Russia sets laws against Sochi scalpers

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The Russian parliament’s upper house passed a bill Wednesday calling for upwards of $30,000 fines for anyone caught scalping tickets to the Sochi Games.

Fines would start at five or ten times the face value of the ticket for individuals trying to gain profit off a small number of tickets. The heaviest fines would come into play if the scalping was done on a large scale level, or as a business.

“We as Olympic organizers have an obligation under our contract with the International Olympic Committee to prevent speculative price hikes for hotels and Olympic tickets,” organizing committee head Alexander Zhukov said at a press conference.

Zhukov added that that room prices in Sochi will also be capped during the Games, respective to certain hotel categories, so that owner’s don’t price-out fans coming to see the events.

The bill still needs to be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, which is likely to come only after he explains how the inspiration for the myth of Santa came from this one time he gave a boy a present.

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar. Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February.

The Rostelecom Cup free dance and pairs and women’s free skates are later Saturday.

A full Rostelecom Cup broadcast schedule is here.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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