Decision on Russian athletes coming Friday

Athletics Australia chief Phil Jones says he’d be “astonished” if Russian track athletes were allowed to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

On Friday, the IAAF will determine whether to restore the athletics team’s eligibility for Rio. Russia was handed a global suspension in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency report revealed state-sponsored doping.

The IAAF decision will be made hours after Australian race walker Jared Tallent is presented with his 2012 Olympics gold medal in Melbourne on Friday.

Tallent was beaten by Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin in the 50-kilometer walk in London, but Kirdyapkin was stripped of his gold for doping.


The IAAF could all but guarantee American Jenn Suhr a gold medal if it bans the entire Russian track team from the Rio Games.

Suhr is hoping that doesn’t happen.

The defending pole vault Olympic champion said Thursday that she wants to compete against the top competition this Summer in Rio – and that means Yelena Isinbayeva, the winner in 2004 and ’08 and the world record-holder. “If you don’t have your best people in the event, then it’s not really the true event,” Suhr said.


LPGA: Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a 6-under 65 for a share of the Meijer LPGA Classic lead, with Brooke Henderson, Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn close behind at Belmont, Michigan.

Thompson, 21, was tied for the lead with 52-year-old Laura Davies, Sei Young Kim, Carlota Ciganda and Paula Reto.



DIAMOND LEAGUE: Kendra Harrison of the U.S. continued her impressive run of form in Stockholm, leading an American 1-2-3 in the 100-meter hurdles.

On a wet night in the Swedish capital, Harrison wasn’t able to match her performance last month in Eugene, Oregon, which saw her run the second fastest race of all time.

But the 23-year-old was too strong for the rest of the field, winning the Diamond League event in 12.66 seconds, ahead of Nia Ali in second and Queen Harrison in third.


FOOTBALL: UConn head football coach Bob Diaco and his wife Julia have announced they are donating $250,000 toward the construction of several new athletic facilities for soccer, baseball and softball.


UConn has estimated those fields will cost $46 million to build,

Diaco last month signed a contract extension with the school to pay him $9.5 million over the next five seasons.

He said the school’s football complex is among the best in the nation and he wants other coaches to enjoy the same caliber of facilities.

BASEBALL: Florida’s pitching staff is widely considered the best in the country, potentially in college baseball history.

The Gators had five pitchers selected in the top 108 picks of the Major League Baseball draft last week – plenty of talent and depth to make another deep run in the College World Series and possibly win the program’s first national championship.

Florida enters the CWS having not allowed a run in 22 consecutive innings and with a 1.50 ERA in the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators shut out rival Florida State twice in as many nights to win the super regional and land a spot in Omaha for the fifth time in the last seven years.

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