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Russian Olympic biathlete banned at worlds due to Sochi doping report

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HOCHFILZEN, Austria (AP) — Ekaterina Glazyrina of Russia was suspended on suspicion of doping by the International Biathlon Union, hours before she was to race at the world championships on Friday.

Glazyrina was suspended based on a report by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren. He accused the national anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, and a drug-testing lab of covering up hundreds of failed tests.

The IBU said “several samples of the athlete may have contained prohibited substances, and doping controls conducted by RUSADA may have been tampered (with).”

The 29-year-old Glazyrina was to compete in the sprint race, and was replaced by teammate Irina Uslugina.

Glazyrina raced but did not win a medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where Russian officials are accused of swapping drug test samples.

Her suspension comes in a difficult week for the IBU, which was pressured by athletes into holding a congress to discuss toughening doping penalties. Following that, the IBU board said it plans to take the 2021 world championships away from Russia.

Separately, Austrian police raided the Kazakhstan team’s hotel late Wednesday and seized medical equipment and drugs as part of an investigation into possible breaches of anti-doping law.

Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Japan Figure Skating Championships

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, will miss his national championships this week after suffering ankle and knee injuries this fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to Japan’s three-man Olympic team despite missing nationals.

Hanyu has reportedly been off the ice for more than one month since a Nov. 9 practice fall.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said last week, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 on Dec. 7, fell on a quadruple Lutz attempted and then favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October.

Chen is the only undefeated male singles skater this season.

Hanyu won four straight national titles before missing last season’s event with the flu.

He was still named to Japan’s team for worlds, where he won his second title in four years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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