Out of the Sharkzone for November 17, 2015


Russian reportedly sponsored doping program during 2012 Summer Olympics

Five Russian track and field athletes and five Russian coaches and administrators could face lifetime bans from the Olympics for doping violations. The World Anti-Doping Agency commission said the London 2012 Summer Olympics were sabotaged by Russian track and field athletes who were a part of a state-sponsored doping program. WADA reported that the athletes were allowed to compete when they should have been suspended, but Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sport minister, said, “Earlier Russia took all the necessary measures to fight the doping problem.” Russia won 24 gold medals in the London Olympics, and these allegations could result in the Russian track and field team being banned from the Brazil 2016 Olympics.

Tommy Hanson, former Braves pitcher, dies at 29

The Braves announced that Hanson passed away on Nov. 9 after he went into a coma and suffered “catastrophic organ failure,” and, as of Nov. 13, the cause of death is yet to be determined. He was hospitalized the morning of Nov. 8 and passed away a day later with his former teammates at his side. Hanson last pitched with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013 and placed third in National Rookie of the Year voting in 2009. He won 11 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2009. In 2011, after 31 starts and 13 winning games with the Braves, the team traded him to the Angels. Hanson struggled with mental illness after his step-brother passed in 2013. He signed with the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox in 2014 and then signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants. Hanson’s record is 49-35 with an ERA of 3.80.

Heat guard Mario Chalmers traded to the Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies traded guard Beno Udrih and forward Jarnell Stokes for Heat guard Mario Chalmers and forward James Ennis. As a result, the Heat will avoid $6 million in luxury tax payments. Chalmers was in the final year of his contract with the Heat.

French Olympian Laurent Vidal dies at 31

Vidal, two-time triathlete, passed away in his sleep in France, according to the International Triathlete Union. Vidal competed at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics was a multi-time World Triathlon Series and World Cup medalist, according to ITU. Vidal suffered from a cardiopulmonary arrest in 2014 while swimming, ending his racing career, so he coached other triathletes. Vidal leaves behind his fiancee, Andrea Hewitt, whom he coached, among others.

Broncos CB Aqib Talib suspended for eye poke

The NFL suspended Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib for one game after he poked Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen in the eye during the Nov. 8 game (24-27, Colts). Talib interrupted a squabble between teammate Von Miller, outside linebacker, and Allen, and he poked Allen in the eye, which he called an “honest mistake.” Talib will appeal the punishment, according to a Broncos reporter.

Flint Firebirds owners dismiss coaching staff, entire team quits

In protest of the dismissal of their coaching staff, the Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League, including owner Rolf Nilsen’s son, quit the team. It is rumored that the coaches were fired because the owner’s son, Hakon Nilsen, didn’t get enough ice time. He has appeared in five out of 17 games for the season.