Olympic Daily News - Thursday, July 26

United States gymnast and world vault champion McKayla Maroney will compete at the London Games with an injured toe.

USA gymnastics president Steve Penny said Thursday that Maroney aggravated a previous fracture in training last week, jamming her toe. Maroney had bruising and swelling, but Penny said she trained well and is ready to compete.

"It's a beautiful toe right now," joked Penny.

The injury did little to alter the 16-year-old's training last week.

"I actually got up on the beam and did, like, four more routines after it, so, yeah, it's not too big of a deal," Maroney said.

Maroney is a favorite to win gold in the vault after doing so at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Luckily, it appears one of the smaller digits on her body won't affect how she performs in London.

"I just keep getting more and more questions about it and it's just kind of weird because we're talking about my toe and I'm fine. So, it's kind of funny I guess," said Maroney.

Women's artistic gymnastics events begin July 29 with qualifying.


London, England (Sports Network) - U.S. women's gymnast Anna Li suffered a torn ligament in her neck after falling from the uneven bars on Tuesday and as a result is no longer training as one of the team's replacements.

Li had standard testing done following her fall, with everything coming back normal, but had since been advised by the medical team not to do gymnastics at this time. The team later announced that Li is wearing a cervical collar as a precaution and has been advised to wear the brace when she returns to the United States as well as see a physician.

The 23-year-old is one of three reserves on the Olympic team and has excelled on the uneven bars in her career. An alternate for the 2011 World Championships team that won gold, Li was an eight-time All-American at UCLA, where she scored two perfect 10s on bars during her career.

Women's gymnastics at the London Games is scheduled to begin on Sunday.


London, England (Sports Network) - American swimmer Natalie Coughlin doesn't know if she will retire after the London Olympics.

Coughlin said people who jumped to the conclusion that she would walk away after barely making her third U.S. Olympic team have the wrong idea.

"I may continue to swim and I may not. I think a lot of people assumed I was going to be done and I never once said that," Coughlin said Thursday. "So I'm going to take this meet as it comes ... and then I'll evaluate from there."

Coughlin, 29, has 11 Olympic medals -- one shy of tying fellow swimmers Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for most among American women.

She was the first American woman to win six medals at a single Olympics when she captured a gold, two silver and three bronze in Beijing, but Coughlin will swim only in the 400-meter freestyle relay here.

And when she does retire, it won't be for the reason you think. Coughlin doesn't mind all the work.

"The hardest part about being an athlete is the day-to-day training and that's actually my favorite part," she said. "And whether I retire or not I'm going to continue to work out, so I might as well do it as my job."


London, England (Sports Network) - Saudi judoka Wodjan Shahrkhani must compete at the London Olympics without a hijab, the president of the International Judo Federation said Thursday.

Marius Vizer said Shahrkhani "will fight in the spirit of judo and according to the principles of judo, without a hijab."

Reports have said the decision to not allow her to wear the head scarf was made for safety concerns.

Shahrkhani is one of two women from Saudi Arabia competing at the Olympics, the other being 800-meter runner Sarah Attar. They are the first Saudi women to compete at the games, and Saudi Arabia was the last participating country to never have sent a woman to the Olympics.

But Vizer's statement could jeopardize Shahrkhani's participation, as the hijab is required in Saudi Arabia. The country's Olympic federation has not yet commented on the ruling.

Shahrkhani is competing in the over-78 kilogram category, which will be contested Aug. 3. She drew Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica in her first match.


London, England (Sports Network) - Croatian tennis player Ivo Karlovic has withdrawn from the London Olympics due to a foot injury and will be replaced in the men's draw by Germany's Philipp Petzschner.

Karlovic, who is ranked 59th on the ATP Tour, drew Lukas Lacko in the first round, but Petzschner will now take on the Slovakian.

This marks the second straight time the 33-year-old Karlovic has withdrawn from the Summer Games. He also dropped out before the start of the competition four years ago in Beijing.

Petzschner is already representing Germany in men's doubles alongside Christoper Kas, and he may also play mixed doubles with Angelique Kerber.


London, England (Sports Network) - France's Christelle Daunay withdrew from the London Olympics on Thursday because of a toe injury suffered during training.

Daunay, who holds the French record in the women's marathon, was advised to pull out of the games after x-rays showed she sustained a fracture in the second toe of her left foot.

She had finished 20th in the women's marathon four years ago in Beijing.

"This is hard for me, but I have to say thank you to the medical team, my husband, my coach Cedric Thomas and my supporters for their encouragement," Daunay said.

The women's marathon will take place August 5.


London, England (Sports Network) - Hungarian discus thrower Zoltan Kovago will miss the 2012 Olympic Games after receiving a two-year ban for a doping violation.

Kovago was originally acquitted by the Hungarian doping committee, but an appeal was filed by the IAAF. The International Court of Arbitration for Sport then on Thursday issued Kovago's ban.

A 2004 silver medal winner, Kovago was set to appear in his fourth Olympic Games. No further appeal is possible.


London, England (Sports Network) - Greek high jumper Dimitrios Chondrokoukis will not compete at the London Olympics after a positive doping test, says his father.

Chondrokoukis, the world indoor high jump champion, is seeking a retest, his father said in a statement to Greek media.

The news came one day after triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou was banned from the Olympics by Greece's governing body for a racially-charged tweet.


London, England (Sports Network) - The son of former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch was elected to the organization's executive board on Thursday.

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., 52, was among seven executive board members and two vice presidents to be elected at the IOC session. His father was the chief of the organization from 1980-2001.

Morocco's Nawal El Moutawakel and Great Britain's Craig Reedie were elected as vice-presidents. They have been executive board members since 2008 and '09, respectively.

Joining Samaranch as new members of the executive board are Ukrainian pole vaulting legend Sergey Bubka, Guatemela's Willi Kaltschmitt, Taiwan's Ching Kuo Wu, Olympic Council of Ireland president Patrick Hickey, and German Claudia Bokel, a 2004 silver medalist in epee fencing.

Switzerland's Rene Fasel was re-elected to the executive board.

The United States' Anita DeFrantz had been up for an executive board position, but U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said Thursday that she decided not to run.


London, England (Sports Network) - The Australian equestrian eventing team was forced to reshuffle for the second time in five days after a member's horse came up lame.

Megan Jones, set to ride Allofasudden, withdrew from the London Olympics and was replaced Thursday by alternate Sam Griffiths, who will make his Olympic debut aboard Happy Times.

Jones had replaced 2008 silver medalist Shane Rose, who pulled out Sunday after his horse, Taurus, suffered a leg injury.


London, England (Sports Network) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday dismissed a request for arbitration filed by Irish boxer Joseph Ward.

Ward requested arbitration because he was not picked to go to the London Olympics by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) or a Tripartite Commission composed of representatives from the IOC, AIBA and the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Bosko Draskovic of Montenegro was instead invited to the games, and Ward asserted that the qualification criteria were not properly applied.

A CAS panel conducted a hearing Wednesday evening, and decided it didn't have jurisdiction in the case. It said that even if it did have jurisdiction, Ward's application for arbitration would have been dismissed on merit.

"Indeed, Ward would not have qualified for any open slot had any such slot been made available based on his claim that Bosko Draskovic was not eligible by the Tripartite Commission," said the CAS decision.