The Week That Was: Adam Peaty Will Be a Father Ahead of Tokyo Olympic Title Defense

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Adam Peaty and girlfriend Eirianedd Munro, who will become parents in August - Photo Courtesy: Instagram (@eirimunro)

The Week That Was is sponsored bySuit-extractor-logo

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

With the coronavirus pandemic still quarantining people to their homes, there was still some positive news to report out of the swimming universe. Reigning Olympic champion and current world record holder Adam Peaty announced that he and his girlfriend Erianedd Munro will be welcoming a child this year. In other positive news, Stanford’s Grant Shoults will have another year of eligibility next season and Lilly King Katie Ledecky have confirmed they have signed on to help with USADA’s new virtual doping testing.

Read below the five biggest stories in the Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #5: Pieter Timmers to Retire, Will Not Chase Olympic Silver Medal Defense

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Pieter Timmers gives thumbs up to career. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Matthew De George

An extra year until the Tokyo Olympics was too much to wait for Belgian Pieter Timmers. The silver medalist in the 100 freestyle announced Thursday via the Belgian Swimming Federation that he will retire at the end of 2020 and not pursue the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Timmers spoke to the Belgian federation explaining his decision and did a television appearance Thursday.

Pieter Timmers was a surprise medalist in the 100 free in Rio, beating London Olympic champion Nathan Adrian to second place behind Australian gold medalist Kyle Chalmers. Timmers, who entered the Rio Games ranked 35th in the world in the event, lowered the national record to 47.80 and became the first Belgian swimming medalist at the Olympics since 1996 (Fred Deburghgraeve). He also helped Belgium make the finals of the 400 and 800 free relays. Belgium won a total of six medals in Rio and Timmers was able to contribue to that tally.

#4: Grant Shoults Will Have Fifth Year of Eligibility For Stanford

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Andy Ross

Stanford’s Grant Shoults will have an extra year of eligibility to compete for the Cardinal in the 2020-21 season, he confirmed with Swimming World. Shoults was listed as a senior on the school’s roster, but will have an extra year of swimming after he underwent shoulder surgery in his junior season, which kept him out of competing for the second semester in 2019.

The Week That Was #3: Japanese Infectious Disease Specialist “Very Pessimistic” Tokyo 2021 Can Go Ahead

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By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

Japanese specialist in infectious diseases has said he is “very pessimistic” about the likelihood of the Tokyo Olympics going ahead next year, unless the Games are “held in a different way, such as with no spectators or in limited numbers.”

Speaking to journalists in an online briefing on Monday, Kentaro Iwata, a professor at Kobe University Hospital, said:

“I don’t think the Olympics are likely to be held next year. People will be coming from hundreds of nations … and although Japan might have the disease under control by next summer, I don’t think that will be the case everywhere.”

He spoke as the number of infections approach 11,000, with 236 deaths, reported domestically but the number of cases globally set to past the 2.5 million mark, with more than 165,000 people having lost their lives, more than 40,000 of those now in the United States. The global recovery rate is around 625,000.

#2: Katie Ledecky, Lilly King Part of US Launch of Virtual Doping Tests

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Lilly King – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Matthew De George

Social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic have limited the amount of contact anti-doping agents have with athletes. So the U.S. is piloting virtual doping tests, and high-profile swimmers are at the forefront of the program.

The experiment of remote sample collection was tested starting two weeks ago by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), removing the need for in-person contact with doping control officers.

The New York Times described the 10-step protocol, which begins with the USADA mailing a testing kit to athletes and ends with the athletes sending blood and urine samples back. During a specified testing window, the athlete communicates with a tester by video call, to witness the signature on documents and virtually inspect the bathroom in which the urine sample will be supplied.

Athletes then, off camera, provide a urine sample that is verified via a temperature strip on video and sealed. A device in the kit also allows the athlete to draw a blood sample for testing, which is then sealed (on video) in the package.

Katie Ledecky, along with track and field athletes Noah Lyles, Allyson Felix, Emma Coburn and Aliphine Tuliamuk, were among more than a dozen athletes to volunteer for the program, USADA CEO Travis Tygart told the Times.

“I was happy to sign on for this,” Ledecky said. “I felt very comfortable.”

Lilly King, a noted proponent for clean sport who has chided rivals like Russian Yulia Efimova and Sun Yang for doping violations, also signed on to the virtual doping tests.

“Honestly, I was a little skeptical of it at first,” King told USA Today. “Then after I did my first test, I think they really thought through all the potential loopholes with the testing. There are way too many factors that would go into providing a tainted sample for you to really pull that off during the test unless you were a ridiculously high-level crook.”

The Week That Was #1: Adam Peaty, & Eirianedd Munro Confirm Pregnancy

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Adam Peaty and girlfriend Eirianedd Munro.

By Liz Byrnes, European Correspondent

Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty will be a father by the time he defends his title in Tokyo after he announced that he and his partner are expecting a baby in September.

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