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Keeping Up With The Round Lake Gymnasts: Escaping Bans and Retirements

The Russian Team has had it's share of drama populating the headlines lately. The tension is palpable with the impending possible doom of an entire ban of Russia from the Olympics, retirements and the usual reality TV-show like hijinks.

 The biggest threat facing the Russian team was a possible blanket ban on all Russian sports in Rio due to doping allegations. Currently, the track and field athletes are all currently banned. As for everyone else, the IOC decided to leave it up to the individual sports' federations. The FIG has basically said in so many words that they support the Russian gymnasts in a statement released last week. They haven't released any additional additional statements since the IOC's decision.

In the retirement news, in the past few weeks, the Russians have had two retirements (okay, one and a half) from prominent athletes. Several weeks ago, Viktoria Komova said she wouldn't be vying for a spot on the Olympic team as she's dealing with a back injury. Rewriting Russian Gymnastics stated that Vika headed to Munich on Wednesday for treatment. Vika herself said if doctors can't help her, she'll retire.

In the definitely is retiring department, Ksenia Afanasyeva retired this week due to health problems, specifically, her kidneys. Word is, Afan is receiving treatment in the hospital. Le sigh... Afan was tentatively on the Rio Olympic Team, all pending her health. Obviously, that ship has sailed for Afan and her spot is being taken by Seda Tutkhalyan. Two of the Russian five from London are making a second appearance, Aliya Mustafina and Maria Paseka. They are joined by bars wonder-kid Daria Spiridonova and doll-eyed newbie Angelina Melnikova.

There will be many more hijinks in Rio. Personally, I will be waiting at my TV with a bowl of popcorn.


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