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Anti-doping leaders call for blanket Russia sports ban

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A global group of anti-doping leaders is calling for Russian teams to be excluded from international competitions while establishing a process to allow individuals from the country to compete if they can prove they have taken part in effective anti-doping programs elsewhere.

Leaders from 19 national anti-doping organizations, including those in the United States, Britain and Sweden, held a summit this week and released their recommendations Tuesday.

They also call for removal of major international competitions from Russia, a process that already has begun in the wake of Part 2 of the McLaren doping report, which was released last month.

The McLaren report detailed state involvement in a widespread doping conspiracy that touched almost every corner of international sports. The details included a cover-up involving 12 medalists from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Since the report, track’s governing body, the IAAF, has set out guidelines under which Russians can compete as independent athletes if they can prove they’ve been subject to anti-doping regimens outside their own country.

The National Anti-Doping Organizations leaders recommend the same sort of process for all sports.

In a statement, the leaders said, “It is imperative that those responsible for Russia’s state-supported system are held accountable.”

MORE: Russia gymnastics star retires at 19

U.S. boblsedders remembering Steve Holcomb

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The memories are impossible to ignore. Justin Olsen sees him in the start house. Elana Meyers Taylor hears him on her track walks. Mentions of his name bring some members of the team to tears, and others still can’t fully open up about how difficult moving on has been.

NBCOlymipcs.com: 2018 U.S. Olympic bobsled team

It’s been nine months since Steven Holcomb died.

USA Bobsled is not over it, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Holcomb was the best bobsledder in U.S. history, and he was supposed to be at these PyeongChang Olympics for what likely would have been the final races of his career. Instead, the Americans will head to the start house at the Alpensia Sliding Center on Sunday for the first bobsled races of these games and face the nearly impossible task of doing as well as he would have done.

This season has been one struggle after another for the Americans. Nerves have been frayed all year. Results have been far from what the U.S. wanted or envisioned. Getting a third men’s sled to PyeongChang was a challenge until the final possible moment, something that certainly would not have been the case if Holcomb was still driving.

Read the rest of the story and watch live streams by clicking here 

Mikaela Shiffrin opens up on slalom disappointment

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The day after an winning an Olympic gold in the women’s the giant slalom, Shiffrin was widely expected to defend her gold medal in the slalom.

Shiffrin, failed to do so, finishing in fourth position. In what she considered to be her favorite event, the American came up short by just eight one-hundredths of a second of winning the bronze. The American even admitted to vomiting before she took to the course. 

The American took to Twitter earlier this morning giving fans more detail about the race that’s been lingering on her mind, and the nerves that overcame her.

Shiffrin continues to detail in the tweets below that, though not the result she wanted, she was proud of herself for showcasing the passion and love that she has for the sport and for the Olympic Games.

An athlete who is held to the highest of standards, and when one Olympic gold medal might feel like a minute failure from someone who has been expected to dominated these Olympic Games, Shiffrin expressed the gratitude she feels to be a part of the 2018 Olympics and to compete alongside athletes, many of whom will walk away without any medal whatsoever.

Shiffrin continued:

Shiffrin did not participate in the super-G, which was astonishingly won by Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka. The dual-athlete wore Shiffrin’s skis en route to her own Olympic memory.

The American is expected to be competing next in the women’s downhill, where qualification begins on Feb. 21. Lindsey Vonn is also expected to be competing in the downhill.