Three-time U.S. Olympic team member Morgan Hamm has received a public warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for a steroid at the U.S. Championships in May.
The USADA reported that Hamm, 25, tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide, a glucocorticosteroid, on May 24, the second day of the U.S. Championships in Houston.
As stated in USADA's official release, "The doping offense involved the use of a prescribed anti-inflammatory medication under the care of a physician but without first seeking a therapeutic use exemption as required by the applicable rules."
Hamm said he received the anti-inflammatory shot May 2 for a sprained ankle, but did not get the proper exemption.
"It was an innocent mistake," Hamm told the Associated Press. "You always need to get the forms, that's the most important thing, and that's my failure."
Hamm's results from the second day of the U.S. Championships were nullified.
USA Gymnastics announced it will review the situation to determine how it may impact Hamm's qualification to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Hamm was selected to the U.S. team based on his results at the U.S. Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials in Philadelphia.
The FIG Appeals Tribunal reduced the sanction of Ukrainian rhythmic coach Irina Deryugina from eight to four years, the FIG announced Thursday.
The FIG Disciplinary Commission handed Deryugina an eight-year ban in April for violating five statutes of the FIG Code of Discipline, including acting to influence the results of a competition.
The Tribunal heard her appeal June 30.
"These violations against the Statutes and the Code of Discipline must render a severe sanction. The Tribunal finds however that eight years is too long and has shortened the sanctions by one Olympic Cycle (4 years)," stated the FIG release.
Deryugina originally was suspended from the FIG Rhythmic Technical Committee, was stripped of her Brevet judging status and was banned from participating in any FIG event as a coach or delegation member through Dec. 31, 2016. The halved sanction is in effect through Dec. 31, 2012.
Deryugina, who has proclaimed her innocence, has the right to appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne.
The Russian Cup competition that begins Wednesday in Lobnya will determine the final 18-member Olympic training squad for men and women.
Currently 12 male and 12 female gymnasts are in contention for the Olympics in Beijing, head coach Andrei Rodionenko said. Following the six-day competition in Lobnya, nine from each squad will proceed to the training camp in the Siberian city of Leninsk-Kuznetsky, where the final Olympic teams will train before departing for China.
"I am happy with how the preparation has gone for the championships," Rodionenko said. "Nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Everybody is healthy, and there aren't any compromising injuries. Everything has gone according to plan. What will happen next will unfold on the podium."
Russian Cup Schedule
Wednesday, July 2
Thursday, July 3
Friday, July 4
Men's All-Around Final
Saturday, July 5
Women's All-Around Final
Sunday, July 6
Event Finals (Russian Championships)
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2004 Olympian Anna Pavlova led a Russian sweep of the top six places at the Dutch Open held June 22 in Amsterdam. Pavlova won the all-around, followed in the rankings by Ksenia Semyonova, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Yekaterina Kramarenko, Yulia Lozhechko and Svetlana Klyukina. Kristina Goryunova finished ninth, and 2007 Russian Cup champion Kristina Pravdina finished 20th.
The Russian men won the team title at the European Championships in Lausanne in May. Top contenders for the men's title in Lobnya include reigning Russian national and Russian Cup champion Sergei Khorokhordin, European all-around champion Maxim Devyatovsky and Yuri Ryazanov.
"I don't wish to praise or criticize anyone right now — the only criteria is their performance at the championships," Rodionenko said.
Team elder Nikolai Kryukov, a member of the Russian teams that won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the bronze at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, plans to do pommel horse, vault, parallel bars and high bar in Lobnya. Kryukov, the 1999 world all-around champion, finished eighth all-around at the 2007 Russian Cup.
"Unfortunately I won't do the all-around," said Kryukov, who turns 30 in November. "Because of my age and the overall difficulty needed in gymnastics I had to give up this idea."
The competition will be held at the Sports Palace in Lobnya, a suburb of Moscow. The Sports Palace offers a public webcam that may be active during the competition (see box for webcam link and competition schedule).
The FIG has given Russian rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner an official warning for statements she made to the media in 2007, the federation announced Monday.
The FIG Disciplinary Commission summoned Viner for a hearing June 15 in Lausanne, prompting speculation that the coach could be officially sanctioned. In April, the FIG handed Viner's Ukrainian rival, Irina Deryugina, an eight-year ban for violating numerous FIG statutes.
In a release, the FIG stated that it began an investigation of Viner in April concerning statements she made after the 2007 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, held in September in Patras, Greece.
"The statements in question could notably damage the image of gymnastics and affect the dignity of judges and affiliated federations. As such, this could be an infringement of art. 5 of the FIG Code of Discipline," the federation stated.
At the 2007 World Championships, the Russian gymnasts lost the individual all-around title for the first time since 1997. After Ukrainian Anna Bessonova won the title over Russians Vera Sesina and Olga Kapranova, Viner blamed the results on biased judging.
"If the individual competition had not concluded with the all-around final, then it would have come out completely differently," Viner said following the competition. "After my girls won five gold medals, someone hinted that the world championships were not an all-Russian competition. So the judges artifically decided to pull up Anna Bessonova over Sesina... After the all-around results, I worried for the outcome of the group tournament, and undertook the necessary measures to ensure that this situation does not happen again."
The FIG stated that Viner had apologized for her remarks that "may have been misinterpreted and reported by the media in a manner that could damage the judges and gymnastics."
Stated the FIG, "Having considered the circumstances of the case, the Presidential Commission, based on art. 10 of the FIG Code of Discipline and art. 42.2 (a) of the Statutes, has decided to pronounce a warning against Mrs Viner. The warning is the lowest sanction foreseen in the FIG Statutes."
IG brings you exclusive video highlights and behind-the-scenes photos of the "Hyundai Capital Invitational II" World Gymnastics Gala, a three-night show held in mid-June in Seoul, Korea, produced by IG Publisher Paul Ziert.
The show lineup featured performers from nine countries, including world and Olympic champions Catalina Ponor, Ivan Ivankov, Jordan Jovtchev, Ashley Postell, Yulia Raskina and Li Ya.
A temporary venue was built specifically for the show in Seoul's Olympic Park. The venue featured 180 overhead lights, and video and images were projected onto the stretched canopy overhead.
The event was free to the public, but only 1,200 seats were available for each show. There were 20,000 requests put in for the 3,600 tickets, Ziert said.
"Of the more than 200 shows I have produced over the past 30 years, this was the most dynamic. Every performer gave us a maximum effort, and I would like to thank all of them for showing an extremely high level of gymnastics performed in an elegant and theatrical way," Ziert said.
"Hyundai Capital Invitational II" World Gymnastics Gala
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