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Cloned horses will now be allowed to participate in the Olympics

Keep a close eye on the horses you see competing in the equestrian events at the Olympics this summer. You just may see them again at the Summer Olympics in about eight or 12 years. Well, not the exact same horses, but a 98% nearly perfect copy of them. According to ABC News, the group that governs international equestrian events has officially lifted its ban on cloned horses in international competitions. Instead of trying to pair two horses with great bloodlines together to create the next champion, breeders can now simply clone the current winners.

Little is known about the exact science that goes into cloning horses, except for the fact that the end result will be horses that are almost identical to the horse whose genes they were created from — with “almost” being the key word.

“We now know that the clone is only a 98 percent copy of the original,” Fédération Equestre Internationale veterinary director Graeme Cooke explained. “Therefore, we came to the conclusion that there were so many variables there were no unfair advantages that were contrary to the spirit of sport.”

Cooke said that the abilities of the horse will also be affected by training methods, the skill of the rider, the horse’s relationship with the rider and the environment the horse is raised in. For that reason, he says, it has been determined that allowing cloned horses to participate in events would not be unfair.

Current horses that are clones are still too young to compete, and most have not yet been weaned from their mothers. Horses must be 9 years old to qualify for Olympic competition, so it will be a while before we know if cloning is a beneficial practice in the equestrian world. If you’re a gambler, you might want to find a sports book that will let you start betting on clones right now. Maybe you’ll end up winning huge off a 10-cent bet like this lucky lady.

Charles Barkley responds to Kobe Bryant: Dream Team would beat 2012 team by double digits

After hearing that Kobe Bryant said the 2012 Olympic basketball team would beat the Dream Team, all Charles Barkley could do was laugh.

Barkley, a member of the legendary 1992 gold medal-winning squad, was a guest on The Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Wednesday and fired back at Kobe for his much-discussed remarks.

“I just started laughing,” Barkley said. “How old is Kobe Bryant, 36? He’s 34? And he’s calling us old? At the time, we were only like 28, 29. … Michael Jordan and me were the same age. We were both 29.”

Asked by Missanelli if they would beat the 2012 squad by double digits, Barkley agreed:

“Oh yeah, that’s no disrespect,” Barkley said. “I ain’t got to badmouth them. … Their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”

Supporting his belief that his team is the superior squad, Barkley said only three 2012 Team USA players would make the Dream Team.

“Other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”

Barkley also added that the London-bound squad would have problems matching up with the Dream Team’s centers, a point even Bryant conceded when he made his remarks on Monday.

“They would have no answers for David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, to be honest with you,” Barkley said.

Bryant’s comments understandably sparked plenty of debate among fans and the media. You’d think we’d let the 2012 team play at least one game of Olympic competition first, but no. Anyway, thanks to Barkley, we can now also speculate over whose spots on the Dream Team Kobe, LeBron and Durant would take. Well, other than Christian Laettner’s.

Note: This post also appeared on Fox Sports/Yardbarker’s Medal Detector blog

Michael Phelps reportedly ‘upset’ with Tyler Clary over critical comments

US swimmer Tyler Clary made national headlines on Tuesday for his critical comments about fellow swimmer Michael Phelps, and the 14-time Olympic gold medalist is said to be “upset” with his teammate.

In comments to The Riverside Press-Enterprise published on Monday, Clary questioned Phelps’ work ethic and said the swimming star is “asking to get beat.” Former University of Michigan swim coach Jon Urbanchek, who is Clary’s coach and also close with Phelps, says Michael is bothered by the comments.

“It wasn’t called for, and the timing — this should not be the news going into the Olympics,” said Urbanchek, according to The Baltimore Sun. “I hope the two boys will sit down and talk about it. I know Michael is a little bit upset.”

Clary meanwhile spent part of his day trying to do some damage control. He claimed his words were taken out of context and apologized to Phelps via Twitter.

“It’s too bad that what I was actually trying to say was twisted,” he told one fan. “I am honored to represent USA and swim alongside Michael.”

Clary’s backtracking could have been predicted for anyone who followed the Clyde Drexler-Magic Johnson mess, but it’s hard to take his words as anything other than an attack on Phelps.

I guess we’ll have to wait until later this month to have the mattered sorted out in the pool. And here I was thinking Ryan Lochte was trying to become Phelps’ biggest rival this summer. Looks like the amount of people targeting him is rising.

Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector
Photo credits: Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE, Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

Olympic swimmer Tyler Clary says Michael Phelps is ‘asking to get beat’

U.S. Olympic swimmer Tyler Clary has spent a lot of time recently training with Michael Phelps at the University of Michigan. Since Clary is only 23 years old and will be making his first Olympic appearance in London this summer, you might assume Phelps is someone that he looks up to and admires. After all, Phelps is considered by many to be the greatest swimmer to ever live. That hardly seems to be the case.

During a recent interview with Jim Alexander of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Clary was critical of Phelps and the way he has prepared for London, even venturing to say the man who won eight gold medals in Beijing is “asking to get beat.”

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Michael Phelps on gaining 25 pounds after Beijing: ‘I did nothing, literally nothing’

Michael Phelps didn’t win eight gold medals at the Olympics four years ago solely because he is a naturally good swimmer. It took countless hours of preparation and a willingness to dedicate his entire life to swimming. Once the Beijing Olympics were over and he was officially the world record-holder for gold medals at a single Olympic games, Phelps decided to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation time. In fact, he packed on 25 pounds and sat around doing nothing.

“It was weird going from the highest of the high, the biggest point of your life — winning eight gold medals — and then saying, ‘All right, where do I go from here?'” Phelps reveals in the August issue of Details according to the NY Post. “I wasn’t motivated. I did nothing, literally nothing, for a long time. I gained 25 pounds.

“A friend of mine and I were playing football on the beach in Miami and somebody got a picture of us … (My friend said) ‘Bro, you gotta start working out, man. You are fat.'”

You know how your friends gain weight after college and stuff and you’re kind of surprised but you only talk about them behind their backs? Imagine if one of those friends was the greatest Olympic swimmer to ever live. I’d be shocked, too. Phelps said his 12,000 calorie diet is a myth, but perhaps it became a reality once the games were over. Fortunately for all the Phelps Phans out there, Michael has slimmed down again and is ready to go for London.

Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

U.S. Olympic soccer player Megan Rapinoe reveals she is gay

A combination of superior athletic ability, a unique hairstyle and a great sense of humor has made Megan Rapinoe one of the more popular and well-known players on the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team. Rapinoe created one of the signature moments of the Women’s World Cup last year when she grabbed the field microphone after scoring a goal and sang Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” Recently, she also became an inspiration to a homosexual community that has not exactly been well-received in the sports world.

In the July issue of Out Magazine, Rapinoe revealed she is gay.

“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” Rapinoe said according to Out.com. “I feel everyone is really craving (for) people to come out. People want — they need — to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Rapinoe explained that she has not been hiding the fact that she is gay, but said no one has ever directly asked her. She said she has been dating a female Australian soccer player for three years, but just as people don’t walk around revealing that they are straight she hasn’t felt the need to come out and inform people that she is gay.

“I think they were trying to be respectful and that it’s my job to say, ‘I’m gay,’” she said. “Which I am. For the record: I am gay.”

While more and more athletes have been coming out in support of the gay community (here is a list of NFL players who did so), it is obviously still a problem. Based on the number of people who play professional sports in America, it is safe to assume that there are gay athletes in many locker rooms. They have chosen to keep that information private for a reason. If popular players like Rapinoe can continue to embrace their sexual identities, it will help others who struggle with theirs on a daily basis.

Photo credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Anthony Davis reportedly still in contention for making Team USA despite ankle

Despite “severely” spraining his ankle last week, an injury that was thought to keep him out for the Olympics, Hornets’ No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis reportedly still plans to participate at Team USA’s training camp in hopes of securing one of the final 12 spots for the team that heads to London.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Davis’ ankle injury isn’t as serious as once thought, but he is still expected to miss seven to 10 days. He’ll report to USA Basketball’s training camp in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The final roster is set to be announced as part of a selection show on NBA TV on Saturday, meaning that the 15 finalists have just a couple days to prove they can play basketball, or something. However, nine players reportedly are already assured of making the cut. Those nine are reportedly LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler. As it very well should be.

By simple math, that means the remaining six players — Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, James Harden, Eric Gordon and Davis — will be duking it out for the final three spots.

Even though Davis is expected not to participate in any practices before Saturday’s selection show, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski will reportedly remain patient with Davis. And after Lamar Odom dropped out of contention earlier this week, in addition to the rash of injuries, Team USA might have no other choice, given how thin they are in front court depth.

Note: This post also appeared on Yardbarker’s Medal Detector blog