Usain Bolt in Australia to start new football career

By Recep Sakar

MELBOURNE, Australia (AA) – Former Olympic gold medalist athlete Usain Bolt arrived in Sydney on Saturday to start his soccer career.

Bolt had announced that after retiring from athletics, he would continue his career in professional football.

He agreed in principle with an A-League Australian football team called Central Coast Mariners for a 6-week trial period. A-League is the top-level of Australian league system.

The 31-year old former sprinter was welcomed at the airport by many supporters and journalists.

Bolt said: "I want to play football and get my opportunity. I'm going to show my best, as always."

"I always put my best foot forward and I'm just going to show the world what I'm made of," he added.

If Bolt becomes successful in the trial period, it is expected for him to sign a one-year contract with the soccer club.

Former Jamaican sprinter was born in 1986 in the Caribbean country.

He bagged nine gold medals in the Olympics and 11 gold medals in the world championships in total.

In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, apart from getting the gold medal, he ran 100 meters in 9.69 seconds, 200 meters in 19.30 seconds and broke the world record in both categories.

A year later, Bolt ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds in the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin to advance his record further.

Bolt also advanced the world record in 200 meters with 19.19 seconds in the same championship.

In 2012 London Summer Olympics and 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, he also won the gold medal in both 100- and 200-meter races.

The Jamaican sprinter is the first man in history to win the 100 and the 200 in three consecutive Olympics.

*Fatih Hafız Mehmet contributed to this story from Ankara.

UPDATE – Russia to meet Olympic committee over athlete ban

UPDATES WITH IOC DECISION ON BANNING SIX RUSSIAN ATHLETES

By Yunus Kaymaz

ISTANBUL (AA) – Russian officials will meet representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday to discuss details of how its athletes will compete in the 2018 Games following a ban on its national team.

According to a statement by the Russian Olympic Committee on Tuesday, the meeting will be held in Switzerland.

The meeting comes following an Olympic ruling last week which accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping program.

In a three-year-long investigation the IOC said that before and during the 2014 Sochi Games, Russian scientists obscured positive dope tests of 1,000 athletes.

The committee banned Russian athletes from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics under their national flag, and allowed athletes who cleared dope tests to compete under a neutral flag.

It also excluded Russia’s former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and his deputy Yuri Nagornykh from participating in future Olympics and suspended Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member.

In a statement on Tuesday announcing new decisions, the IOC said six Russian ice-hockey players Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galiba Skiba had been disqualified for doping.

The IOC said the six athletes were now ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all Olympic events.

"As of now, the number of cases opened by the Disciplinary Commission has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses. Thirty-three of them have already been heard, of which two have been filed," the statement added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a ban on the country’s athletes was unfair and refuted accusations of a state-sponsored doping system.

Putin said that his country’s athletes would compete in the games as individuals.

The Games will be held in South Korea's Pyeongchang in February.

*Diyar Guldogan contributed to the story from Ankara

Russia to meet Olympic committee over athlete ban

By Yunus Kaymaz

ISTANBUL (AA) – Russian officials will meet representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday to discuss details of how its athletes will compete in the 2018 Games following a ban on its national team.

According to a statement by the Russian Olympic Committee, the meeting will be held in Switzerland.

The meeting comes following an Olympic ruling last week which accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping program.

In a three-year-long investigation the committee said that before and during the 2014 Sochi Games, Russian scientists obscured positive dope tests of 1,000 athletes.

The committee banned Russian athletes from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics under their national flag, and allowed athletes who cleared dope tests to compete under a neutral flag.

It also excluded Russia’s former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and his deputy Yuri Nagornykh from participating in future Olympics and suspended Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a ban on the country’s athletes was unfair and refuted accusations of a state-sponsored doping system.

Putin said that his country’s athletes would compete in the games as individuals.

The Games will be held in South Korea's Pyeongchang in February.

Jamaica: Olympic medalist Germaine Mason dies in crash

By Maria Paz Salas

SANTIAGO, Chile (AA) – Olympic silver medalist Germaine Mason died Thursday in a motorcycle crash in the Jamaican capital of Kingston.

Mason, 34, was born in Jamaica but represented Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the high jump. He was eligible to compete for Britain because his father was born in London.

Police said Mason apparently lost control of his the motorcycle before dawn near the airport in an area frequently used to race cars and motorcycles. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Our information suggests he lost control of the motorcycle and fell to the ground and received serious injuries, mainly to his face, head and upper body,” Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen said during a press conference.

Other athletes, including Usain Bolt, arrived at the scene of the accident immediately after the crash around 4.30 a.m., (0930GMT), according to The Gleaner newspaper.

The Guardian newspaper said Mason was riding at the front of a convoy with a other athletes, including Bolt, when the accident occurred.

Several sports figures have offered condolences.

“Winning a silver medal in Beijing places him amongst a unique group of athletes and underlines what a talented individual he was,” said Ben Hawes,

chairman of the British Olympic Association athletes.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness express his “sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity”, in a message on Twitter.

IOC opens doping cases into 28 Russian Olympic athletes

By Fatih Erel

GENEVA (AA) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday opened disciplinary proceedings against 28 Russian athletes after finding evidence their urine samples from the 2014 Winter Olympics had been manipulated.

IOC announced its decision following the publication of a completed World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Person (IP) report on Dec. 9.

“The IOC is initiating disciplinary cases against all 28 athletes for whom there is evidence of manipulation of one or more of their urine samples that were collected at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as detailed in the IP report earlier in December,” the IOC said.

It will also re-examine samples from all Russian athletes who took part in the Sochi Winter Games and the Summer Olympics in London 2012.

The IOC has sanctioned 27 Russian athletes so far as the result of a previous re-analysis program for the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.