2020 Summer Olympics Ban Athletes From Kneeling, Fist Raising ... In Tokyo

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Olympic athletes looking to follow Colin Kaepernick's lead will have to do it somewhere other than Tokyo ... 'cause the IOC has banned kneeling and raising fists in protests at the 2020 games.

The International Olympic Committee released its guidelines for the upcoming Summer Games ... and it's clear the committee is trying very hard to keep politics out of it.

"The unique nature of the Olympic Games enables athletes from all over the world to come together in peace and harmony," the guidelines say.

"We believe that the example we set by competing with the world’s best while living in harmony in the Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world."

"This is why it is important, on both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations."

Pre-Globes Event 7th Gold Meets Golden ... Hollywood Doles Out Medals, Tunes

Hollywood's finest came out in droves for a pre-Golden Globes event which saw them mingling with Olympians -- and the get-together was nothing short of a tearjerker.

The ritzy shindig went down Saturday afternoon at one of the first-ever homes established in Bev Hills ... the Virginia Robinson Gardens mansion. It's called Gold Meets Golden, and the whole idea is to pair celebs with pro athletes all in the name of charity --  this in anticipation of Sunday's award show and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, of course.

For this 7th year -- which was hosted/presented by Coca Cola, BMW Beverly Hills, FASHWIRE along with other sponsors -- the proceeds were going toward Angel City Sports ... an org promoting adaptive sports for kids, adults and vets with physical disabilities.

ACTORS ON ATHLETES
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Definitely a cause worth getting behind ... and you could tell as much by who showed up -- including Nicole Kidman, Chris Evans, Rami Malek, Taron Egerton, Cynthia Erivo, Matt Bomer, Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein, Zoey Deutch, Joey King, Naomi Watts, Lou Ferringo and more.

Of the Olympians and athletes in attendance ... Jackie Joyner Kersee, Nadia Comaneci, Bart Connors, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Ian Thorpe, Willie Gault, Metta World Peace, Apollo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and several others.

Check out the clip above ... you see Cynthia belting out a rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine," Taron and Sistine Stallone putting medals on the 2014 bobsled team and Matt Bomer presenting a cake to diver Greg Louganis for his 60th bday this month.

We're told there wasn't a dry eye throughout Saturday's proceedings -- and by the looks of all this ... we can see why. Pretty heartwarming stuff here 💖

Russia Banned from 2020 Olympics, World Cup ... Over Doping Scandal

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The Russians are OUT at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo AND the 2022 World Cup -- at least for now -- because they're HORRIBLE cheaters, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

WADA has voted unanimously to hit Russia with a 4-year ban from all major international sporting events ... including the Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup.

Here's why ... WADA officials say Russian authorities TAMPERED with a laboratory database in an effort to cover up HUNDREDS of potential doping cases involving Russian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said last month the investigation revealed "flagrant manipulation" of the lab data.

Now, The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has 21 days to appeal the ban -- and Russian officials have strongly suggested they will fight the punishment.

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie is digging in his heels -- saying in a statement, "For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport.

"The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA's reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today."

It's not the first time Russia has been accused of cheating and banned from the Olympics -- they were blocked from the 2018 Winter Games after a similar doping scandal.

Michelle Kwan In Bad Car Crash Rips 'Coward' Who Drove Off

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Terrifying moment for figure skating legend Michelle Kwan -- who was involved in a bad crash in South Carolina on Friday after a mattress fell off a car on a highway.

The 39-year-old Olympic medalist was driving on Interstate 26 in Columbia around 6 AM when a driver in the fast lane "dropped a massive mattress" in the middle of traffic.

Kwan tried to avoid the mattress, but in the chaos, she was hit by another driver. Kwan says the car that dropped the mattress sped off when the driver saw the damage on the road.

"Luckily the driver who hit me was paying attention and slammed on his breaks - he still hit me hard."

Kwan -- who was driving a rented Nissan Sentra -- says she's grateful she wasn't pushed into oncoming traffic, where cars were racing around 70 mph.

"Thank God nobody was hurt," Kwan says ... "just felt very scared and now angry at the coward that drove away."

Kwan adds, "Sorry but just need to share and also remind folks to secure furniture or hire movers because you can really kill somebody."

In case you need a refresher, Kwan is one of the all-time greats ... she's been inducted into both the U.S. and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fames.

She won silver at the '98 Olympic Games and bronze in 2002 -- on top of being a 9-time U.S. skating champ.

Nyjah Huston I Was Olympic-Caliber Skater ... At 11 Years Old!!!

BIGGER PRIZES TO WIN
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Nyjah Huston says he could've been racking up those Olympic medals for more than a DECADE ... telling TMZ Sports he would've been ready for the Games at age 11!

Of course, skateboarding will be in the Olympics for the first time ever in 2020 ... but if it had been a thing in years past, Nyjah says he woulda been a serious contender while he was still in MIDDLE SCHOOL!

"I started skating pro contests when I was like, 11, and I was going out there on a competing, winning level ... so yeah, if the Olympics was around 8 years ago, I would've been there for sure."

By the way, we found footage of Nujah skating when he was 9 ... and yeah, he's probably right.

Huston is 25 now and has racked up 12 X Games gold medals during his career ... and says he's hoping to add that Olympic gold to his trophy case when he competes in Japan next summer.

There is ONE more major accomplishment Huston says he's hoping to achieve before he hangs up his board for good ... Thrasher's Skater of the Year award.

Why does it mean so much to him? Watch the video.

Olympic Legend Harrison Dilliard Dead at 96 Smashed Records After Serving In WW2

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U.S. Olympic legend Harrison Dillard -- whom General Patton once called "the best goddamn athlete I’ve ever seen" -- has died at 96.

Dillard was an absolute BEAST of an athlete -- winning 4 Olympic gold medals and smashing more than 11 world and Olympic records during his illustrious career, according to the NY Times.

In fact, Dillard was the "World's Fastest Man" in 1948 after winning the 100-meter dash at the Olympics ... and became "World's Fastest Hurdler" at the 1952 Games.

Dillard is also a military veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 32 months during World War II and after dominating at an Army track meet, Gen. Patton called him, "The best goddamn athlete I've ever seen."

He later worked as a running coach for the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees.

Dillard is a two-time Hall of Famer ... he was elected to the National Track and Field H.O.F. in 1974 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in '83.

Dillard passed away on Friday after battling stomach cancer.

RIP

Alex Morgan Gunning For 2020 Olympics Months After Having Baby!!!

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Alex Morgan truly is a superhero ... the USA soccer superstar says she's still planning to play in the 2020 Olympics -- just months after she has her baby!!!

The 30-year-old striker announced last month she's having a baby girl with her husband, LA Galaxy stud Servando Carrasco ... and the due date is April 2020.

Of course, next year's summer Olympics are scheduled to kick off in Tokyo just weeks after that ... with opening ceremonies slated for July 24.

For all you non-math whizzes out there ... that's just about 3 months!!!

But, in an interview with USA TODAY Sports earlier this week ... Morgan says she's gunning to get back on the pitch with her American teammates despite that tiny time frame.

"After having a healthy baby, I want to get back with the national team and look forward to playing in Tokyo," Morgan said.

It's not exactly unprecedented ... her fellow Team USA squadmate, Sydney Leroux, returned to the field in September for her NWSL team just 3 months after she had her baby earlier this year.

In other sports, it's been done too ... remember, Mackenzie Dern straight-up fought in the UFC just 4 months after she gave birth!!

So, good luck repeating that feat, Alex ... the whole country's pullin' for ya!!!

Usain Bolt Down For NFL If Pack Or Pats Call ... 'I'm Ready!!!'

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CALL ME, AARON!!!
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Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady ... looking for a 6'5" receiver who runs a 4.2 40-yard dash?? Good news -- Usain Bolt says give him a call ... 'cause he's down to play!!!

We got the most decorated Olympic sprinter ever out in NYC this week ... and now that he's retired, we had to ask -- would he be up for an NFL career??

The 33-year-old said yes ... but on one condition -- it's gotta be either with New England or Green Bay!!

"If the Patriots or Aaron Rodgers call me," Bolt says ... "If they call me, I'm ready!"

Think it's crazy?? It ain't ... the former fastest man in the world actually once got offers from NFL teams to tryout for a roster spot back in 2016, but he famously declined.

But, now that the whole track thing isn't in the picture ... seems he's up to give it a shot!!

By the way, we also asked Bolt for his opinion on a G.O.A.T.-off between Rodgers and Brady ... and ya gotta hear his thoughts on the debate.

Marieke Vervoort Paralympic Gold Medalist Dies By Euthanasia in Belgium

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A famous gold medal-winning Paralympic athlete died Tuesday after taking her own life through euthanasia in Belgium, officials confirm.

40-year-old Marieke Vervoort battled degenerative spinal disease -- yet was able to compete in wheelchair racing at the highest levels.

She won two medals at the 2016 Paralympic games in Brazil and famously clinched a GOLD medal during the 2012 Paralympics in London.

But, when she wasn't competing, Vervoort lived with extreme physical pain which sometimes limited her to only sleeping for 10 minutes a night.

Vervoort also suffered epileptic seizures -- and in one case in 2014, a seizure caused her to spill boiling water on her legs while cooking pasta. She suffered major injuries and was hospitalized for several months as a result.

Vervoort had considered euthanasia for years and began planning for the end of her life back in 2016.

In fact, Vervoort spent her last night surrounded by friends and family, sipping on sparkling wine ... just as she planned.

After her passing, the Belgian royal family issued a statement praising their Paralympic hero -- saying, "Marieke 'Wielemie' Vervoort was an athlete tough as nails and a great lady. Her death touches us deeply."

RIP

Ninja Video Games Will Be an Olympic Sport ... 'It's a Matter of Time'

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GOIN' FOR GOLD
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There's a ton of money in Esports ... and there could be GOLD in video games soon too ... 'cause Fortnite superstar Ninja says gaming WILL be in the Olympics -- it's just a matter of time.

Of course, Esports is bigger than ever -- the prize pool for the Fortnite World Cup was $30 MILLION in July (shout-out to 16-year-old gamer Bugha, who took home $3 milli for winning).

Ninja doesn't think the sport's done growing ... 'cause he says gamers will be representing their country on the sticks VERY soon.

"For me, I just think it's going to be time," Ninja tells TMZ Sports. "I think that obviously, the younger generation enjoys Esports and enjoys watching video games. Eventually, that's what they're gonna want and that's what the TV people are gonna want to show and represent."

"Just give a little bit of time and Esports will be there."

As for how soon it can happen, we ask if it can happen in time for the 2028 Games in L.A. ... and Ninja says he "wouldn't put it out of the question."

The greatest Fortnite player alive also weighs in on what countries would dominate in video games at the Olympics ... and it ain't the U.S. of A.

Magic Johnson 'Dream Team' Jersey Hits Auction Block ... Could Fetch Over $150k

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The "Dream Team" is the most DOMINANT squad ever assembled ... and you could own the game-worn jersey Magic Johnson donned as Team USA steamrolled their way to a gold medal in 1992 ... IF ya got a few hundred thousand bucks.

TMZ Sports has learned the historic jersey is hitting the SCP Auctions block on Wednesday ... and it's expected to rake in a ton of money.

The '92 Summer Olympic USA basketball team is legendary -- they're literally the GREATEST basketball team of all-time -- and featured HOF'ers Magic, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and David Robinson.

The jersey on the auction block was worn by Magic -- the squads co-captain -- during the Dream Team's August 4, 1992 quarterfinal 115-77 blowout win against Puerto Rico.

Johnson scored 13 points, and had 7 assists.

SCP tells us they had the Champion-brand jersey -- which was previously in the possession of a private collector in Los Angeles -- authenticated using photo matching ... ensuring it was the actual jersey worn by MJ.

The number 15 jersey -- size 44 -- has a tag that reads "USA Basketball" and "designed and tailored exclusively for 1992 Summer Olympics Games."

The auction house says Team USA jerseys are super rare ... and they say Johnson's jersey is the first and only photo matched Dream Team jersey in existence.

So, a piece of sports history can be yours ... if you're bank account's big enough.

The auction goes from September 11 to the 28.

Good luck!!!

Lindsey Vonn Like My See Through Shirt?!? ... It's Fashion, Baby!!!

Eyes up!!!

Lindsey Vonn made one helluva fashion statement at a Vanity Fair party in NYC on Thursday -- rockin' the hell out of a see-through top ... and yeah, she stole the show!!!

The Olympic downhill skiing legend definitely turned heads at Vanity Fair's 2019 Best Dressed List party at L'Avenue Sacks. Her NHL superstar fiance P.K. Subban didn't make the event, but the MASSIVE emerald engagement ring he gave her sure did!!!

The two announced their engagement last month. They've been together since 2018. No word on when the big wedding will go down.

34-year-old Vonn definitely ain't shy when it comes to showing off her body -- remember she posed in PAINT (and only paint!!!) for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition a few years ago.

As for the VF party, it was packed with huge stars ... including Brandon Thomas Lee, G-Eazy, Nicky Hilton, Jasmine Sanders, Nicole Scherzinger, Priyanka Chopra, Anna Wintour, Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook, and Serge Ibaka.

Olympic Skier Blanca Fernandez Ochoa Dead at 56 Went Missing 2 Weeks Ago

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Spanish Olympic skier Blanca Fernandez Ochoa was found dead in the Guadarrama Mountains outside Madrid on Wednesday ... nearly 2 weeks after going missing. She was 56 years old.

The 1992 bronze medalist was last seen on August 23 and was reported missing by her daughter ... sparking a massive search operation with drones, helicopters and volunteers to find the world-class athlete.

There's a lot of questions about her death that have just not been answered yet -- including why she left home without her cell phone and credit cards ... and how she ended up at that location. We'll post more information as it becomes available.

Fernandez Ochoa's abandoned Mercedes vehicle was found on Sunday ... and an off-duty officer found her body early Wednesday morning.

Fernandez Ochoa competed in 4 Winter Olympics in the '80s and '90s ... becoming the first Spanish woman to take home a medal in the 1992 winter games in France when she won the bronze in the slalom.

#RIP

Simone Biles Brother Charged in Triple Murder 911 : 'They're All Dead'

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3:52 PM PT -- Check out this video of Tevin in custody in Georgia ... he's handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit as he's being escorted down a hallway in the Liberty County Jail.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

9:06 AM PT -- TMZ has obtained the 911 call placed from the Airbnb the night of the shooting at 11:43 PM on December 31. The frantic caller said an argument broke out and then "they just started shooting."

911 AUDIO

He added he did not see who the shooter was but, when asked if anyone is bleeding, he says, "They're both dead."

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles' older brother is in police custody for the murders of 3 people ... after an 8-month investigation into a New Year's Eve tragedy.

Tevin Biles-Thomas was arrested Thursday at Fort Stewart in Georgia, where he is an active duty soldier in the Army. Police say Biles-Thomas opened fired on a group of people when a fight broke out during a New Year's Eve party at an Airbnb in Cleveland.

According to cops, an "uninvited" group of people had entered the house party and during the ensuing brawl ... Biles-Thomas fired the shots that killed three men and injured 2 others.

A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury returned an indictment of Biles-Thomas for 6 counts of murder, 3 counts of voluntary manslaughter, 5 counts of felonious assault and 1 count of perjury. Under Ohio law, "purposely killing" and "knowingly killing" a victim are separate counts for each victim -- and that's why he got 6 murder charges. 

Simone and her family are from the Columbus, Ohio area.

24-year-old Biles-Thomas is still being held in Georgia, but will be extradited to Ohio ahead of his arraignment on Sept. 13.

Originally Published -- 6:39 AM PT

Famous Dressage Olympian Charged W/ Attempted Murder ... Allegedly Shot Woman

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4:00 PM PT -- The Morris County District Attorney's office announced they've charged Barisone with 2 counts of attempted murder ... as well as 2 counts of unlawful possession of a weapon.

The D.A. says cops responded to the equestrian center after receiving a 911 call and "located one female who had sustained what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds."

"The Defendant, Michael Barisone, and a second male victim were also located at the scene.  A handgun was also recovered."

Ex-U.S. Olympian Michael Barisone -- who competed in Dressage in the 2008 Olympics -- allegedly shot a woman at his upscale equestrian center in Jersey, according to reports.

The 54-year-old reportedly got into a dispute with the woman at the fancy 53-acre Hawthorne Farm in Long Valley around 2:15 PM on Wednesday ... and things escalated.

Barisone reportedly opened fire multiple times -- striking the woman, who was raced to a nearby hospital. According to the NY Post, her condition has been described as "up in the air."

The Morris County Prosecutor's Office confirmed an incident at that farm and said a suspect had been taken into custody ... but they have not officially named Barisone.

According to law enforcement, the suspect was also injured in the incident ... along with a 3rd person.

Cops are still investigating -- but according to the Post, Barisone is expected to be hit with charges in the very near future.

The dispute has been described to the Post as a "tenant/landowner" issue.

Barisone is a monster in the equestrian world -- he was named the 2009 Sportsman International Horseman of the Year and went on to train several Olympic riders ... including Alison Brock, who won a team bronze medal in Dressage in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Originally Published -- 9:47 AM PT

Sanya Richards-Ross Agrees With Usain Bolt ... USA's Got A Leg Up On Jamaica!

POLITELY DISAGREE
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Usain Bolt is correct ... the United States DOES have a leg up on Jamaican sprinters for now -- so says track legend Sanya Richards-Ross!!!

We got the FOUR-time Olympic Gold Medalist out at LAX ... and seeing as she was born in Jamaica -- we had to ask about Bolt's comments that the new generation of Jamaican sprinters are "spoiled" and lazy.

Richards-Ross wouldn't go that far with her analysis of the situation ... but tells us she agrees with Bolt -- and says the country's love for the legendary sprinter is actually partly to blame.

"When you have a megastar like Usain Bolt," Richards-Ross tells us ... "it kind of suffocates the next generation of stars."

Richards-Ross also says that because Bolt was so dominant in the main sprinting events ... younger runners came up trying to make their way in OTHER events -- leading to an issue now.

But, good news for USA, Richards-Ross says all of that will lead to Americans being dominant in sprinting ... for now.

"Probably in the next four years you'll see a huge Jamaican star. But, right now, I think it's going to be Team USA."

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!