Meryl Davis, Charlie White

Gold, Davis/White lead after short programs at U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

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Gracie Gold fell, but so did the other top Americans in the women’s short program at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.

Gold, 18, the U.S. silver medalist, scored a 58.49, good enough for a two-point lead despite losing her landing on a double axel and looking a little off on triple jumps.

“I think that I fought for the jumps, but I don’t feel like I had to fight for any of the spins,” Gold said, according to the U.S. Figure Skating Association. “I think I was just pretty nervous today.”

She leads over U.S. bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki, who fell on a planned triple-triple combination at the start of her skate. Zawadzki scored a 56.27 (full results below). The free skate is Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Ice dancing also began Friday. Reigning Olympic silver medalists and world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White posted their highest short dance score at a season-opening event, a 73.67.

The pairs and men’s free skates were scheduled for later Friday.

In the women’s short program, Americans Courtney Hicks and Samantha Cesario, making their senior international debuts, scored 54.80 and 47.91, respectively, for third and fifth place. Both had trouble with triple-triple combinations and double axels.

Cesario, U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and Caroline Zhang are entered in Skate America, the first Grand Prix event of the season, Oct. 18-20 in Detroit. The U.S. women will compete for three spots on the Olympic team at nationals in Boston in January.

Ice dancers Davis and White, who skated to music from “My Fair Lady,” lead by a comfortable 11 points over Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje going into Saturday’s free dance (8 p.m. ET). Weaver and Poje were fifth at the World Championships in March.

“It’s still really early in the season, and we can’t go out there kind of on autopilot like we can later in the season and just enjoy the process,” Davis said. “We really have to think through everything, which is OK.”

1. Gracie Gold (USA) 58.49
2. Agnes Zawadzki (USA) 56.27
3. Courtney Hicks (USA) 54.80
4. Amelie Lacosta (CAN) 50.94
5. Samantha Cesario (USA) 47.91
6. Sandy Hoffman (GER) 44.31
7. Melanie Yuung-Hui Chang (TPE) 41.62
8. Chelsea Chiappa (HUN) 35.17
9. Crystal Kiang (TPE) 33.73
10. Georgia Glastris (GRE) 31.55
11. Dimitra Korri (GRE) 31.36
12. Danielle Montalbano (ISR) 30.56
13. Clara Peters (IRL) 29.86
14. Brittany Lau (SIN) 27.79

Ice Dance
1. Davis/White (USA) 73.67
2. Weaver/Poje (CAN) 62.61
3. Orford/Williams (CAN) 54.64
4. Coomes/Buckland (GBR) 53.97
5. Zlobina/Sitnikov (AZE) 53.75
6. Kriengkrairut/Giuletti-Schmitt (USA) 53.03
7. Tobias/Deividas (LTU) 48.17
8. Cannuscio/McManus (USA) 48.07
9. Polutowska/Gerber (POL) 46.15
10. Reed/Rogov (ISR) 45.23
11. Telegina/Japaridze (GEO) 42.25
12. Bernardi/Mior (ITA) 41.15
13. Aronow/Brubaker (USA) 38.01
14. Maekawa/Maekawa (MEX) 35.58

U.S. figure skater aided by mime coach

Six more Olympic medalists stripped in Beijing 2008 retests

BEIJING - AUGUST 08:  The Olympic flame is lit by Li Ning, former Olympic gymnast for China, during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Nine more athletes, including six medal winners, have been retroactively disqualified from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after failing retests of their doping samples.

The International Olympic Committee announced the decisions on Wednesday in the latest sanctions imposed on athletes whose stored samples came back positive after being retested with improved methods.

Four athletes from former Soviet countries were stripped of silver medals, and two of bronze medals. The medals were in weightlifting, wrestling and steeplechase.

The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years to allow them to be reanalyzed when enhanced techniques become available.

The IOC recorded a total of 98 positive cases in recent resting of samples from Beijing and the 2012 London Olympics.

VIDEO: Yao Ming reflects on Beijing Olympics

Rory McIlroy says Olympic participation still ‘complicated,’ ‘difficult’

HAINAN ISLAND, CHINA - NOVEMBER 23:  Graeme McDowell (R) and Rory McIlroy of Ireland walk behind a flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at the Mission Hills' Blackstone Course on November 23, 2011 in Hainan Island, China.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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Rory McIlroy has said he was proven wrong about golf’s place in the Olympics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s keen on the 2020 Tokyo Games after skipping Rio.

The four-time major champion was asked Wednesday if he had any plans to play in the next Olympics and called it a “tough question.”

“The participation in the Olympics for me, it’s just a little more complicated I feel for me than some other people from where I’m from and the whole politics of the thing,” McIlroy said. “It’s a difficult subject for me.”

McIlroy is from Northern Ireland, which does not have a separate delegation at the Olympics. That led to a scrutinized decision for McIlroy, who had to choose in 2014 between representing Great Britain and Ireland for golf’s Olympic return in Rio.

McIlroy opted for Ireland, which he represented at the World Cup of Golf in 2009 and 2011.

“I don’t know whether it’s been because the World Cup has been in Brazil and I’ve been thinking a couple of years down the line,” McIlroy reportedly said in June 2014. “Thinking about all the times that I played as an amateur for Ireland and as a boy and everything, I think for me it’s the right decision to play for Ireland in 2016.”

Golf’s place in the Olympics is not guaranteed beyond 2020, so Tokyo may be McIlroy’s last opportunity.

“Four years’ time is a long ways away, so we’ll see what happens,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “Right now, I’ll concentrate on the 16 majors that we have between now and then and try to get a few more of those and go from there.”

MORE: Tim Finchem eyes Olympic golf change in 2020