A glimpse into the potential U.S. Olympic Team in cross-country skiing came with the announcement of the National Team on Monday.
Three-time Olympian Kikkan Randall highlights a six-skier “A” Team and 11 National Team members overall (full lists below).
Randall and Jessie Diggins, another “A” Team member, became the first Americans to win a world championship in the sport on Feb. 24 when they took the team spring in Val di Femme, Italy.
The other members of the “A” Team are 2010 Olympians Holly Brooks, Andy Newell and Liz Stephen and Ida Sargent.
The cross-country World Cup season opens Nov. 29 in Kuusamo, Finland. The U.S. Olympic Team will be named in late January, selected primarily off World Cup results.
At the Sochi Olympics, U.S. cross-country skiers will look to win the nation’s second Olympic medal in the sport after Bill Koch‘s silver in 1976.
How much could the Olympic team resemble the National Team?
In 2010, all six members of the “A” Team made the 11-member Olympic team. The other five U.S. Olympians included two “B” Team members and three skiers who were not on the National Team.
Sochi Olympic torch relay reaches North Pole
If it is eligible for the Rio Olympics, Russia’s track and field federation (ARAF) said Tuesday it will not send any athletes convicted of doping in previous years to the Games.
The move was made as Russia’s track and field federation hopes to be reinstated to international competition on June 17 after it was suspended indefinitely in November for doping violations.
“The ARAF presidium has introduced amendments to the criteria of selecting athletes who will go to the Olympics,” a statement read Tuesday, according to a Russian news agency TASS translation. “The list of requirements now contains a special clause saying that any potential participant in the Olympics who proved to have used doping in the previous years cannot be a member of the Russian national team. The ARAF made this harsh decision for the sole purpose of doing its utmost to let clean athletes participate in the Olympics.”
The statement came after Russia media reported 11 Russian track and field athletes from the 2008 Beijing Games, including eight medalists, are among 31 athletes from 12 nations across six sports whose 2008 doping samples retested recently came up positive.
London Olympic high jump champion Anna Chicherova is on that list of 11 athletes.
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London Olympic high jump champion Anna Chicherova is one of many Russians among 31 athletes overall who tested positive in recent retests of Beijing Olympic samples, according to Russian news agency TASS.
TASS named nine 2008 Olympic medalists among 14 Russian athletes, citing a Russian TV report, including eight medalists in track and field, with Chicherova being the superstar of the group.
“Three days ago, Anna received a notice that her doping sample from the Beijing Olympic tested positive after a re-check, and she called me,” Chicherova’s coach said, according to TASS. “So far, this is at the development stage and this has not yet been finally confirmed. But all are aware of this and are dealing with the issue.”
Last week, the International Olympic Committee said 31 unnamed athletes from 12 nations across six sports failed drug tests in retesting of 454 samples from 2008 using the latest drug-testing methods.
Chicherova, 33, took high jump gold at the London Games and bronze in Beijing. She is one of two track and field athletes to earn an individual-event medal at the last five World Championships and last two Olympics. The other is Usain Bolt.
Chicherova, who has had no previously widespread reported doping history, would be one of Russia’s top Olympic track and field medal hopes in Rio, should the ban on Russian track and field athletes competing be lifted before the Games.
Russia is expected to learn if it will be allowed to send a track and field team to Rio on June 17.
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