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Six Russian hockey players banned from Olympics for life

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Six skaters on Russia’s Sochi Olympic women’s hockey team — including its captain and leading points scorer — were banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC.

The Russian team that lost in the Sochi Olympic quarterfinals was also retroactively disqualified as a whole.

The IOC announced the decision Tuesday as part of its ongoing sanctions against Russian athletes committing doping violations at the Sochi Winter Games.

Captain and leading points scorer Yekaterina Smolentseva, a four-time Olympian, was among the six players banned.

The others were Inna Dyubanok, Yekaterina Lebedeva, Yekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova and Galina Skiba.

That makes 31 Russian athletes retroactively disqualified from the Sochi Olympics (not including the rest of the hockey players part of the disqualified team who haven’t been implicated in doping).

Russia is now the first nation to have 100 athletes disqualified from the Olympics all-time, according to Olympic historians.

The Russian women’s hockey team is the first team in any sport from any nation to be disqualified from an Olympics since 1948, according to Olympic historians.

The full IOC press release is here.

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MORE: List of Russia Olympic medals stripped; new Sochi medal standings

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon

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Watch the world’s best distance runners chase world records at the London Marathon, live on NBCSN and commercial free on the NBC Sports Gold “Track and Field Pass” for subscribers on Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

NBCSN coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon
NBCSN coverage — STREAM LINK
NBC Sports Gold commercial free — STREAM LINK

Sunday’s race start times (ET)
3:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
4:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
4:15 – Elite Women’s Race
5:00 – Elite Men’s Race, Mass Race

The men’s field features arguably the two greatest distance runners of all time — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge, the Rio Olympic marathon champ, ran the fastest marathon ever recorded — 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-two-hour attempt last May in non-record-eligible conditions.

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history under legal conditions, having run six seconds shy of Kenyan Dennis Kimetto‘s world record of 2:02:57 from 2014.

In the women’s race, Kenyan Mary Keitany, already the world-record holder in a women’s-only race, looks to take down Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers set in London 15 years ago. That time is 2:15:25.

Keitany is challenged by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the third-fastest female marathoner in history behind Keitany and Radcliffe.

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MORE: Shalane Flanagan looks to future after last Boston Marathon

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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