Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Wednesday, highlighted by Team USA’s shocking loss to France at the FIBA World Cup that snapped their 58-game winning streak and a late-breaking report that Justify tested positive for a banned substance prior to his Triple Crown run in 2018.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Thursday!
France Rallies Late to Shock Team USA at FIBA World Cup, Snap Americans’ 58-Game Win Streak
The list of NBA stars that were not in China for this year’s FIBA World Cup overshadowed the roster of players who showed up for Team USA, and that lack of star power finally caught up to the Americans on Wednesday as France rallied late to stun them in the quarterfinals, 89-79.
The loss ended a 58-game winning streak for Team USA in FIBA and Olympic competition with NBA players, spanning back to the bronze-medal game they won at the 2006 World Championships.
Team USA trailed by ten points early in the second half but went on a 31-14 run to go up by seven points in the fourth quarter.
France responded with a run themselves, outscoring the Americans 15-2 and pulled away for the ten-point win.
The French team was led by the Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier who scored a team-high 22 points and the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert who had a monster game with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
The Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell led the Americans in scoring with 29 points but was shut out in the fourth quarter.
The U.S. will be held off the podium at the World Cup for the first time since 2002 when it finished sixth. The Americans did qualify for the 2020 Olympics, where they will compete for their fourth consecutive gold medal next summer in Toyko.
MORE FROM HEAVY.COM: Team USA needs a new LeBron James (or the old one)
Justify Failed Drug Test Before Winning Triple Crown in 2018
Justify, the horse who went on to win the 13th Triple Crown in history last year, failed a drug test a month before the 2018 Kentucky Derby, and the results which would have led to a disqualification were buried by regulators, according to a New York Times report that was published Wednesday.
The failed drug test occurred following the Santa Anita Derby, which Justify won on April 7, 2018. According to the New York Times, the horse tested positive for scopolamine, a banned substance that can enhance performance.
With the win at Santa Anita, Justify qualified for the Kentucky Derby, which he’d go on to win as the first leg of the Triple Crown. According to the report, a failed drug test should have led to a disqualification and removal of Justify’s Kentucky Derby entry.
According to documents reviewed by the New York Times, the sport’s rules were not followed, as the California Horse Racing Board took more than a month to confirm the results of the drug test. Ultimately, the board deviated from its normal operating procedures, and the case was dropped by the board’s commissioners two months following Justify’s Triple Crown-clinching win at the Belmont Stakes.
The California board decided that the drug test results could have been caused by Justify eating contaminated food, although the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s former drug lab chief, Rick Sams, told the New York Times that the amount of the banned substance in Justify’s system suggested that it “has to come from intentional intervention.”
Justify’s trainer, Bob Baffert told NBC Sports’ Tim Layden that he will have a statement on Thursday morning.
Justify was retired from racing following the Belmont and his breeding rights were sold for $60 million.
MORE FROM HEAVY.COM: Five Fast Facts about Justify failing drug test
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)
Cam Newton and the Panthers take on Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers, as both teams will look to get in the win column after falling in week 1.
WHEN: Tonight, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 1 Clemson (2-0) at Syracuse (1-1)
Clemson heads on the road this week to play in a Saturday night primetime game against ACC rival Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.
WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.