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Ethiopian Olympic marathoner might have put his life in danger with protest gesture

Like many other Olympic athletes in the past, Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa made a gesture Sunday night when he crossed the finish line in Rio.

But simply making the sign with his arms could have cost the silver medalist his freedom or even his life if he returns home.

He told reporters after the race: "I was protesting for my people. ... If I go back to Ethiopia, maybe they will kill me. If I am not killed, maybe they will put me in prison."

Crossing one's arms over one's head as Lilesa did is a sign used by members of his Oromo tribe to protest the Ethiopian government.

Tensions between the Oromo and the government have been on the rise since last November, when the government announced plans to reallocate Oromo farmland for development.

The announcement sparked intense protests across the nation that lasted for months. 

Officials scrapped the idea in January, but demonstrations flared up once again in recent weeks over protesters who are still being detained. 

And according to a Human Rights Watch report, the government is using violence to stop the protests. The group says more than 400 people have been killed and thousands more injured.

"Oromo is my tribe ... Oromo people now protest (for) what is right, for peace, for a place," Lilesa said in a news conference after his medal ceremony.

Lilesa also said he has family members who are in prison, and "if they talk about democratic rights they are killed."

Lilesa, a father of two, said that because of the violence in his home country, he can't return to Ethiopia after the Olympics. He said he might stay in Brazil or go to Kenya or the U.S. if he can.

An Ethiopian government spokesman said Monday that Lilesa could return to the country and would receive "a heroic welcome," the Associated Press reported.

It's unclear if his post-race gesture will affect his win in Rio. The Olympics committee has stripped athletes of their medals over political statements in the past.

Watch: Usain Bolt interrupts interview to show respect for U.S. anthem

There were many highlights during the Summer Olympics that concluded Sunday night in Rio de Janeiro, and Jamaican runner Usain Bolt provided many of them.

Participating in his third Olympic Games, the record-setting sprinter won three more gold medals on the track. Just as appealing for many is Bolt's over-sized personality and theatrical approach he brings to the sport.

Even with his many memorable moments this year, one moment from the London Olympics is making headlines again.

In 2012, he stopped an interview with Television Espanola to show respect when the "Star-Spangled Banner" began to play.

Bolt asked if the interview was live, and the reporter said that it was, but the Olympian still paused the interview to turn and listen to the American anthem.

When the song finished, Bolt apologized for stopping the interview and then answered the reporter's question.

American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who won the bronze in the men’s pole vault earlier this week, acted similarly recently in Rio.

Kendricks, who is listed as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, stopped mid-run on a jump during a qualifying round for the event.

"Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian," Kendricks told USA Today. "I am certainly looking to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete. I'm just trying to put my best foot forward for all those soldiers who are watching."

Notre Dame dismisses starting safety, suspends cornerback after weekend arrests

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced Sunday that he had dismissed starting safety Max Redfield and suspended cornerback Devin Butler indefinitely after both were arrested in separate incidents in Indiana over the weekend.

Redfield was a two-year starter who was fourth on the team in tackles last season. He also faces an additional charge for possession of a handgun without a license.

Four other four players arrested with Redfield on misdemeanor possession of marijuana will be disciplined internally, Kelly announced. University officials could impose more penalties on top of what the athletic department decides.

In a separate incident, Butler was arrested during a bar fight between two women. According to police, Butler was asked to move back and the player “shouted profanities at the officers and starting swinging his fist.” One officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries, including a sore wrist.

>> Read more trending stories

Kelly issued a strongly worded statement on Sunday.

“There are times when a player’s conduct fails to meet the standards I have set for our football team that it is appropriate to take action independent of any decision that might be made by the Office of Community Standards,” Kelly said. “This is such an instance.”

From a football perspective, Kelly’s decision will hurt the Irish secondary. With Redfield now gone, freshman Devin Studstill is projected to start. His backup is also a freshman. Butler was still rehabilitating a broken foot injury suffered in June. He was not expected to play until October.

No. 10 Notre Dame opens the season against Texas on Sept. 4.

How Olympian Caster Semenya's medical condition became a controversy

Caster Semenya has become the unwilling face of an issue plaguing the Olympics. 

>> Watch the video from Newsy

The South African runner won the gold medal in the women's 800-meter final, beating the next-closest runner by more than a second. 

But she reportedly has a condition called hyperandrogenism, which causes much higher levels of testosterone than women typically have. 

There's speculation other athletes have the condition, as well — and it's led to criticism that they have an unfair advantage.

>> PHOTOS: Closing ceremonies at the Rio Olympics

In 2010, the International Association of Athletics Federations had Semenya sidelined while she underwent gender testing. She was eventually cleared to compete. 

For the 2012 Olympics, athletes with the condition were forced to take drugs that lower testosterone levels, but those rules were thrown out for the Rio Olympics. 

That's because The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that there was no clear evidence that athletes with hyperandrogenism have an unfair advantage over other athletes. 

Medical experts say hyperandrogenism can affect people in different ways, and athletes with the condition aren't necessarily guaranteed a competitive advantage. 

>> Read more trending stories

But there is still frustration among the athletes. Lynsey Sharp, one of the runners competing against Semenya, said, "Everyone can see it's two separate races, so there's nothing I can do."

Semenya told the BBC that all the criticism is only helping her grow as a person.

"They're making you a better person," she said. "People should learn how to unite. Sport is all about uniting people and not discriminating."

Photos: Rio Olympics day 16

Coach strips to underwear to protest Olympic wrestling match

It's common for emotions to run high during the final seconds of any Olympic event. Sometimes, outcomes are contested.

But one man undressed Sunday afternoon as he contested the final scoring of a wrestling match.

In the 65kg freestyle wrestling bronze medal match, Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navaruzov beat Mongolia’s Mandakhnaran Ganzorig 8-7 in a match that ended in controversy and two Mongolian coaches taking off their clothes at the Olympic venue.

In the final seconds of the match, Ganzorig led by one and began dancing to celebrate his imminent medal. That celebration didn't last long.

According to The Associated Press, Uzbekistan challenged the scoring. Officials awarded Navaruzov a penalty point, which also gave him the bronze medal because tie matches are decided by the wrestler who last scored a point. 

Then began the unlikely turn of events.

Two Mongolian coaches stormed the mat in protest and began angrily shedding their clothes, with one getting all the way down to his blue briefs while the crowd chanted "Mongolia! Mongolia!"

That led to match officials awarding yet another penalty point.

Police eventually escorted the coaches from the mat.

See video here.

2016 Summer Olympics: Here's the schedule of events for Sunday

It’s been two weeks of ups and downs in Rio, surprises vs. what was expected and, in at least one case, the police were involved.

Today, the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, which has been a successful one for the United States, is coming to an end. The closing ceremony for the Games will take place Sunday night, but there are still quite a few medals on the line before then.

USA’s men’s basketball team goes for gold against Serbia at 2:30 (ET), and there’s track and field and cycling events left. Rhythmic gymnastics begins at 10 a.m.

Closing ceremonies air on NBC from 8- 10:30 p.m. ET. The broadcast is on a one-hour tape delay. Just prior to that is a one hour special that highlights the best moments from the Games. 

Here’s a look at some of the events set for Sunday.

Channels

The Summer Games are being broadcast on NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, CNBC,MSNBC, NBC Sports Network, the Golf Channel, NBC Universo and USA Network. That’s just for TV. The rest of the coverage is digital. Check here for the TV schedule.

Live streams

Streams will be available on NBCOlympics.com as well as via the NBC Olympics app. Look for the app on iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, Windows phone, Roku streaming boxes, sticks and TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV sticks, the new Apple TV via the device’s app store, and Chromecast via the NBC Sports iOS or Android app.

Telemundo will stream Spanish-language commentary through its website as well as its Telemundo Desportes apps on Android and on iOS. Again, you’ll be asked for your pay TV account login info.

Sunday's schedule (all times are ET) 

8:30 a.m.: Track and field

8:30 a.m.: Volleyball

9:30 a.m.: Handball

10 a.m.: Rhythmic gymnastics

10:30 a.m.: Basketball

11:30 a.m.: Cycling

11:45 a.m.: Wrestling

12:15 p.m.: Volleyball

1 p.m.: Boxing (Womens)

1 p.m.: Handball

2:30 p.m.: Basketball

8-10:30 p.m. - Closing ceremonies

Photos: Rio Olympics day 15

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