Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner in Grand Prix Final fight after finishing behind Russians at Trophee Bompard (video)

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Ashley Wagner finished third after a flawed free skate at Trophee Bompard on Saturday, putting her hopes of making a third straight Grand Prix Final in jeopardy.

Wagner, who finished seventh at the Sochi Olympics and March’s World Championships, fell on a triple flip but managed to keep her standing from Friday’s short program in Bordeaux, France. She held one of her arms across her stomach as she walked to and sat in the kiss-and-cry area.

“I just don’t want to puke,” Wagner said as she waited for her score (177.74 points). “That’s way better [of a score] than I thought it was going to be.”

Russian Yelena Radionova won for the second time in five Grand Prix series events with 203.92 points. Radionova, who is 15 years old and was too young for the Sochi Olympics, became the first woman to crack 200 points this Grand Prix season.

Another Russian, Yulia Lipnitskaya, took second. Lipnitskaya was the star of the Sochi Olympic team event, helping Russia win gold.

Radionova, Lipnitskaya and countrywomen Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Anna Pogorilaya have qualified for four of the six spots in the Grand Prix Final in three weeks in Barcelona.

The field for the Grand Prix Final, the top annual international competition outside the World Championships, is made up of the top skaters from the Grand Prix series’ six events. The series concludes with NHK Trophy in Japan next week.

Wagner could make her third straight Grand Prix Final but must wait to see what happens at NHK Trophy. Only one other U.S. woman has made three straight Grand Prix Finals, Michelle Kwan.

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will air Trophee Bompard coverage Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

Trophee Bompard women’s results
1. Yelena Radionova (JPN) — 203.92
2. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 185.18
3. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 177.74
4. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 172.58
7. Samantha Cesario (USA) — 161.7

Leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 203.92 (Trophee Bompard)
2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 196.6 (Cup of China)
3. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 195.47 (Skate America)
4. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 191.81 (Skate Canada)
5. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 189.62 (Skate America)
6. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 186 (Skate Canada)
7. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 185.18 (Trophee Bompard)
8. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 181.75 (Skate Canada)
9. Gracie Gold (USA) — 179.38 (Skate America)
10. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 178 (Rostelecom Cup)
Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova is out with a torn ankle ligament.

U.S. leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Ashley Wagner — 186 (Skate Canada)
2. Gracie Gold — 179.38 (Skate America)
3. Ashley Wagner — 177.74 (Trophee Bompard)
4. Samantha Cesario — 174.58 (Skate America)
5. Courtney Hicks — 174.51 (Skate Canada)
6. Courtney Hicks — 172.58 (Trophee Bompard)
7. Mirai Nagasu — 165.88 (Rostelecom Cup)
8. Samantha Cesario — 161.7 (Trophee Bompard)
9. Polina Edmunds — 161.27 (Cup of China)

Grand Prix Final qualifiers
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS)
2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS)
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS)
4. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS)
5. TBD
6. TBD

Fighting for final two Grand Prix Final spots
1. Ashley Wagner (USA)
2. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
3. Gracie Gold (USA)
4. Kanako Murakami (JPN)
5. Polina Edmunds (USA)

If Miyahara, Gold, Murakami or Edmunds wins NHK Trophy, she will make the Grand Prix Final.

If one of those four wins NHK Trophy and one of Miyahara, Gold and Murakami finishes second, the second-place finisher and Wagner will go to a tiebreaker for the last Grand Prix Final spot. The tiebreaker is which skater has a higher combined point total from their two events this season (Wagner led that tiebreaker after the four skaters’ first events).

If none of those four wins NHK Trophy (such as Russian Alena Leonova winning), Wagner will make the Grand Prix Final. In that scenario, if Miyahara, Gold or Murakami finishes second, she will also make the Grand Prix Final.

Adam Jones, five-time MLB All-Star, becomes Olympic eligible

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Should the U.S. qualify for baseball’s Olympic return, a five-time MLB All-Star could be eligible for its roster in Tokyo. And he has interest.

Outfielder Adam Jones signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s domestic league, which, unlike MLB, will take an Olympic break next summer to allow players to take part in the first Olympic baseball tournament in 12 years.

Jones, 34, made no mention of Olympic eligibility in a social media post announcing the signing. His Instagram avatar is a photo of him in a Team USA jersey from the World Baseball Classic.

Jones’ agent later said that Jones does have interest in playing for the U.S. in Tokyo, should an American team qualify in the spring.

“To play over in Japan has always been a desire of Adam’s, and the timing worked out that the Olympics happens to be played in Tokyo the first year of his contract,” Jones’ agent wrote in an email. “It wasn’t one of the factors on his decision BUT more of a [sic] addition to the overall package to decide to go.”

Jones called being part of the U.S.’ 2017 WBC title, “probably the best experience of my life so far, especially with sports,” according to The Associated Press. He was one of five players to be on the U.S. team at each of the last two World Baseball Classics.

The U.S. still faces a difficult task to qualify for the Tokyo Games. It lost to Mexico last month in its first of up to three chances at qualifying tournaments, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.

Major Leaguers are not expected to be made available for qualifying or for the Tokyo Games.

The next two qualifying tournaments will be in late March (an Americas qualifier in Arizona) and early April (a final, global qualifying event in Chinese Taipei). It remains to be seen how MLB clubs will go about releasing minor leaguers for a tournament that will take place during spring training.

Jones could become the third player with prior MLB All-Star experience to compete at the Olympics from any nation, joining Australian catcher Dave Nilsson and Canadian pitcher Jason Dickson.

Jones made five All-Star teams during an 11-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles from 2008-18 before playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

Many players competed at the Olympics before making an MLB All-Star team, including Stephen Strasburg and Jason Giambi.

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Russia boxers to boycott Olympics if sanctions not lifted

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Russian boxers will only take part in the Tokyo Olympics if doping sanctions forcing them to compete as neutral athletes are overturned, the general secretary of the Russian Boxing Federation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Umar Kremlev said he has spoken with the Olympic boxing team and they “unanimously” rejected the conditions laid out by the World Anti-Doping Agency as punishment for manipulating doping data.

The WADA sanctions, announced on Monday, ban the use of the Russian team name, flag or anthem at a range of major sports competitions over the next four years, including next year’s Olympics.

“They said we won’t go without our flag and anthem,” Kremlev said. “We aren’t going for medals, but for that feeling that I brought the highest honor home for my country.”

Separately, the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament said Russia could create an alternative to the Olympics.

“This ruling show the clear crisis in international sports institutions. I believe that Russia could host its own games at home,” Valentina Matvienko said in comments reported by the Interfax news agency.

There is a precedent. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union refused to compete in the Olympics and hosted its own Spartakiads — named after the ancient rebel slave Spartacus — with a strong socialist slant. However, the Soviet Union began competing at the Olympics in 1952 and Russians generally take great pride in the country’s Olympic achievements since then.

If the sanctions aren’t overturned, Kremlev said Russian boxers would prefer to turn pro rather than compete at the Olympics.

“A world champion (in professional boxing) is better known than an Olympic champion,” Kremlev said, adding the Russian anthem would be played before pro title fights.

Kremlev said boxers are being asked to shoulder the blame for offenses committed in other sports. He said they would still stay at home even if Russia’s athletes in other sports decided to take part.

“If other sports are guilty and people have breached the WADA code, why are we punished?” he said. “We are for honest sport and against doping. We want our sport to be clean … If someone breaks the rules, we push them out.”

Russia is a major power in amateur and Olympic boxing. It hosted both men’s and women’s world championships this year, finishing at the top of the medals table at the women’s event and second in the men’s championships. The International Olympic Committee has taken direct charge of boxing at the Tokyo Olympics after criticizing chronic financial problems and infighting at the International Boxing Association.

Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov talked up Russia’s chances of overturning the WADA sanctions.

“I think that there is every basis to appeal the decision, because our experts have presented their position, and they have the same database as WADA does,” Kolobkov said in comments reported by state news agency TASS. “There is an answer to every question and the whole process is ahead of us.”

The official decision on whether to dispute the sanctions will be made on Dec. 19 by the Russian anti-doping agency’s supervisory board, but senior figures, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, have signaled their preference for taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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