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WADA schedules Jamaica visit for anti-doping investigation

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The World Anti-Doping Agency will conduct its audit of Jamaica’s anti-doping program next week, according to reports out of the island nation.

The news came one day after a report was published quoting WADA’s president’s dissatisfaction with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) suggesting a visit not take place until the new year.

WADA officials will reportedly visit Jamaica on Monday and Tuesday.

On Oct. 14, The Associated Press reported that WADA was “concerned enough to investigate” Jamaica following reports that the nation’s anti-doping agency conducted one out-of-competition drug test in the five months leading to the 2012 Olympics.

The Telegraph reported that “non-compliance with the WADA Code” would be “the ultimate sanction” and that Jamaica is risking being banned from track and field’s biggest events, including the Olympics, until the situation is resolved.

“There are a number of options,” WADA president John Fahey told the newspaper. “You can read into that exactly what those words are likely to mean, but I don’t want to flag it up.”

The head of Jamaica’s track and field federation did not seem concerned that the likes of Usain Bolt could be barred from major international events such as the 2016 Olympics.

“I don’t think it’s a possibility at all,” Warren Blake told the Times of London, according to the Press Association. “What would London have been without Jamaica? What would 2012 have been without our athletes? It’s not going to happen.”

U.S. Olympian out of New York City Marathon

No NHL players means more mistakes and goals at Olympics

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Hockey is a game of mistakes and it’s on display in fine form at the Olympics.

It doesn’t look beautiful, of course, with players all outside the NHL turning the puck over for point-blank scoring chances or leaving opponents wide open in front. The talent level is lower, so the risk factors and the entertainment level are up. Goaltenders have to be on their toes for unexpected, game-saving stops even more than usual.

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“It’s a short tournament: A few mistakes can decide your fate,” Finland goaltender Karri Ramo said Saturday. “You try to create more than carry it out of the zone, so obviously teams are trying to keep the puck and create scoring chances, so those mistakes happen. You’re not going to win if you play safe.”

There’s not a whole lot of safe, low-risk play so far, and scoring has increased as a result. After each team played twice, games were averaging 5.1 goals, up from 4.7 in Sochi with NHL players on the rosters.

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Ligety exits quietly, Hirscher brilliant again

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian ski god, is finally having his moment. King of the World Cup tour for the past seven seasons, on Sunday Hirscher won his second Olympic gold, in the giant slalom.

Hirscher had won a grand total of no Olympic medals, nada, zip, zero in two prior Games. Now he might — could, should — win three here at PyeongChang. The slalom, another Hirscher specialty, is due to be run Thursday.

To watch Hirscher ski is to watch one of the great athletes of our — or any — time. Like being courtside in Chicago to see Michael Jordan back in the day. At Wimbledon for a Roger Federer volley. At the Water Cube in Beijing in 2008 when Michael Phelps was swimming the butterfly.

In Sunday’s race, Kristoffersen finished second, 1.27 seconds back of Hirscher. Pinturault finished third, 1.31 behind.

American racer Ted Ligety used to own this event: the Sochi 2014 giant slalom gold medalist, he was world champion in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Pinturault took Sochi 2014 bronze.

Considering his relatively low slalom ranking and the pounding that slalom demands, Sunday’s GS was — just like that, that quickly, that quietly — likely the final race of Ligety’s outstanding Olympic career.

“This is probably it for me at these Games,” he said after run two, adding that he is planning to head back to Europe, to race the remainder of the World Cup season.

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