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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.

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

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Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard mourns after 17-year-old aerials skier found dead

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Mikey Lillis, a 17-year-old aerials skier, died in his sleep at his home in East Rochester, N.Y., overnight Saturday, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

“We are a family, and as a family our entire team grieves for Mikey, his own family and his teammates,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a statement. “We’ll remember him for the pathway he was following and the goals he was beginning to achieve. Our condolences go out to his parents Bernie and Jamie and the entire Lillis family.”

Lillis was working his way to join his two older brothers at the elite international level. He made three podiums on the Nor-Am Cup tour between the last two seasons.

Jon Lillis, 23, is the reigning world champion in aerials. Chris Lillis, 19, won the FIS Rookie of the Year award last season with four top-10 finishes on the World Cup.