Biathlon

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Three more biathletes qualify for U.S. Olympic team

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Tim BurkeSean Doherty and Clare Egan make it five biathletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.

The trio clinched berths with the conclusion of the fall World Cups in France this weekend. There is one more set of mass-start races Sunday, but no U.S. biathletes not already qualified are entered.

Burke and Doherty join world champion Lowell Bailey via top-30 finishes this season. Egan joins world silver medalist Susan Dunklee as the other top-finishing U.S. woman this season.

Burke is the biggest name of the trio. The 35-year-old former standard bearer of U.S. biathlon is going to his fourth Olympics.

Burke was once the hope to win the first U.S. Olympic medal in biathlon, the only Winter Olympic sport where the U.S. has yet to make a podium.

He led the World Cup overall standings in 2009 and won a 2013 World Championships silver medal but hasn’t been better than 18th individually at the Winter Games.

Bailey, also going to his fourth Olympics, succeeded Burke as the top U.S. man in recent seasons. Burke’s best World Cup finish since Sochi was sixth.

Doherty was the first U.S. teenage biathlete to compete at an Olympics in 2014 at age 18. He only competed in the relay in Sochi but has since grown to become the No. 2 American behind Bailey this season.

Doherty ranked No. 71 in last year’s World Cup standings. This season, he’s No. 27.

Egan will go to her first Olympics at age 31. She made her World Cup debut in 2015 and finished 20th and 22nd in two races at last season’s world championships.

The rest of the U.S. Olympic biathlon team — up to 10 biathletes total — will be determined in January.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic team roster

Russians banned from Sochi Olympics at 25 and growing

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — More Russian doping cases from the Sochi Olympics are on the way, the International Olympic Committee said Friday as it banned three more athletes from the country.

The IOC said its commission is dealing with 36 cases, eight more than previously acknowledged.

Of that total, 25 athletes have now been banned — including the three in Friday’s rulings — and one has been cleared, figure skating gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova.

“As some investigations are still ongoing (notably the forensic analysis of the bottles), it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases,” the IOC said in a statement.

The three banned Friday include Olga Zaitseva, a biathlon relay silver medalist. That medal, however, has already been stripped because teammate Olga Vilukhina was banned Monday.

Zaitseva remains one of the most successful Russian biathletes in history, with two gold medals and a silver medal from previous Olympics. She will keep those medals because the ruling only applies to the 2014 Games, not the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.

Cross-country skiers Anastasia Dotsenko and Yulia Chekaleva were also banned Friday. Neither won a medal.

The IOC started its investigations last year after World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren detailed a vast Russian program of doping and cover-ups, including tampering with samples at the Sochi laboratory.

Also Friday, the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said it had lifted provisional suspensions from nine Russians banned by the IOC.

The move, which leaves the Russians free to compete in non-Olympic events like the World Cup, was taken because the IOC hasn’t yet provided the IBSF will full details of its investigations.

That mirrors the position taken by the International Ski Federation, which did not immediately suspend six Russians after their IOC bans, but then suspended them on Thursday after receiving more information.

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MORE: Full list of Russians disqualified from Sochi Olympics

Russia loses more Sochi Olympic medals in latest doping bans

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The IOC banned five more Russian Olympians — and stripped the nation of two more Sochi Olympic medals — in its latest round of punishments for the nation’s doping violations leading up to and during the 2014 Winter Games.

Russia has now been stripped of 11 of its leading 33 medals from the Sochi Olympics. The U.S. is temporarily the medal standings leader with 28 overall, though medal upgrades and more disqualifications will impact the table.

Nineteen Russian Sochi Olympians have been banned overall.

The IOC will announce whether Russia will be allowed to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics on Dec. 5.

Bobsledders Dmitry Trunenkov and Aleksey Negodaylo, who made up half of Russia’s four-man gold-medal team, led Monday’s banned list.

The driver of that four-man sled (and Russia’s two-man gold-medal sled), the retired Aleksandr Zubkov, was retroactively disqualified and banned for life last week. So Trunenkov and Negodaylo had already lost their gold medals before Monday’s announcement.

A Latvian team led by driver Oskars Melbardis is in line to move up from silver to gold. The late Steven Holcomb and his U.S. team could get silver.

The fourth-place team, piloted by Russian Alexander Kasjanov, could get bronze. None of the members of Kasjanov’s sled have been sanctioned by the IOC or the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF).

MORE: Updated Sochi Olympic medal standings

Two Russian biathletes were stripped of two combined medals on Monday.

Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova, two of the four members of Russia’s biathlon relay team that took silver, are banned from any future Olympics.

Vilukhina also took silver in the 7.5km sprint.

Vilukhina and Romanova were also banned by the International Biathlon Union last winter after being named in a Russian doping investigation. Vilukhina hasn’t competed in nearly two years; Romanova since March 2015.

Norway and the Czech Republic could be upgraded to silver and bronze, respectively, in the relay. Ukraine’s Vita Semerenko and Italy’s Karin Oberhofer could move up to silver and bronze, respectively, in the sprint.

The fifth athlete retroactively disqualified and banned for life Monday was skeleton slider Sergei Chudinov, who finished fifth in Sochi.

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MORE: No end in sight for Russia track and field ban