Woly Award: LaShawn Merritt, track and field

LaShawn Merritt won the 2008 gold medal in the highly competitive 400 meters. He followed it up with a world title in 2009.

Then the troubles began. He tested positive for a substance that he attributed to the drug ExtenZe. He returned with a second-place finish to Grenadan sensation Kirani James in 2011, then injured his hamstring in 2012 and didn’t make it to the Olympic final.

So he’s done, right?

Wrong. Merritt blew away the field at the World Championships in Moscow with a world-leading and personal best 43.74 seconds. Then he anchored the dominant U.S. men to victory in the 4×400 relay.

And he’ll take this week’s Woly Award for the top U.S. performance in Olympic sports.

Also in the playlist this week: David Oliver and Brianna Rollins win the world titles in the hurdles; winter sports season starts with slopestyle, halfpipe and cross-country; U.S. volleyballers and wrestlers win; and the USL’s Richmond Kickers try to play racquetball with no hands.

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Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

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