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.”

Continuity carries Germany, Russians into Olympic final

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — They forged bonds from Riga to Cologne and in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

It’s all led Germany and the Russians to a David versus Goliath Olympic gold-medal game Sunday. Even though the Russians were favorites all along and expected to win gold in a tournament without NHL stars and Germany was a longshot to even reach the semifinals after not qualifying in Sochi, these two teams are more similar than they are different.

NBCOlympics.com: OAR to face surprising Germany in final

Their familiarity and continuity is the biggest reason they’re facing off in the final.

Germany’s core group has been together through the Olympic qualification tournament and world championships and has played the same system for the past three years under coach Marco Sturm. The Russians’ 25-man roster is made up of 15 players from SKA St. Petersburg and eight from CSKA Moscow, the two best teams in the Kontinental Hockey League.

“That’s a big key to our success,” Germany defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said Saturday. “We were very familiar with each other. … (The Russians also) should be really familiar because almost everybody plays on the same teams in Russia.”

Read the full story here 

OAR’s cross-country success led by doping-tainted coach

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — They are hailed as the vanguard of a new generation of clean Russian cross-country skiers, all are under the age of 23 and all are coached by a man who was once suspended for doping offenses.

The youthful quartet is trained by Yuri Borodavko and has combined for three silver and three bronze medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

NBCOlympics.com: Niskanen captures Finland’s first PyeongChang gold

Alexander Bolshunov, Alexei Chervotkin, Denis Spitsov and Natalia Nepryaeva have improved remarkably since working with Borodavko two years ago. Spitsov hadn’t even competed in a World Cup race until December but now has two Olympic silver medals and a bronze.

NBCOlympics.com: Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping

Last week, the head of the Russian delegation in Pyeongchang described the cross-country team’s results as one of Russia’s “main achievements” at the games.

Read the full story and watch highlights from all the action in PyeongChang by clicking here