Well, Ryan Lochte has done it again. And by “it” I mean he managed to get himself suspended again. This time for 14 months after he posted a picture of himself getting an intravenous injection back in May. Something that is banned under anti-doping rules.
As we all likely remember, Lochte got himself banned for 10 months thanks to his ridiculous drunken behavior during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. What exactly led to this latest suspension being 4 months longer is still unclear. But it may be as simple as it is his second infraction. And sadly for Lochte, this suspension means he will not be able to compete in the national championship in California that starts later this week.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency made sure to clarify that Lochte was not taking a banned substance in the photo. And that simply getting any intravenous injection whatsoever is against the rules.
“I have never taken a prohibitive substance, Lochte said in a statement he gave on Monday in Florida. “I have never attempted to gain any advantage by putting anything illegal in my body. I would never do that; this is very serious to me. Unfortunately, while the rule is a newer rule and is not widely known as others, I should know better.”
Despite the frustrating mistake by Lochte, it’s worth noting how he’s handling it so far. When news first broke of his drunken behavior in Brazil, Lochte spun as many lies as he could in an attempt to avoid any punishment. And it just made the situation so much worse for him.
But Lochte really seems to be owning up to his mistake here. He’s not trying to lie his way out or point the finger and anyone but himself. And that’s a step in the right direction for the previously foolish young man. It was just a simple case of him being unaware of the rule and making his infraction very public by posting a photo.
In an official statement by the USADA, they said that “Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic.” And because this was not a pre-approved procedure by the USADA, and because it was unrelated to any hospitalization, it was ruled an infraction. The USADA also made sure to mention that Lochte “fully cooperated” throughout the investigation.
But despite all that, this could really hurt Lochte moving forward. He already had a damaged reputation, and this will only make it worse. Not to mention the four events he was set to compete in at the national championships. The ban will surely hurt his standing among his competitors and his chance and any championships or medals in the near future.
“This is devastating for my family and me, and I was finally back in top shape,” Lochte continued in his statement. “I know it sounds like a harsh penalty for something unintentional and where I didn’t put anything prohibitive in my body, but a rule is a rule and I accept that there is a technical violation in that I’ll have to accept the consequences.”
But at least Lochte is confident he is far from done. “I may be on the sideline from competition, but I’ll continue to train every day. I want nothing more than to earn the privilege to swim for my country in my fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”
One thing’s for sure, that will be quite the story if he manages to make it to Tokyo.
From Sand to Ice: World’s Most Beautiful Horse Race Courses
Dubai is known to be a luxurious place where only the richest of the rich can afford. It is no wonder that Dubai also houses one of the most prestigious racecourses in the world! Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse is located beside the first five-star hotel in the area alongside a museum and several high-end restaurants. The grandstand boasts of an impressive mile-long track that can host more than 60,000 spectators. Did I mention that it also boasts of a rooftop infinity pool?
Dubai is known to host one of the most prestigious racehorses globally, the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup.
St., Moritz, Switzerland
Switzerland is home to one of the best ski resorts in the world. It is a perfect and scenic spot for winter sport with the alps and its majestically cold weather. And yes, maybe including horse racing. The White Turf Event is one of the most anticipated horse racing events for three long days each year. It is not your typical horse racing event. Since racers are required to race through in freezing weather, special equipment and paraphernalia are needed to ensure that both the rider and the horse are safe as they race through the majestic backdrop of the Engadin mountains in icy lakes. This spectacular event draws more than 30,000 spectators to witness this exciting horse race.
Flemington Racecourse, Australia
Australia is known to have wild, flamboyant colors and exciting culture. This is why this reflects in the Flemington racecourse, which is probably one of the world’s oldest racecourses. The renovated venue reflects Australia’s rich culture through its loud colors that mimic the vibrant energy that Australia brings. Filled with bright oranges, reds, yellows, and greens, the racecourse is a sight to see!
Piazza del Campo, Italy
Italy is known to be one of the most famous tourist spots in the world with its majestic architectural wonders and rich history. Piazza del Campo is simply no exception to the majesty that Italy brings. The Palio di Siena horse race hosts two events every year, and the place is so rich with history that the place dates back to ancient medieval times when buffalos were used to race instead of horses! Some critics have dubbed the Palio di Siena horse race track as one of the most challenging and difficult horse race track courses globally.
Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Hong Kong is known for shopping and its famous skyscrapers and home to a rather spectacular racecourse called the Happy Valley racecourse. It is located right smack in the center with remarkable buildings and architectural wonders surrounding the racecourse. It can host more than 50,000 spectators and have lots of fun activities such as a beer garden, live music, and entertainment between races.
From Gymnastics to Parkour: Silke Sollfrank Gained her Freedom From Competitive Sport
Silke Sollfrank has grown up as a competitive professional gymnast. Consequently, she was not very happy and got tired of the pressure of competition and the rules of the sport.
This all changed when she was introduced to the freestyle world of parkour. She noted that she has more freedom of movement than worrying about her toes, pointing all the time.
Parkour is a training discipline that entails jumping, running, and climbing around urban landscapes. In a public statement, Sollfrank said that she needs to set her limits and focus on her movement rather than comparing herself to other people.
She also added that she was constantly comparing herself to other women when she was doing gymnastics and trying to become better and exceed their talent and skills.
“Parkour kind of slapped me in the face and showed me: ‘This is not this is not what you want.'”
When she immersed herself in parkour in the year 2015, she had never looked back. Today, the 23-year-old has competed in the world’s biggest parkour competitions. She made her debut at the Aurora Games in New York and made the podium in the Red Bull Art of Motion in 2019.
Besides collaborating in the Netflix show coined “Ultimate Beastmaster,” she was also the last woman standing in her Ninja Warrior Germany journey. Also, she was the only woman in the 15-member parkour group of Ashigaru. Today, she wants to invite and encourage more individuals to follow in her footsteps and take up parkour’s freestyle movement.
“Doesn’t matter how old you are, doesn’t matter what gender you are, as long as you can see that you enjoy movement, that you enjoy challenging yourself.” She also admitted that she had struggled but fortunately overcame her fear of heights to compete further.
“There shouldn’t be any fears of starting because everyone starts at their own level. Some people might have a lot of body experience and start at a higher level. Some people don’t know about anything, would like to know how to do parkour and they start from zero. And that’s totally fine.”
Louisiana State University Fans Expected To Be The Majority In The CFP Crowd In New Orleans
Based on data by VividSeats, the crowd will be overruled by mostly purple and blue at the CFP championship held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
This forecast is backed by a series of data points that include the location of ticket buyers. Also, the expected amount of LSU fans is anticipated to get higher as prices start to decrease.
Meanwhile, the Clemson fans are also expected to turn out as their fan base is quite similar to the travel associated with a championship game.
According to SeatGeek and StubHub, online ticket marketplaces indicate that average prices have begun to fall after the CFP semifinals between LSU and Oklahoma, Clemson, and Ohio State which happened Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.
It’s going down
As of January 2, 2020, the average selling price of a get-in ticket on Stubhub is at $1,972, while their cheapest ticket is at $981. On that data alone, 34% of all CFP ticket-buyers on StubHub were located in Louisiana. Ticket-buyers on Texas, on the other hand, came up the second largest with 16% as South Carolina came in third with 6%.
Based on another data from Seatgeek from December 30, 2019, with a minimum price of tickets at $2,174 and a get-ticket is at $1,191. 24% of the sold tickets are hailing from Louisiana, 17% in Texas, 9% in Georgia, 8% in South Carolina, and 6% in North Carolina.
Ticket prices feel to about $2,300 by New Year’s Eve, and as of January 8, 2020, the prices reached its lowest point at an average of $2,000 with a get-in rate under a thousand dollars for the first time.
Regardless of the plummeting ticket prices, the game is likely to be one of the most expensive title games.
The College Football Playoff Championship Game starts at 7 p.m. on January 13, 2020.
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