Olympics

After retests of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 31 athletes from 12 countries in six sports could be banned from this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

In a statement, the IOC said it retested 454 samples from the 2008 Beijing Games, using "the very latest scientific analysis methods." The retesting yielded suspicious results from dozens of athletes.

"All those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016," the statement from the IOC said.

One of just a handful of American distance runners picked as likely to medal this summer at the Olympic Games is transplanted Northwesterner Evan Jager. His success in the steeplechase could draw new converts to this entertaining but slightly obscure track and field event.

In fact, Beaverton, Oregon, has already quietly become a hub of world-class steeplechasers.

Amir Attaran, a professor in the School of Public Health and the School of Law at the University of Ottawa, isn't afraid to take a bold stand.

He has written a commentary for the Harvard Public Health Review, published this week, with the headline, "Why Public Health Concerns for Global Spread of Zika Virus Means that Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Olympic Games Must Not Proceed."

Brazil is battling a recession, political chaos, high crime and the spreading Zika virus. All these factors seem to be conspiring to drive potential ticket buyers away in advance of the Summer Olympic Games set to open Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro.

A few short years ago, Brazil was soaring. Its economy was on the upswing and the country was preparing for the international spotlight with the 2014 World Cup.

But now, as it gets ready to host the Summer Olympics this August, Brazil is mired in political crisis and economic turmoil, and is plagued by the worsening Zika virus. Over the weekend, more than a million demonstrators hit the streets to protest against the government and demand the president's resignation.

What happened?

Political Crisis

What do you do when you already have beaten Michael Phelps' record at 16 years old?

For swimmer Justin Lynch, who turned 18 last month, he just keeps practicing, chasing that record-breaking performance, with an eye on the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks had one. Professional baseball teams have them. And the U.S. Olympic women's ice hockey team found one in Tacoma: a "mental skills" coach.

NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, in London, and Joanna Kakissis, in Athens, teamed up for this joint look at Olympics economics.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just a few days away. Russia has spent $50 billion on everything from construction to security, making these the most expensive games in history.

Countries often justify the Olympic-sized price tag by saying the investment pays off in increased business and tourism.

Winter Olympic hopefuls from the Northwest are learning this month who will get to go to the Sochi Games next month. One snow making expert from Washington state is already there.

It's not just the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl that will make for an exciting February for Northwest sports fans. The Winter Olympics start mere days later.

Next month, Sochi, Russia will host athletes from more than 85 nations at the Winter Olympics. Some of those countries might surprise you. They get no snow or have no mountains.

Athletes headed to next month's Winter Olympics in Russia can be expected to leverage any advantage that nature or nurture provides: Experience, a bigger body, or a higher tolerance for pain.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

This week the International Olympic Committee announced a plan to drop wrestling from the 2020 summer games. But there's some chance the drop could still be stopped. Ross Reynolds interviews former Olympic wrestler Ivan Ivanov who is now based in Idaho, and Seattle Times columnist Ron Judd.