More sports in briefs
Saudis double Olympic quota
SAUDIA ARABIA (AP):
Saudi Arabia will send four female athletes to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, doubling their female participation after two women took part in the 2012 London Games for the first time.
Two of the athletes will participate in track and field, one in judo and one in fencing, Hosam al-Qurashi, executive director of the Saudi Olympic Committee, told The Associated Press yesterday.
Among the four is Sarah Attar, who was the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in Olympic track and field in 2012. Al-Qurashi says a total of 11 Saudi athletes are competing in Rio.
Brazil loses starting goalkeeper
SAO PAULO (AP):
Brazil's hopes of winning their first Olympic gold medal in soccer took a hit yesterday when starting goalkeeper Fernando Prass was removed from the squad because of a right elbow injury.
The Brazilian soccer confederation said Prass will not play in the tournament after tests showed a fracture in the goalkeeper's elbow. Coach Rogerio Micale has not yet announced his replacement.
Prass missed a couple of practice sessions last week after hurting his elbow on Monday. He appeared to have recovered and was expected to play in the team's friendly match against Japan on Saturday but was ruled out after re-injuring the elbow in a pre-game warmup.
The 38-year-old Palmeiras goalkeeper was one of the selected players older than age 23, along with star striker Neymar and midfielder Renato Augusto. Neymar is Brazil's captain at the Rio Games after missing the decisive stages of the World Cup at home two years ago because of a back injury.
Prass had never been called up for the national team before.
"I gave my best to make my dream of playing for the national team come true, but unfortunately it's not going to happen this time," Prass said on Twitter after undergoing the medical tests on Saturday. "I'll recover and return even stronger to play for Palmeiras and hopefully for the national team again."
The Brazilian squad is under pressure to win the tournament in front of home fans. The gold medal is the only trophy the five-time world champions haven't won in soccer.
IOC president Bach defends decision on Russia
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):
IOC President Thomas Bach has defended the committee's decision not to ban Russia's entire Olympic team and says the country's doping scandal will not damage the credibility of the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Bach says a total ban on Russia "would not be justifiable" on either moral or legal grounds "because every human being is entitled to certain rights of natural justice."
Bach says the IOC "set a very high bar" by imposing strict criteria for international sports federations to apply in deciding which individual Russian athletes should be cleared to compete at the Rio Games, which open on Friday.
Asked how damaging the situation is, Bach replied: "I don't think that this, in the end, will be damaging because people will realise we have to take this decision now."