Feliciano Lopez has replaced the injured Rafael Nadal on Spain’s tennis team for the London Olympics. The No. 30-ranked Lopez was called in by Spain on Friday after Nadal was forced to pull out with an undisclosed injury.
Nadal, a record seven-time French Open champion, lost in the second round at Wimbledon last month and hasn’t played since. Marc Lopez was selected to take Nadal’s place for doubles and will play with Marcel Granollers.
Basketball player Pau Gasol will replace Nadal as the country's flag bearer for the opening ceremony.
Two 3000m steeplechasers, Nordine Gezzar of France and Spain’s Angel Mullera, were both axed from the Olympic Games on Friday on suspicion of doping. French runner Nordine Gezzar could face a life ban after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin). Gezzar has requested a ‘B’ sample to be analysed, with the results of that test due to be known next week. Having already served a two-year drug ban when he was suspended in 2006, Gezzar could be banned permanently should the second control also come back positive.
The London Olympics will be a “great Games” and will not be affected by poor weather or last-minute disruptions, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said on Friday after arriving a week before the opening ceremony.
“I believe these will be great Games,” a smiling Rogge said.
The Belgian surgeon, who will preside over his last Olympics before stepping down next year, said organisers had set the foundations for a successful Games.
“I expect the maximum because we organise the Games for the welfare of the athletes. I am confident,” Rogge said.