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Nesta Carter testifies in relay medal appeal; court sets verdict timing

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter has testified at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal against disqualification from the 2008 Olympics in a doping case that cost Usain Bolt a 4x100m relay gold medal.

Carter shielded his face from media on arriving at sport’s highest court on Wednesday for a closed-doors hearing that ended around seven hours later.

The court said lawyers for Carter and the International Olympic Committee would submit further documents to the judging panel, which was expected to reach a verdict early in 2018.

The 32-year-old Carter is challenging his disqualification imposed by the IOC for a positive test for a banned stimulant.

Carter tested positive for methylhexaneamine last year in a reanalysis program of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The case spoiled Bolt’s perfect Olympic record of three gold medals — in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m — at three consecutive Games from 2008 through 2016.

Carter and Bolt were relay teammates in Beijing, where Jamaica won in a world record of 37.10 seconds. Carter ran the opening leg, and Bolt took the baton third in a team that also included Michael Frater and Asafa Powell.

Carter also teamed with Bolt on three straight world championships relay-winning teams, from 2011 through 2015. They were also teammates when Jamaica set another 4x100m world record at the 2012 London Games, running 36.84.

Dozens of athletes tested positive for banned drugs in an IOC-ordered reanalysis program using new and more accurate tests on samples stored since the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The majority of more than 110 cases involved steroids and athletes from the former Soviet republics. Carter’s case was the only one involving Jamaica.

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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 due to ankle and knee injuries suffered in a Nov. 9 practice 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 the 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 skater this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Matt, Becca Hamilton are first U.S. Olympic mixed doubles curling team

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A brother and sister from Wisconsin will be the busiest athletes at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

A month ago the Hamilton siblings, Matt and Becca, qualified to compete at the Olympics with the U.S. men’s and women’s curling teams, and today they also qualified to play as a mixed doubles team.

With a win over two of their teammates, John Shuster (skip of Matt’s four-man team) and Cory Christensen (alternate on Becca’s four-woman team), at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for mixed doubles curling, the Hamiltons earned the opportunity to curl on potentially every day of the Olympics.

The Hamiltons will start their Olympic competitions with the mixed doubles tournament on Thursday, Feb. 8, the day before the the Opening Ceremony marks the official beginning of the Olympics. When mixed doubles wraps up on Tuesday the 13th, they’ll start playing separately in the men’s and women’s tournaments on Wednesday the 14th. The traditional curling tournaments go until Sunday, Feb. 25, the day of the Closing Ceremony.

Of course, if one of their teams doesn’t advance past the round-robin rounds to the semifinals and medal games, they’ll have some time off. But if they do go all the way to the gold medal matches, it’ll mean 18 straight days of competition for the Hamiltons.

Matt and Becca showed their readiness during the Olympic Trials. They had the second-best record of the round-robin stage, 5-2, then beat Shuster and Christensen twice in two days to win the Olympic berth. The score of the final was 6-5.

After the match, the siblings–who say their partnership works because they can be brutally honest on the ice–had nothing but kind words for each other.

Becca, the younger Hamilton by a year and a half, said her older brother “taught me everything I know.”

Matt then said of Becca, “it’s been impressive to watch her grow up and become the superstar she is now.”

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