodies of the world’s most powerful sports organizations. This year’s Tour de France was either a mess, or a beacon of hope, depending on whose point of view you held…but I’m going with the hopeful view, because for the first time, a critical mass of active athletes took a very public stand against doping. So if Gatlin really was clean and got sabotaged, and if he took personal risks to bring Trevor Graham to justice, I’d love to see him back in it for 2008.


Princeton in China

Posted in Track and Field/Athletics at 7:10 am by Nicole

Princeton track team to compete in China (NYTimes.com)


Liu Xiang in Eugene

Posted in Track and Field/Athletics at 5:30 pm by Nicole

The CSB was in Eugene, Oregon today to watch Liu Xiang compete at the Prefontaine Classic, the most prestigious international professional track meet in the United States. It wasn’t quite as pretty as the 12.92 in New York – the weather was cool and cloudy, it had rained for most of the day yesterday and part of the morning today, and so the conditions weren’t perfect for sprinting. But it was still a victory, albeit under slightly scary circumstances – American Dominique Arnold stumbled on a hurdle and appeared to almost obstruct Liu in the adjacent lane. France’s Ladji Doucoure ran a respectable race – the 2005 world champion is on his way back after a ten-month injury break. Overall, it was a great day at the races.

China’s golden boy (The Register-Guard, Eugene OR)


Liu Xiang in New York

Posted in Track and Field/Athletics at 8:16 am by Nicole

I’ll tell you all about it later, but it’s been quite a ride this week in New York. Liu Xiang is a star among the Chinese like no other, and this week, Karen Crouse of the New York Times took the time to feature Liu in an article ahead of today’s Reebok Grand Prix, where Liu is one of the headliners. The very able translator who assisted Karen with this interview is Columbia University Ph.D. student Wang Jingwen, whose ease in both Mandarin and English, along with her poise in handling herself in front of one of her heroes, was astounding to see. Liu may not have been recognized at the Chinese restaurant around the corner from his hotel, but make no mistake – the Chinese media are out in force, and Liu’s fans are too. It should be a great night of track tonight at Icahn Stadium in New York City.

A Runner Taking Each Hurdle As It Comes (New York Times)

Reebok Grand Prix 2007 – event website


Olympic pressure

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Track and Field/Athletics at 8:30 am by Nicole

With gold medals come expectations…and with a country that expects gold in 2008, those expectations can sometimes be overwhelming. Liu Xiang, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles event in track and field, is as recognizable an athlete in China as they come. Sun Haiping, Liu’s coach, spoke this week about how the pressure of expectation is weighing on his star athlete.

Liu coach expresses concern over mental pressure (The Guardian, UK)

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