Jan 16, 2019

The Russia doping saga rages on

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) met in Montreal this week to discuss what to do about Russia's anti-doping lab missing a key deadline, the New York Times reports.

What's happening: In 2015, Russia's drug-testing agency was banned from testing its own athletes after a state-sponsored doping scheme was uncovered.

  • WADA controversially lifted that ban in September on the strict condition that lab samples were handed over to them by Dec. 31. Russia missed that deadline.

What's next: WADA can either give Russia a slap on the wrist and allow the country's reinstatement to remain, or it can declare Russia noncompliant — which could result in its athletes being banned from international competition. The saga rages on.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo ... Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, has denied allegations that bribes were paid to secure the rights to host the 2020 Olympics.

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World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 18 mins ago - Health

Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.

New Zealand sets sights on coronavirus elimination after 2 weeks of lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a coronavirus media update at the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

AUCKLAND -- New Zealand has flattened the curve of novel coronavirus cases after two weeks of lockdown and the next phase is to "squash it," Professor Shaun Hendy, who heads a scientific body advising the government on COVID-19, told Axios.

Why it matters: The country imposed 14 days ago some of the toughest restrictions in the world in response to the pandemic, despite confirming only 102 cases and no deaths at the time.