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Ukraine, Russia Win Medals As Uzbek Gymnast Banned

Gold medallists (left to right) Kateryna Tarasenko, Yana Dementieva, Anastasiia Kozhenkova, and Nataliya Dovgodko of Ukraine pose during the victory ceremony after the women's quadruple sculls Final A at Eton Dorney during the London Games on August 1.
Ukraine has won gold in the women's quadruple sculls rowing race with a convincing victory that was more than two seconds faster than the nearest competitors.

The win was Ukraine's first Olympic rowing gold medal.

The team of Kateryna Tarasenko, Nataliya Dovgodko, Anastasiia Kozhenkova, and Yana Dementieva demonstrated a smooth technique on August 1 to finish the race in 6 minutes, 35.93 seconds. Germany won silver and the United States won bronze.

Meanwhile, Jiyeon Kim of South Korea won the women's individual saber gold medal on August 1 by defeating Russia's Sofya Velikaya 15-9 in the final.

Kim jumped to an early lead and was able to maintain it to win her country's first women's fencing gold medal.

Ukraine's Olga Kharlan won bronze, beating out Mariel Zagunis of the United States, 15-10.

The event brought an end to the individual fencing competition in London ahead of the Olympic team events, which start on August 2.

In women's cycling, Kristin Armstrong of the United States won her second straight Olympic time trial gold medal on August 1. Judith Arndt of Germany took silver while Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won the bronze.

The 38-year-old Armstrong was the defending champion from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Doping Ban

Meanwhile, an artistic gymnast from Uzbekistan, Luiza Galiulina, was banned from the London Olympics on August 1 after testing positive for the prohibited substance furosemide.

The decision came after a second urine sample provided by Galiulina confirmed that she had used the banned substance.

She is the third athlete to be expelled from the London Olympics for doping.

The 20-year-old Galiulina had been provisionally banned on July 29 after her urine sample showed traces of a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for other performance-enhancing drugs.

Furosemide -- often sold under the brand name Lasix -- can be used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, or swelling caused by excess fluid retention.

It also has been used to prevent horses from bleeding through the nose during races.

Badminton Scandal

Also on August 1, the International Olympic Committee disqualified eight badminton players from the London Games, ruling they had deliberately lost matches in a bid to face easier competitors in the upcoming knockout rounds.

An official speaks to players from China and South Korea during their women's doubles badminton group match on July 31.
An official speaks to players from China and South Korea during their women's doubles badminton group match on July 31.
The women -- four from South Korea, two from Indonesia, and the two defending champions from China -- were charged after making a series of basic mistakes during their final preliminary round matches on July 31.

As they repeatedly missed easy shots and served the birdie into the net, the eight women were jeered and heckled by spectators during their matches.

All had already qualified for the knockout round.

South Korea's head coach, Sung Han-kook, admitted the four of his players attempted to lose against the Indonesian team and China's world champion duo.

He said the move was a reaction to similar moves by China, which he said had "started the farce."

The International Olympic Committee's code of ethics says participants "must not, by any manner whatsoever" attempt to "influence the course or result of a competition."

One of the Chinese badminton players, Yu Yang, has now announced she is quitting the sport, saying her dreams have been "heartlessly shattered."

The announcement came after Chinese officials told Yu and her colleague Wang Xiaoli to make a public apology following the deliberate throwing of matches.

Besides the Chinese duo, the other disqualified players were South Korean pairs Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, plus Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia.

Team Results

In Olympic soccer, Egypt's men's team won a spot in the quarterfinals tournament on August 1 after scoring three goals in the second half to beat Belarus 3-1 in their last group game.

In the preliminary rounds of women's basketball on August 1, Russia defeated Great Britain 67-61.

Meanwhile, the Russian women's water polo team won its second of two games so far in London, defeating Italy 7-4.

The Russians controlled the pace throughout the match, holding Italy scoreless for a 13-minute stretch to build a 5-1 lead late in the third quarter.

The victory puts the Russian women at the top of Group B with four points.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and BBC
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