Li Zhesi

Chinese swimmer, 17, suspended for doping

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Last summer, Li Zhesi’s hopes of competing at the Olympics were taken away when she was busted for taking EPO, a banned substance. EPO, you may remember, is what Lance Armstrong took during his cycling career.

It’s a blood-boosting drug that we normally see endurance athletes take.

On Tuesday, it was announced that swimming’s international governing body FINA has suspended Li for two years because of the offense. Li was part of China’s winning 4x100m freestyle relay team at the 2009 World Championships that broke the world record. The mark stood for three years before the United States reset the record in London.

Li (at the far right in the accompanying photo) was just 14 years old at the 2009 Worlds; she’s 17 now.

Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months