PHOENIX, Arizona, April 30. THIS morning, the British Olympic Association lost its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have a rule in place keeping any British athlete given a doping sanction off the Olympic team. The court ruled that Great Britain could not impose another sanction on top of the World Anti-Doping Agency's sanctions, which do not keep athletes off the Olympics for life. The court did not say that heavier sanctions couldn't be put in place, but those heavier sanctions had to be worldwide and not part of one country's policies.
The Maria Lenk Trophy meet in Rio de Janeiro wrapped up over the weekend with another textile best time in the men's 50 breast. Felipe Silva blasted a 26.87 to beat Cameron van der Burgh's old mark of 26.90 from last summer's World Championships. Van der Burgh set that time in the semi-finals in Shanghai before Silva won the World title in the final. That wrapped up an impressive meet for Silva, who clinched a spot on Brazil's Olympic team with a sub-1:00 100 breast.
After swimming the fastest times in the world in the 50 free and 50 fly, Cesar Cielo could not muster up a third world-leading time in the 100 free. Cielo swam a 48.28 in the 100 free for sixth in the world. Auburn swimmer Marcelo Cherighini took second to Cielo after a 48.79 prelim swim, but Cherighini will not get to swim the 100 free individually at the Olympics, since Nicholas Oliveira swam a 48.71 in December. Cherighini will, though, swim on Brazil's 400 free relay in London.
Thiago Pereira picked up a pair of wins on the last two days in Rio. Pereira moved into the top ten in the world in the 400 IM win in 4:13.48, and he did the same in the 100 back with a 53.86 to beat out American Eugene Godsoe. Pereira may not swim the 100 back individually at the Olympics, but he should swim the lead-off leg on Brazil's 400 medley relay.
Jeanette Ottesen put up a win in the women's 100 free in Rio. The reigning co-World Champion put up a 54.37. Mireia Belmonte wrapped up her meet with wins in the 400 IM and 400 free, and American Charlie Houchin headed home with a win in the men's 400 free under his belt.
On Saturday, Roland Schoeman officially qualified to swim the 50 free at the Olympics. At South Africa's Olympic Trials last week, Schoeman met the Olympic qualifying standard once with a 22.08, but South Africa required athletes to have met the standard twice before they could be named to the Olympic team. Schoeman had already qualified to swim on South Africa's 400 free relay, but he wanted to add this individual event to his program. Schoeman swam a 22.06 this weekend at Phoenix Swim Club's intrasquad meet, and USA Swimming's sanction of the meet should be enough to earn Schoeman a spot in this event for the fourth straight Olympics.
About 10 swimmers from SwimMAC Carolina's elite team made an appearance at Masters Nationals in Greensboro this weekend and lit up the record books. Eight of them set National records, and in a cool twist, Josh Schneider, Nick Brunelli and Cullen Jones swam the first three legs of a 200 free relay before handing off to coach David Marsh, who brought the team home in 23.87. Regular Masters swimmers were impressive as well. Laura Val broke five records in the 60-64 age group, and Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen broke three in the 50-54 age group. Steve West, who is preparing to swim at the Olympic Trials as the oldest male competitor in history, reset all three breaststroke records in the 40-44 age group. You can see a full list of all the national records broken on swimmingworld.com.
Ashley Twichell added to her win in the 10k race at Open Water Nationals this weekend with a win in the 5k on Sunday. Twichell battled Emily Brunemann down the stretch and ended up winning by just three tenths of a second. Twichell's training partner Christine Jennings took third. Twichell, along with Haley Anderson, will represent the U.S. at the Olympic Qualifier 10k race next month in Portugal, where the top American will earn a spot on the Olympic team if she finishes in the top 15. David Heron of the Mission Viejo Nadadores upset the field in the men's 5k for his first national title.
The signing period for current juniors to commit to colleges is six months away, but Madison White is ahead of the curve, committing verbally to UCLA over the weekend. White swam in Dubai on the Short Course World Championship team in 2010 and made the final in the 200 back, and she currently swims in northern California with the Crow Canyon County Sharks.
Coach Ronald Ballatore, better known as “Stix,” passed away over the weekend after a battle with cancer. Bellatore coached the UCLA men's team to an NCAA title in 1982 and continued there until the program was cut in 1994. Bellatore then coached at Brown University and at Florida before retiring in 1999.
David Rieder contributed to today's Streamlined News.