Video undermines U.S. swimmers’ account of Rio robbery

Rodrigo Viga & Jeb Blount – Reuters, 08/18/2016

Brazil TV aired a video on Thursday that showed four U.S. Olympic swimmers did not tell the whole truth when they said they were robbed at gunpoint in an incident that has marred the image of South America’s first Olympic Games.

The security-camera images broadcast on Globo TV appeared to show the swimmers, including Olympic gold medallists Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, in a dispute with staff at a Rio gas station, a fact they did not mention to police in their accounts.

“The athletes lied to us about their story,” a top Rio police official told Reuters on Thursday, declining to be identified because the matter was still under investigation.

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Brazil Replaces Antidoping Agency Chief

Will Connors – The Wall Street Journal, 06/30/2016

RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazil has replaced the head of its antidoping agency just weeks before the Olympics begin, adding to the uncertainty around efforts to keep the Summer Games clean.

The move comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency earlier this month suspended the Rio lab that was to be the center of athlete drug testing during the August games.

Marco Aurélio Klein will be replaced by  Rogério Sampaio, a former Olympic judo athlete, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Sports.

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Brazil’s Shuttered Anti-Doping Lab

Matt Vasilogambros – The Atlantic, 06/24/2016

Rio de Janeiro may not have an anti-doping laboratory for the Olympic Games this summer.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said Friday it was suspending the city’s accredited laboratory from conducting tests on urine and blood samples due to “non-conformity” with the International Standard for Laboratories. The suspension, which took place Wednesday, will remain in place until the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory “is operating optimally.” WADA did not specify on the lab’s shortcomings.

Announcing the suspension, Olivier Niggli, the incoming director general of WADA, said:

“The Agency will ensure that, for the time being, samples that would have been intended for the Laboratory, will be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory worldwide. This will ensure that there are no gaps in the anti-doping sample analysis procedures; and that, the integrity of the samples is fully maintained.”

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Brazil raises medals target for Rio

Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 8/20/2012

Brazil will have to up its game at the Rio Olympics not just in terms of preparations for the event but also the performance of its athletes, amid plans by the country to more than double its medal count, according to its sports minister.

Aldo Rebelo said that while the country’s tally at the London games of 17 medals, three of them gold, was slightly better than the 15 expected, this would not suffice in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. “We need to put in a competitive performance in accordance with our status as host,” Mr Rebelo told the Financial Times in an interview. “We need to improve significantly (the medal count).”

In spite of having the world’s sixth-largest economy and fifth-largest population, Brazil finished 22nd in the medal table in London after investing far less than its peers in sports. Officials have previously said Brazil plans to more than triple its spending on its athletes to $700m, though it is unclear how the increased expenditure will be funded.

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