Tina Weirather

Tina Weirather wins St. Moritz super-G; top American 16th

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Back in Europe, the U.S. women’s speed team earned, at best, a mixed bag of results in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Saturday.

Stacey Cook led the American contingent in 16th place in the third super-G of the World Cup season, nearly two seconds behind winner Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein. Swede Kajsa Kling was second, followed by Austrian Anna Fenninger.

On Sunday, the U.S. put two women in the top 10 of the Lake Louise, Alberta, super-G — Lindsey Vonn and Leanne Smith. Vonn is skipping this weekend’s races but has set the next time she will compete.

Smith failed to finish the course Saturday.

Cook, who was fourth in last season’s downhill standings, posted her best World Cup super-G result since March 13, 2008. She was 18th in Sunday’s Lake Louise super-G.

“I’ve just been on a mission all summer to get better at super-G,” Cook said. “I’ve been OK at it for too long, and I’m ready to step it up. The big move-ups are the first step. I’m trying to get in that top-30 starting position and get some better starts and then hopefully some top-10s, maybe top-fives by the end of the year.”

Julia Mancuso, who was one of the world’s top three super-G skiers the last three seasons, continued her early season struggles by finishing 20th. Her results in eight overall races this season: 27, 20, 29, DNF, 26, 21, 17, 20.

Laurenne Ross recorded a run that would have put her outside the top 30, but she was disqualified.

Meanwhile, Weirather, 24, continued her ascent in speed events with her second career World Cup win. She’s now made the podium in four of the last five World Cup races and has posted no worse than the fifth fastest time in the seven races she has finished this season.

Weirather moved up to second in the World Cup overall standings behind Swiss Lara Gut, who finished seventh Saturday, and is looking like a medal contender in at least downhill and super-G at the Olympics.

The women’s Alpine World Cup continues with a giant slalom Sunday.

St. Moritz super-G
1. Tina Weirather (LIE) 1:17.38
2. Kajsa Kling (SWE) 1:17.69
3. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:17.77
4. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1:18.30
5. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 1:18.35
6. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN) 1:18.42
7. Lara Gut (SUI) 1:18.50
8. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) 1:18.51
9. Tessa Worley (FRA) 1:18.53
10. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) 1:18.72
16. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:19.12
20. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:19.30
DQ. Laurenne Ross (USA)
DNF. Leanne Smith (USA)
DNS. Megan McJames (USA)

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WADA investigates report that 10,000 Chinese athletes doped

AP
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BERLIN (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency is looking into allegations made by a German broadcaster that Chinese athletes benefited from systematic doping in the 1980s and 90s.

“The allegations were brought forward by former Chinese physician, Xue Yinxian, who is said to have looked after several national teams in China during the decades in question,” WADA said Monday.

Xue, who recently arrived in Germany and is seeking political asylum with her son, told broadcaster ARD that more than 10,000 athletes were affected, some as young as 11, and that anyone who was against doping was considered “a danger to the country. And anyone who endangered the country is now in prison.”

The 79-year-old Xue said she lost her job with the national gymnastics team after refusing to treat an athlete with doping substances before the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She said she had not felt safe in her home city of Beijing since 2012, when she first made her allegations of doping. She first started working with China’s national teams in the 1970s.

“In the 1980s and ’90s, Chinese athletes on the national teams made extensive use of doping substances,” she told ARD. “Medals were showered in doping. Gold, silver and bronze. All international medals should be withdrawn.”

WADA said it will examine “whether such a system may have prevailed beyond these decades.”

The first step, WADA said, was for its “independent intelligence and investigations team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.”

Xue, who continued to work at lower levels after being dismissed from the national team in 1988, said she was only approached afterward when athletes developed problems because of the substances they were given.

“One trainer came to me and said, ‘Doctor Xue, the boys’ breasts keep getting bigger,’” Xue said. “These boys were about 13 to 14 years old.”

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PyeongChang Olympic organizers downplay North Korea concern

AP
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ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) — PyeongChang Olympic organizers played down concern over ongoing tensions with North Korea and also say work has been completed on all venues for the Winter Games.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang organizing committee, said the International Olympic Committee has made it very clear that the Feb. 9-25 Winter Games will go ahead as scheduled.

Speaking at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics shortly after the last rehearsal for Tuesday’s official flame-lighting ceremony, Lee said “there is no Plan B.”

Lee said South Korean officials are working closely with all relevant parties to ensure the Winter Games are safe and secure.

He said his main concern for the Olympics is the weather.

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