Report: Lindsey Vonn faced surprise drug test at “Fashion Oscars”

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According to New York Post sources, Vancouver downhill champ Lindsey Vonn had to undergo mandatory drug testing Monday night while attending the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, aka: the “Fashion Oscars.”

Vonn was at New York’s Lincoln Center with designer Cynthia Rowley, who designed the skiers dress for the evening, when the gold medalist got a surprise call from US Anti-Doping Agency testers. They were outside the venue and wanted to take an immediate sample from the athlete.

Rowley reportedly escorted the testers into the event, where they met Vonn in the restroom about five minutes later. Vonn gave them a urine sample and was then apparently told to “have fun.”

The timing is curious, since Vonn has just recently started training again after suffering a grisly knee injury in February. But it also wouldn’t be the first time an Olympic champ has been surprised with a drug test this spring: Aly Raisman was similarly met by USADA testers while shooting a segment about Dancing with the Stars for Access Hollywood Live last month.

“They haven’t [tested me] since the Olympics,” Raisman said. “And they choose the finale week of Dancing with the Stars… Out of all the days since the Olympics, they choose, like, the craziest week.”

But according to Tom Kelly of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, athletes are well aware of the practice, and should be prepared to be tested at anytime, in or out of season.

“All elite athletes in all sports are always on call for testing 24/7/365,” Kelly explained. “Testing can and does occur at any time. Athletes are required to report their whereabouts at all times.”

Update:

USADA spokesperson Annie Skinner confirmed to Olympic Talk that Vonn was tested in New York:

“She provided USADA with her location information indicating she would be in New York and we performed a test collection on her there. We appreciate her professionalism and for accommodating this process, which at times can be inconvenient. Her sample was collected in accordance with the standard protocols and will be processed by a WADA-accredited laboratory. This real-life example demonstrates the commitment of our elite Olympic athletes and the accommodations they make for the inconvenience of drug testing, in order to ensure the ideals of clean sport are upheld.”

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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