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French Open finalist blames mother’s breast cancer medication for failed drug test

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LONDON (AP) — Former French Open finalist Sara Errani must serve a two-month doping ban after testing positive for the banned substance letrozole in a test taken in February, the International Tennis Federation said on Monday.

Errani blamed contamination from her mother’s breast cancer medication.

“I never took, in my life and during my career, any prohibited substance,” Errani said in a statement. “I am extremely disappointed but at the same time at peace with my conscience and aware I haven’t done anything wrong.”

An adjudication panel ruled that Errani’s fault was “at the lower end of the scale,” but that she should still be banned for two months from Aug. 3.

The Italian has also been retroactively disqualified from tournaments from Feb. 16 through June 7. Her only notable performance in that period was a semifinal in Rabat, Morocco, in May, plus a second-round loss at Roland Garros.

Errani’s ban will end on Oct. 2, precluding her from playing in the U.S. Open.

Errani reached the 2012 French Open final, losing to Maria Sharapova, and has completed a career grand slam in women’s doubles with Roberta Vinci.

The 98th-ranked Errani has won nine singles titles and 25 doubles titles in her WTA career. She reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 5 in 2013.

She also helped Italy to three Fed Cup titles.

Team USA Opening Ceremony uniforms have heaters

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The U.S. Olympic team uniforms for the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony contain heating components that will last up to 11 hours.

Ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani and bobsledder Aja Evans wore the uniforms on TODAY on Monday.

The heat technology will come in handy.

The PyeongChang Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9 (live streaming on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app) will be outdoors, likely in below-freezing temperatures.

From USA Today:

“The athletes can set the temperature (there are three settings) via their cellphones. The heat can last up to five hours on the high setting and 11 hours on the low setting, fully charged.”

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Jamaica misses Olympic men’s bobsled by one spot

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The only Jamaican bobsled team in PyeongChang will be its women’s bobsled team.

Jamaica missed qualifying a two-man bobsled team for the Olympics by one spot in rankings finalized last week.

Jamaica still had a chance to sneak into the 30-sled Olympic field if one of the qualified nations declined a spot, but that didn’t happen.

The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation made it official Monday, publishing the Olympic fields for each event.

At least one Jamaican men’s sled competed in every Olympics from 1988 through 2002, then again in 2014.

Sochi driver Winston Watts retired, but a new team was formed in this Olympic cycle that included former Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals running back Michael Blair.

New driver Seldwyn Morgan competed on the lower-level North American Cup the last three seasons with a top finish of seventh.

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