Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp has been drug tested 19 times this year; more USADA numbers

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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has updated its athlete drug-testing history statistics with all in- and out-of-competition tests under its program from the second quarter of 2013.

Galen Rupp has been tested more than any other U.S. athlete this year, according to the statistics. The distance runner was tested 19 times in six months, four more than swimmer Missy Franklin and six more than Nike Oregon Project partner Dathan Ritzenhein and another swimmer, Ryan Lochte.

The testing statistics are more notable this quarter than others given recent drug-testing news. USADA reported a total of 1,818 in- and out-of-competition tests over a three-month period. Sports Illustrated reported Jamaica’s anti-doping commission conducted one total out-of-competition test during the same period last year.

Then there’s the fact that two of the top four tested athletes in 2013 are Nike Oregon Project runners. Earlier this week, the Telegraph published a story with comments from Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar about people questioning his top runner, Britain’s Mo Farah.

“It bothers me when people question my integrity,” Salazar told the newspaper. “But the way I look at it, if you don’t want people to say things about you, go run real crappy and then nobody will talk about you. At this level, we know we’re clean. We know we’re never going to test positive for anything. No way in the world. I have a clear conscience.”

Tyson Gay, who has reportedly failed multiple drug tests this year, was tested seven times in the second quarter of 2013, the period during which he failed at least one out-of-competition test.

Lindsey Vonn was the subject of headlines for being tested at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards in June, but that was just one of her three out-of-competition tests during the three-month period. Shaun White was not tested once, but that’s not a surprise given his season was over and no skier or snowboarder was tested more than three times.

Back to Rupp. He was tested 17 times all of last year in USADA’s statistics. The most tested U.S. athlete of 2012? Triathlete Matt Chrabot with 25.

It’s also interesting to look at who was or wasn’t tested when considering retirement announcements. Some athletes will retire but keep their name in drug-testing pools in case they reconsider. It can be a months-long process to get back into competition if an athlete retires and takes his or her name out of testing pools.

Michael Phelps has yet to be tested in 2013, keeping in line with his retirement. Two other athletes who have retired, swimmer Peter Vanderkaay and short track speedskater Katherine Reutter, were both tested in the last three months. This doesn’t mean that Vanderkaay and Reutter are contemplating comebacks, but that they could come back with less hassle if they wanted to.

You can search USADA’s database of drug-testing statistics here.

WADA says it will investigate Jamaica’s drug testing

Ashley Wagner tops Skate America short program

ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 21: Ashley Wagner competes in the Ladies' Short Program at the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championship on January 21, 2016 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Ashley Wagner picked up from where she left off last season, topping the Skate America short program Friday night.

Wagner, the world championships silver medalist, tallied 69.50 points in the Grand Prix opener, landing all of her jumps in Hoffman Estates, Ill. She leads Japan’s Mai Mihara, who scored 65.75.

“There were a couple of things that weren’t quite perfect,” Wagner told media.

U.S. champion Gracie Gold fell on a triple flip. She’s in third place with 64.87. Full results are here.

“I had a hiccup on the triple flip,” Gold said. “Overall, it felt really good.”

Japan’s Mao Asada, a three-time world champion, was fifth after performing a triple-double jump combination rather than a triple-triple.

The free skate is Saturday, live on NBC and the NBC Sports app at 4:30 p.m. ET (full broadcast schedule here).

The last U.S. woman to win Skate America was Wagner in 2012.

Wagner and Gold are competing in their first full individual competitions since April’s world championships, when Gold fell from first after the short program to finish fourth.

Wagner climbed from fourth after the worlds short program to finish second and end a 10-year U.S. women’s podium drought at the Olympics and world championships.

MORE: Scott Hamilton diagnosed with brain tumor for third time

Scott Hamilton diagnosed with brain tumor for third time

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03:  Former figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton onstage during A Capitol Fourth - Rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, on July 3, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)
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Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton said he was diagnosed with a benign pituitary brain tumor for a third time.

Hamilton, who took gold in Sarajevo in 1984, underwent chemotherapy to treat testicular cancer in 1997 and was twice previously diagnosed with brain tumors and had surgery, in 2004 and 2010.

“I didn’t have any symptoms, I just went in for my normal check-up, and they found the beginnings of the brain tumor coming back,” the 58-year-old Hamilton said. “I have a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness. … It’s six years later, and it decided that it wanted an encore.”

From People magazine:

Hamilton learned of the tumor at a routine check-up and is currently exploring all his treatment options before symptoms begin presenting.

“I’ll tell anybody that will listen: If you’re ever facing anything, get as many diagnoses as you possibly can,” he says. “The more you truly understand what you’re up against, the better decision you’re going to make.”

Hamilton was in New York on Friday to promote U.S. Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign.

“It’s all about shrugging it off, whatever’s going on, whether it be bullying at school, whether it be a setback in health, you just get up,” Hamilton said. “Not only to bring the young people that love skating together, but to bring the broader population into the fold.”

Hamilton said that surviving cancer was the moment in his life that he most associated with the “Get Up” campaign.

“Chemotherapy for months was devastating, but it’s endurable,” Hamilton said. “I don’t want to scare anybody from being treated for cancer, because I’m here, 20 years later, but the surgery afterwards was 38 staples, and I’m a little person. Getting up, getting back on the ice and performing again, quickly, was kind of my ‘Get Up’ moment.”

MORE: 2016-17 figure skating season broadcast schedule