In other news

State

After authorities searched for a missing Virginia Tech student for nearly a week, the  student  has been spotted halfway across the country in Missouri. Johnny Roop, an Abingdon, Virginia native was reported missing Feb. 16. According to ABC News, Roop was last seen the night before his disappearance at his roommate’s birthday dinner and was reported to be normal. The last place he was located in Virginia was a Christiansburg mall where his phone was disconnected. Roop is a high-achieving financial planning student at Virginia Tech. According to CBS 19 News, Roop was seen in Poplar Bluff, Missouri Feb. 22 alone in a restaurant where an employee identified the 20 year old. The sheriff’s department has since reported having contact with Roop, where he fully answered questions asked by law enforcement.

National

A Texas man pleaded guilty to providing banned performance-enhancing drugs to athletes before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo that were delayed until 2021. According to Reuters, Eric Lira, an El Paso native, became the first person charged under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act that was enacted in 2020 as a federal law in the United States. This law incriminates doping schemes that are intended to impact sporting events named after the former Russia anti-doping laboratory. Grigory Rodchenkov was a Russian who revealed a large doping program in Russia after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Lira distributed drugs that impact human growth hormones and allowed athletes to have an unfair advantage, referring to himself as a “kinesiologist” and “naturopathic doctor.” According to BBC, one track athlete who received drugs from Lira and competed at the Olympics was found saying, “Eric, my body feel so good,” “I am so happy” and “whatever you did is working so well.” Lira was ordered to serve one year of supervised release as well as paying $16,410. Lira could face further consequences for his actions. The names of the athletes who took the drugs administered by Lira have not been announced yet.

International

A U.S.-Russian dual citizen was arrested by Russian authorities on charges of treason for donating money to the Ukrainian war effort. Los Angeles resident Ksenia Khavana has been identified as the woman arrested. According to the Associated Press, Khavana was arrested when visiting her family in Russia in the Ural Mountains, over 1,000 miles away from Moscow. Also a ballet dancer, Khavana came to the U.S. to study at the University of Maryland before moving to Southern California. Khavana has worked at the Ciel Spa in Beverly Hills for eight years. Despite being divorced and not having any relatives stateside, Khavana has developed a love for the United States and the life she has created there. The last contact Khavana had with friends was in early January when she left for Russia to visit her family as she does annually. Since then, she was arrested and faces up to 20 years in prison. According to The Guardian, Khavana donated $51 to Razom, a Ukrainian charitable fund, to help supply medical equipment for first responders and humanitarian causes. Razom has called for the U.S. government to investigate and retrieve Khavana from Russian government. The U.S. is still trying to determine all of the facts concerning the incident before making any approaches to Russia.

Bessire is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X.

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