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Swimming: Australia breaststroker Hodges retires with ‘hips of 60-year-old’

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Australian swimmer Chelsea Hodges, who helped the nation claim the women’s 4×100 metres medley relay gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has retired from international swimming at the age of 22 after struggling with injuries.

Hodges swam the breaststroke leg of the medley relay final in Tokyo as Australia pipped the United States for the title.

The Queenslander had hoped to swim one last Games with Australia’s “Dolphins” in Paris but decided not to risk her quality of life and nursing career after multiple hip surgeries.

“I had my first hip operation at 15 … and another one last year. I actually have the hips of a 60-year-old,” she said in a Swimming Australia statement on Friday.

“I wanted one last chance at the Games but after six cortisone injections, I had to make a decision on my future.

“I know this decision means I can continue working in my career as a nurse, where I am on my feet all day.

“And hopefully, all things going to plan, run on the beach with my kids. I’ll still be cheering on the Dolphins in Paris and can’t wait to see how the team goes.”

ALSO READ: Summer McIntosh lowers her own world record in 400 IM at Canadian Olympic trials

Hodges’s retirement two weeks out from national Olympic trials leaves swimming power Australia without their third-fastest 100m breaststroker of all time (one minute and 5.99 seconds).

Only the retired duo of Leisel Jones and Sarah Katsoulis posted quicker times.

With Hodges battling fitness problems since Tokyo, Australia have struggled for depth in women’s breaststroke.

In February, Abbey Harkin swam the breaststroke leg in a modest 1:07.21 as Australia beat a weak field for the 4x100m medley relay title at the World Championships in Doha.

However, the Australians were a distant second behind the powerful U.S. team at last year’s World Championships in Fukuoka, where American Lilly King’s breaststroke split of 1:04.93 was two seconds quicker than Harkin’s.

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Malaysia Masters: Sindhu battles past top seed Han Yue to move into semis

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The Indian shuttler beat the WR 6 shuttler 21-13, 14-21, 21-12 in 55 minutes to seal progress to the semifinal.

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F1: Carlos Sainz in talks with Williams for 2025 seat – reports

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Williams has emerged as a surprise contender to sign Carlos Sainz, who will depart Ferrari’s Formula 1 team after this season.

Sainz has reportedly received an offer from Sauber-Audi while also holding out hope that an opportunity might arise with Mercedes or Red Bull. However, Motorsport.com reported Thursday that the Spaniard has been in discussions with Williams, which recently re-signed Alex Albon to a multi-year deal.

Sainz has been evaluating his options since the bombshell announcement in February that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes for Ferrari, where he will join Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull is widely expected to re-sign Sergio Perez for 2025 alongside Max Verstappen, while Mercedes is believed to be leaning toward elevating junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli to replace Hamilton.

ALSO READ: Carlos Sainz no longer in running for Mercedes seat

Sauber has reportedly offered Sainz a multi-year deal that would keep him with the team through its transition to the Audi works team in 2026. But Motorsport.com reported that Williams team principal James Vowles has also been outlining his vision for improving its place on the grid.

A major part of that vision is its customer engine deal with Mercedes for 2026, with Vowles recently acknowledging that his focus is more on 2027 and beyond than on the next few years.

“I’m going to just put all the options on the table and make the right decision,” Sainz said ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. “I can just tell you that, once I open my mind up, everything will happen quickly. It’s all about putting everything together that I feel like I need on my next new contract.”

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Cavaliers dismiss coach J.B. Bickerstaff after two consecutive playoff berths

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The Cleveland Cavaliers had a relatively successful season. Despite advancing to the second round of the playoffs, Cavaliers management decided a coaching change was in order.

Cleveland’s run to the Eastern Conference semifinals marked the franchise’s deepest playoff run since LeBron James’ exit following the 2017-18 season.

On Thursday, the Cavs announced J.B. Bickerstaff had been relieved of his head coaching duties. Bickerstaff first stepped into the head coaching role in February 2019 following John Beilein’s resignation.

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John-Blair Bickerstaff attends a press conference

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media after Game 7 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Orlando Magic May 5, 2024, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.   (David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bickerstaff’s dismissal came one week after the Boston Celtics eliminated Cleveland from playoff contention. 

Bickerstaff had to steer the team through numerous injuries during the regular season and NBA playoffs. All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell and center Jarrett Allen were sidelined with injuries during the Cavs’ final two playoff games.

CAVALIERS’ DONOVAN MITCHELL REFUTES REPORT SUGGESTING HE GREW FRUSTRATED WITH TEAMMATES

Bickerstaff was successful, but other issues apparently led Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and president of basketball operations Koby Altman to make a move.

The coaching change could trigger a summer shift for the Cavs, who are hoping to sign Mitchell to a long-term contract extension and could make major moves while being tied to whatever James ultimately decides to do.

James, who can opt out of his contract with the Lakers, attended Cleveland’s final home playoff game, raising speculation about him making another homecoming and playing a third stint with the Cavs in perhaps a final career act.

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In the short term, the Cavs have begun their search for a replacement for Bickerstaff.

“J.B. is a well-respected NBA coach and an incredible human being,” Altman said in a statement. “Over the past four years, he helped establish a culture that progressively drove players to become the best versions of themselves. Decisions like these are never easy, particularly when you look back at where this franchise rebuild started under his leadership.

“The NBA is a unique business that sometimes requires aggressive risk-taking to move a franchise forward and ultimately compete for championships.”

The Cavs head coach and general manager attend a press conference

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and general manager Koby Altman of the Cleveland Cavaliers are interviewed at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse Oct. 2, 2023, in Cleveland. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

While Bickerstaff was credited with building a strong culture, he had his flaws.

He struggled with in-game adjustments. His offense was often stagnant, and there’s a strong belief there should have been more development by guard Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, who, along with Mitchell and Allen, give the Cavs one of the league’s best young core of players.

J.B. Bickerstaff coaches the Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff yells instructions to players in the first half of a game against the Houston Rockets Dec. 15, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

In his first full season, Bickerstaff, who was under contract through 2026, went just 22-50 with one of the NBA’s youngest rosters. They improved to 44 wins in his second year before losing in the Play-In Tournament while showing major strides.

After acquiring Mitchell via trade in 2022, the Cavs went 51-31 last season and had home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs before getting knocked out in five games by the New York Knicks. The early exit put added pressure on Bickerstaff to do more this season.

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The 45-year-old Bickerstaff went 170-159 in the regular season and 6-11 in the playoffs with Cleveland.

The Cavs went 48-34 this season and stayed among the top teams in the Eastern Conference amid the rash of major injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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WI vs SA, 1st T20I: King leads West Indies to 28-run win over South Africa

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Stand-in captain Brandon King made 79 as West Indies defeated South Africa by 28 runs in the first Twenty 20 international of a three-game series in Kingston on Thursday.

Opener King, deputising for skipper Rovman Powell who has been away on IPL duty, racked up his runs off 45 balls with six sixes and six boundaries as West Indies made 175-8 in its 20 overs.

In reply, South Africa laboured to 147 all out despite Reeza Hendricks making his 15th T20 international half-century.

“I know the conditions well, which was an advantage,” said man-of-the-match King who was playing at his home Sabina Park ground.

“We knew we had to go hard against the new ball as it’d get tougher later. We had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but fell short on a tough pitch.”

South Africa never recovered from losing star opener Quinton de Kock for just four in the first over.

Fellow opener Hendricks was ninth man out with just two balls left of the innings, making a career-best 87 off 51 balls with six sixes and six fours.

ALSO READ: Ponting turns down India head coach approach, says doesn’t exactly fit into his current ‘lifestyle’

The Proteas struggled to gain momentum and after taking 10 overs to make just 77, wickets fell at regular intervals.

West Indies spinner Gudakesh Motie returned figures of 3-25, ripping the heart out of the middle order including captain Rassie van der Dussen for 17.

Matthew Breetzke (19) was the only other South African batsman to reach double figures.

Fast bowler Matthew Forde, playing only his second T20 international, took 3-27, dismissing De Kock and then Hendricks and Ottneil Baartman off successive balls to end the South African innings on the fifth delivery of the last over.

“West Indies played differently to what we had anticipated,” said Van der Dussen.

“Had they not started so well it’d have been different but we need to learn to adapt quicker.”

Making the most of his local knowledge, 29-year-old King registered his 10th international half-century.

He shared a 79-run partnership for the second wicket with Kyle Mayers who hit 34 from 25 balls with three sixes and one four.

Together, they took the West Indies, two-time world champions in the game’s shortest format, to 109-1 after 10 overs.

South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo then applied the brakes with his medium pace, dismissing King before sending back Andre Fletcher and Fabian Allen in the space of four balls in the 15th over.

Phehlukwayo finished with impressive figures of 3-28 from his four overs.

Fast bowler Baartman also shone on his debut with 3-26, dismissing opener Johnson Charles (one), Akeal Hosein (two) and Forde (five).

Roston Chase finished undefeated with his 32 occupying 30 deliveries.

The second and third games of the series are also being played in Kingston on Saturday and Sunday ahead of the T20 World Cup hosted by the West Indies and the United States which starts on June 1.

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SRH vs RR Qualifier 2, IPL 2024 Dream11 Prediction: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals predicted playing XI, fantasy team, squads

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Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals face off in the Indian Premier League 2024 Qualifier 2 at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday for a place in the final.

After losing to Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 1, the Pat Cummins-led Sunrisers will try to pose a challenge to Sanju Samson’s Royals, who beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Eliminator to give themselves another shot at making it into the title clash.

Here is the Dream11 fantasy team, predicted playing XI and squads for the match between SRH vs RR.

Sunrisers Hyderabad Predicted XI

Bat 1st: Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Aiden Markram, Nitesh Kumar Reddy, Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan.

Bowl 1st: Travis Head, Rahul Tripathi, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Aiden Markram, Nitesh Kumar Reddy, Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, T. Natarajan.

Impact Player options: Abhishek Sharma/Jaydev Unadkat, Umran Malik, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Glenn Phillips.

Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI

Bat 1st: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sanju Samson (c) (wk), Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, R. Ashwin, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Sharma

Bowl 1st: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sanju Samson (c) (wk), Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Rovman Powell, R. Ashwin, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Impact Player options: Shimron Hetmyer/Yuzvendra Chahal, Nandre Burger, Keshav Maharaj, Shubham Dubey, Donovan Ferreira.

SRH vs RR DREAM ELEVEN PREDICTION
WICKET KEEPERS

Heinrich Klaasen (VC), Sanju Samson

BATTERS

Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi

ALL-ROUNDERS

Nitish Kumar Reddy, Riyan Parag, R. Ashwin

BOWLERS

T. Natarajan, Trent Boult (C)

Team Composition: SRH 6- 5RR | Credits Left: 8.5

SQUADS
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD

Jaydev Unadkat, Jhatavedh Subramanyan, T Natarajan, Mayank Markande, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Pat Cummins (c), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Sanvir Singh, Glenn Phillips, Nitish Reddy, Marco Jansen, Abhishek Sharma, Upendra Yadav, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Travis Head, Anmolpreet Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Abdul Samad, Akash Maharaj Singh, Wanindu Hasaranga.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS

Sanju Samson (c), Jos Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Donovan Ferreira, Kunal Rathore, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Sen, Navdeep Saini, Sandeep Sharma, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan, Rovman Powell, Shubham Dubey, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Abid Mushtaq, Nandre Burger, Tanush Kotian, Keshav Maharaj. 

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NBA closes investigation into Thunder’s Josh Giddey over underage relationship allegations: report

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The NBA has closed its investigation into Josh Giddey’s alleged relationship with a minor, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Giddey, the sixth overall pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2021 NBA Draft, was not charged after the Newport Beach Police Department in California announced in January it was unable to find criminal activity. 

“No charges have been filed against Josh Giddey. Our detectives have reviewed all of the available information regarding allegations circulating on social media and were unable to corroborate any criminal activity related to Mr. Giddey,” a spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police said in an email to Fox News Digital at the time. 

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Josh Giddey dribbles

Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the NBA In-Season Tournament at Golden 1 Center Nov. 10, 2023, in Sacramento, Calif. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

ESPN says the league closed its investigation for the same reason. 

Rumors that Giddey was in a relationship with a minor exploded on social media in November after video and photos circulated. It got to the point police and the NBA decided to investigate. 

THUNDER STAR JOSH GIDDEY AVOIDS CHARGES FROM ALLEGED RELATIONSHIP WITH MINOR

Giddey, 21, was seen hugging a female rumored to be 15 in one photo, while another had a caption that said, “just f—ed josh giddy.”

Josh Giddey pointing

Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA In-Season Tournament game at Paycom Center Nov. 14, 2023, in Oklahoma City, Okla. (Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)

Many wondered what the Thunder would do. But head coach Mark Daigneault kept Giddey on the floor based on the information the team had received. Giddey didn’t address any questions regarding the situation.

Oklahoma City became the top seed in the Western Conference this season, though they fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. 

Josh Giddey

Josh Giddey (3) of the Oklahoma City Thunder controls the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Footprint Center Nov. 12, 2023, in Phoenix, Ariz.  (Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

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Giddey averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season. 

Fox News’ Ryan Morik contributed to this report.

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NCAA to allow Power 5 conferences to pay players in unprecedented agreement: report

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For the first time in the history of college sports, the NCAA has agreed to allow the five power conferences to directly pay players, per ESPN. 

ESPN learned that the NCAA and the conferences are planning to move forward with a “multibillion-dollar agreement to settle three pending federal antitrust cases,” where the organization will “pay more than $2.7 billion in damages over 10 years to past and current athletes.”

They have also reportedly been an agreement on a revenue-sharing plan, which would allow each school to share up to around $20 million per year with athletes. 

This is a developing story. More to come.

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Rams GM says Stetson Bennett needed ‘a break from the game’ during rookie season

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While Matthew Stafford was and remains entrenched as the Los Angeles Rams’ starting quarterback, the team last year used a fourth-round draft pick on two-time College Football Playoff national championship-winning quarterback Stetson Bennett.

The former Georgia Bulldogs star was expected to be Stafford’s backup during his rookie season and the foreseeable future. But Bennett was missing in action during the majority of his rookie campaign, leaving observers with more questions than answers. 

He sat out of the season opener with a shoulder injury. A few days later, he landed on the non-football injury list. At the time, the Rams were tight-lipped about the decision to change Bennett’s roster status.

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Stetson Bennett looks to throw

Quarterback Stetson Bennett of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High Aug. 26, 2023, in Denver, Colo. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

“There are certain things that I think are a little bit bigger and more important, and out of respect for the particulars and the specifics, [I] want to be able to keep it in-house,” Rams coach Sean McVay in September when asked about Bennett.

Bennett is now back with the team, and he appears to be on the path to competing for the backup role. The Rams signed veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo in March, but he will miss the first two games of the season. The 32-year-old was suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

RAMS’ SEAN MCVAY SUGGESTS TEAM IS WILLING TO ‘WORK TOWARD’ RESOLUTION FOR MATTHEW STAFFORD’S CONTRACT

This week, Rams general manager Les Snead finally offered some insight into what transpired with the quarterback last season. Snead suggested Bennett was burned out after back-to-back college football titles.

Stetson Bennett throws

Stetson Bennett of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior to a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium Aug. 19, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif.  (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

“I know this: Last year was very beneficial for him. I think he took advantage of that year away from the game,” Snead told Alabama’s News 19.

“You know what, he’s an exhausted human being based on everything he had done to walk on, to go to (junior college), to come back, to turn down small schools, say ‘I’m going to try to do this Georgia thing.’ To win a job, then to win the thing, and then to determine, ‘I’m going to come back.’ And when you come back, it’s really win it again, or you failed. And that does take a toll on a human being. So, I was jacked for Stetson to be able to take that moment and breathe a little bit.”

Snead said the Rams’ Super Bowl appearances in 2018 and 2021 helped everyone in the franchise realize the mental and physical strain of competing at a championship level.

“We had gone through it the year before where we had won a Super Bowl, and it really started when we lost our first one. But we were an exhausted building, so there was an element of understanding the toll it takes … to do your part,” Snead said.

Stetson bennett at combine

Quarterback Stetson Bennett of Georgia speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium March 3, 2023, in Indianapolis.  (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Snead said the team was supportive of Bennett’s decision to take a step back.

“The responsibility of the QB, and for our sake, we saw what taking a break, giving some guys a break from the game to get refreshed. I call it to get bored and fall back in love with the game you grew up playing in the backyard,” Snead said.

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Bennett was at the Rams’ training complex last month for the start of the team’s offseason program. He was also present for practice this week. McVay was complimentary of the second-year quarterback.

“He’s done a great job,” McVay said Tuesday. “He’s got a good look in his eye. I really appreciate the way that he’s come to work. He’s been really attentive in the meetings. I think [quarterbacks coach] Dave Ragone has done a great job with the quarterbacks as a whole. His command, his ability to communicate, and Stetson’s had a couple good days. And it’s been good having him out here.”

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Ryan Garcia threatens to quit boxing in since-deleted posts after test results come back positive for PEDs

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Embattled boxer Ryan Garcia’s drug test samples collected before his fight against Devin Haney returned two positive tests for banned performance-enhancing drugs, according to boxing writer Dan Rafael. 

“Ryan Garcia’s B sample results were returned Thursday a.m., 1 day after being opened,” Rafael tweeted. “I have the lab reports & the B samples, as expected, matched A samples – both are positive for the banned PED Ostarine related to VADA tests the day before & after Haney fight.”

Garcia caught wind of the results and, as he’s done many times in the past, took to social media, though the posts have since been deleted. 

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Ryan Garcia vs Oscar Duarte

Ryan Garcia faces Oscar Duarte during their welterweight fight at Toyota Center Dec. 2, 2023, in Houston.  (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

“Let’s go we positive,” he tweeted, per MMA Mania. “Positive vibes bruh. Yess so happy. I F—ING LOVE STEROIDS. I don’t care I’ll never make money again with boxing. Your loss not mine for setting me up lol joke’s on y’all. I will swallow all steroids.”

Garcia’s lawyers released a statement to Fox News Digital after his posts to social media disappeared. The lawyers say Garcia submitted hair to be tested, and it showed he never ingested Ostarine “over a period of time.”

“Ryan Garcia is committed to clean and fair competition and has never intentionally used any banned substance,” the statement said. “Soon after being notified of his positive test, Ryan voluntarily had his hair collected and shipped to Dr. Pascal Kintz, the foremost expert in toxicology and hair sample analysis. 

“The results of Ryan’s hair sample came back negative. This is consistent with contamination and demonstrably proves that Ryan had not ingested Ostarine over a period of time – the only way he would have had any advantage whatsoever in the ring. 

CONOR MCGREGOR CALLS FOR LIFETIME BAN OF RYAN GARCIA AFTER REPORTED POSITIVE DRUG TEST FOLLOWING VICTORY

“Ryan has voluntarily submitted to tests throughout his career, which have always shown negative results. He also tested negative multiple times leading up to the fight against Haney. All of those factors, combined with his ultra-low levels from samples taken on April 19 and 20 (in the billionth of a gram range), point to Ryan being a victim of supplement contamination and never receiving any performance-enhancing benefit from the microscopic amounts in his system. 

“We are certain that one of the natural supplements Ryan was using in the lead-up to the fight will prove to be contaminated and are in the process of testing the supplements to determine the exact source.”

Ryan Garcia weigh-in

Ryan Garcia during a weigh-in at Barclays Center April 19, 2024, in New York City.  (Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

Ostarine is considered a SARM, a selective androgen receptor modulator, and it has been on the Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance list since 2008. 

Garcia shocked many when he upset Haney in their bout, mainly due to questionable social media posts leading up to the fight that led many to believe he wasn’t taking it seriously. However, an investigation by the New York State Athletic Commission continues after an A sample from the drug test showed positive signs of the banned substance.  

Ryan Garcia looks on

Ryan Garcia faces Oscar Duarte during their welterweight fight at Toyota Center Dec. 2, 2023, in Houston.  (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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Drama ensued before the fight because Garcia was three pounds overweight during the final weigh-ins. The WBC super lightweight championship belt was supposed to be on the line for the fight, but Garcia’s weight meant there would be no title at stake.

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