Anna Chicherova
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Russia’s Anna Chicherova stripped of 2008 Olympic bronze medal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian high jumper Anna Chicherova was stripped of her bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics on Thursday, the latest athlete sanctioned after the retesting of stored doping samples.

Chicherova, who won the gold medal at the 2012 London Games, tested positive for turinabol and has been retroactively disqualified from Beijing, the International Olympic Committee said.

The Russian Olympic Committee should secure the return of her bronze medal “as soon as possible,” the IOC said.

The IOC also asked track’s governing body, the IAAF, to consider any further sanctions against the 34-year-old Chicherova, who is still active but could face a two-year ban.

Another Russian – Yelena Slesarenko – finished fourth in the high jump in Beijing. She stands to move up to the bronze if the IOC decides to reallocate the medals.

The IOC ruling made no mention of Chicherova’s gold medal from London, which appears to be unaffected. She told Russian media earlier this year that retests of her 2012 sample came back negative.

The IAAF said it would cancel all of Chicherova’s results from 2008 to 2010, including her silver medal at the 2009 world championships in Berlin. Chicherova won gold at the 2011 worlds.

The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years to allow for them to be reanalyzed when improved testing methods become available. The new tests can detect the use of steroids going back weeks and months, rather than days.

The IOC has recorded 98 positive cases in recent retests of more than 1,000 samples from Beijing and London.

The IOC’s 22-page written decision in the Chicherova case cited a pattern of delay and obstruction by the athlete and her legal team.

“The IOC first noted that the athlete and her counsel had been deliberately attempting to obstruct the process, first the analytical process and then the disciplinary proceedings,” the ruling said.

The IOC also noted that turinabol “was a doping substance commonly used in Russia in the concerned period.”

Chicherova won the high jump at the Russian nationals in June, clearing 1.98 meters.

She would have been a potential medal contender at the Rio Games. The IAAF banned the Russian track team – apart from U.S.-based long jumper Darya Klishina – from the games over allegations of state-sponsored doping.

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

“We are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play,” the U.S. players said in a statement.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

“We ask that they approve the original agreement that, the players believed, was acceptable to both parties after Monday’s meeting,” the players said in a statement. “Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship.”

Neither side has said when the next meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set