Bolt’s coach calls for national anti-doping lab

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Following the recent failed drug test and impeding suspension of Jamaican Olympic champ Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills said it was time for the government to create an accredited anti-doping lab to “ensure the purity of substances” the athletes are using for training.

“It just re-emphasizes the need for all involved to be extremely vigilant and the great need for Jamaica to establish an accredited lab so that athletes can have substances tested and verified before usage,” Mills told RJR 94FM radio in Jamaica. “It’s a minefield out there. Any substance that you take up could be contaminated.”

Mills, who also coaches 2011 world 100m champ and London silver medealist Yohan Blake, is concerned that athlete’s careers could be derailed if they can’t test substances for training. Jamaican samples are currently processed in other countries, including at WADA headquarters in Montreal.

Campbell-Brown, 31, tested positive for a banned diuretic that’s known for its use as a masking agent for performance enhancing drugs. She’s facing a two year ban from the IAAF, but wont know until next week.

The three-time gold medalist is one of a dozen Jamaican athletes who’ve faced suspensions of three months or more during the last five years, a span that’s seen Jamaica dominate track and field at the Olympics, with 23 medals won between London and Beijing. Jamaican 400m runner Dominique Blake was suspended six years on Thursday for failing a drug test in the lead up to the London Games.

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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