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April Ross changes plans for 2017

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April Ross will play beach volleyball in 2017 after all.

Ross had hoped to get pregnant this offseason, but those plans have changed, according to USA Volleyball and Ross’ agent.

Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings are planning to embark on their fourth full season together at the start of the FIVB World Tour calendar in February, Walsh Jennings’ agent said.

Ross, 34, said in September that if she didn’t get pregnant this offseason, she would try again next offseason, which would mean she would miss 2018, the only season in the cycle without a world championships or Olympics.

Ross and Walsh Jennings took bronze at the Rio Olympics, getting upset by Brazil’s No. 2 team, Agatha and Barbara, in the semifinals and beating Brazil’s top team, Larissa and Talita, in the bronze-medal match.

Something Ross and Walsh Jennings can work toward in 2017 are the world championships in Vienna, Austria, in July and August.

They fell in the round of 16 in their only other worlds appearance in 2015, when Walsh Jennings was playing for the first time since dislocating her right shoulder the month prior.

Walsh Jennings won three straight world titles with Misty May-Treanor in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Ross won the next world title with Jennifer Kessy in 2009. No U.S. men’s or women’s pair has won a world title since.

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WADA investigates report that 10,000 Chinese athletes doped

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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

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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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