Morales banned for doping
Former world boxing champion Erik Morales of Mexico tested positive in two random samples taken ahead of his loss in October last year to Danny Garcia, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Friday. Morales has received a two-year ban as a result of the violation after refusing the chance to challenge the findings in an arbitration process. The 36-year-old pro fighter tested positive for the banned anabolic agent Clenbuterol in out-of-competition urine tests on Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 last year in Mexico, although it proved to be little help in the ring on fight night. Unbeaten American Garcia knocked out Morales in the fourth round on Oct. 20 last year in New York to keep the WBA and WBC light-welterweight titles. Garcia defends the crowns against Zab Judah next month. Morales, 52-9 with 36 knockouts, has lost three of his past four fights.
Provisional status aimed for
Wrestling has two opportunities left at a return to the Olympic program. US wrestling officials appeared to have settled on which one they think is the best bet. Former world champion Bill Scherr, the chairman of a committee of top US wrestling figures, says the sport’s best chance to remain an Olympic sport is to beat out the likes of squash, roller sports and karate for re-inclusion as a provisional sport in the 2020 Olympics. Though the International Olympic Committee recommended last month to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, that move is far from final. Wrestling will compete with seven other sports for a provisional spot in the 2020 Games in a vote in May. However, officials also will lobby the 114-member IOC General Session in September in hopes it will overturn the executive board’s recommendation by a simple majority vote.
Olympic rules overhauled
Olympic boxers will fight without head guards in a pro-style scoring system starting this year after several significant rule changes by the sport’s international governing body. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) unveiled several rule amendments this week, but the two biggest changes will move the amateur sport much closer to the professional version. Male boxers at the world championships in October and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 will not wear the protective head guards adopted by the amateur sport before the 1984 Los Angeles Games. According to AIBA, medical data suggests that fighting without head guards will decrease concussions. The amateur sport also is moving to a pro-style, 10-point scoring system, discarding the latest version of the much-criticized computer punch-count systems implemented after the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Recari leads Kia Classic
Beatriz Recari shot a bogey-free five-under 67 on Friday to take the lead after two rounds at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California. The Spaniard’s two-round total of eight-under 136 gave her a one-stroke lead over Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb. Creamer shot a 68, and Webb had a 70 on the hilly Aviara course designed by Arnold Palmer. First-round leader Jane Park shot a 69 and was tied at six-under with Cristie Kerr, I.K. Kim, Park In-bee and Kang Hae-ji. Stacy Lewis, playing her first tournament as the world’s top-ranked player, carded her second straight 70 and was four strokes off the lead. Taiwan’s Amy Hung was tied for 50th with a two-over 72, while her compatriot Candie Kung missed the cut.