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Veronica Campbell-Brown could avoid doping ban

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Three-time Olympic champ Veronica Campbell-Brown is hoping to avoid a maximum suspension for doping because the drug she tested positive for was reportedly contained in a cream she declared on her doping control form, according to Reuters.

The Jamaican sprinter tested positive for the diuretic furosemide, which was found in urine samples taken at the Kingston Invitational on May 4. The substance is banned for its use as a masking agent for performance enhancing drugs.

She was facing a two-year ban from the IAAF after her B-sample confirmed the results last week, but if the drug doesn’t appear listed on the label of the cream, then Campbell-Brown may have some wiggle room with WADA.

“As soon as we get notification of the B-sample we will be moving to empanel a disciplinary team to carry out a speedy hearing,” Jamaican Athletics president Warren Blake said Tuesday.

Campbell-Brown is one of the country’s most decorated Olympians, having won seven medals, including back-to-back 200m gold in Athens and Beijing. If her appeal isn’t upheld then she’s likely to miss national trials this weekend and be unable to defend her 200m world title in Moscow this August.

Adding to the intrigue, just yesterday Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills called for the government to create an accredited anti-doping lab to “ensure the purity of substances” the Jamaicans are using in training, which he thinks will help top athletes navigate the current minefield of things like contaminated creams.

UPDATE: Campbell-Brown’s manager Claude Bryan has released a statement from his client apologizing to those hurt by the news while not accepting guilt for taking the banned substance:

“Veronica is not a cheat, she has via hard work and dedication accomplished a record on the track which is absolutely remarkable. Her faith which rest not in device or creed will see her through this dark period. Due to her determination to vigorously pursue the clearing of her name, she will desist from being vocal suffice it to say, while not accepting guilt of willfully taking a banned substance, she wholeheartedly apologizes to her family, Jamaica, her sponsors, the governing body, the world athletics family, her supporters as well as those she worked with in various non-athletic causes for any embarrassment and or hurt this devastating news has caused. She remains an ardent believer in the purity of competition, the beauty of the sport and resolute in the fact that unearned suffering has redemptive qualities.”

Ashley Wagner leads U.S. 1-2 at Skate America

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Ashley Wagner bolstered her international reputation again, winning Skate America on Saturday in her first top-level full competition since her world championships silver medal in April.

Wagner totaled 196.44 points over two programs in Hoffman Estates, Ill., holding off countrywoman Mariah Bell by 4.85 points. U.S. champion Gracie Gold was fifth. Full results are here.

“The short program was definitely one of my world-class programs,” Wagner said on NBC. “Long program, I left a little bit out on the table.”

Wagner, who led by 3.75 points after Friday’s short program, was flawed in her free skate, including singling the back end of a jump combination and under-rotating two more jumps.

Still it was enough to overtake Bell, who had the highest free skate score by 3.73 points but was sixth in the short program.

It marked the first U.S. women’s one-two in a Grand Prix event since 2012 Skate America (Wagner and Christina Gao).

“I’m starting to realize my own potential and believe in myself,” Bell, who shares a coach with Wagner, said on NBC. “I’m very excited for the future.”

Gold fell in both of her programs as she tries to bounce back from dropping from first to fourth at last season’s world championships. Gold had her lowest Grand Prix finish (excluding Grand Prix Final) since her debut at 2012 Skate Canada.

Wagner notched her fifth career Grand Prix series win (only Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen own more among U.S. women). Wagner joined Kwan as the only women to bag multiple Skate America and U.S. Championships titles.

The women Wagner must be compared with are Russian teens. Wagner ended a 10-year U.S. medal drought at worlds last year, but Russia still rules women’s skating.

None of the top Russians competed at Skate America. Wagner is slated to face 2015 World gold and bronze medalists Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Yelena Radionova at her next event, Cup of China, in four weeks.

The reigning world champion, Yevgenia Medvedeva, makes her Grand Prix season debut at Skate Canada next week. Medvedeva and Wagner could go head-to-head at the Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France, in December.

Earlier Saturday, Japan’s Shoma Uno topped the men’s short program with 89.15 points, landing one of his two quadruple jump attempts.

Uno, 18, was followed by the last two U.S. champions, Adam Rippon (87.32, no quads) and Jason Brown (85.75, fall on single quad attempt).

The men’s free skate is Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET (NBC and NBC Sports app).

MORE: 2016-17 figure skating season broadcast schedule

Simone Schaller, oldest living Olympian, dies at 104

FILE - In this July 15, 1936, file photo, Simone Schaller, lower right, waves with members of the United States women's Olympic track and field team as they depart for Europe on the SS Manhattan. Schaller, an American hurdler who competed at the 1932 and 1936 Summer Games and was believed to be the oldest living Olympian, died of natural causes Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016,  in the Arcadia, Calif., home she and her husband built when they married in the 1930s, her grandson Jeffrey Hardy said, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. She was 104. (AP Photo/File)
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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Simone Schaller, an American hurdler who competed at the 1932 and 1936 Summer Games and was believed to be the oldest living Olympian, has died. She was 104.

Grandson Jeffrey Hardy said Saturday that Schaller died of natural causes Thursday in the home she and her husband built when they married in the 1930s.

Schaller tied Babe Didrikson Zaharias for the world record in the first round of the 80-meter hurdles at the 1932 Los Angeles Games. Schaller finished fourth in the final behind Didrikson, who set another record. According to Olympic historian David Wallechinsky, Schaller had taken up hurdling only three months earlier.

At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Schaller made it to the semifinals.

She won the hurdles at the 1933 U.S. Championships. She was also an avid tennis player.

Schaller had three children, seven grandchildren, a dozen great-grandchildren and numerous great-great-grandchildren.

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