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Jamaica Bobsled Jazmine Fenlator
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Jamaica women’s bobsled team challenges for Olympic spot

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Jamaica is in position to qualify an Olympic women’s bobsled team for the first time after achieving its best-ever elite international result Saturday.

But the standings are close, and there are plenty of qualifying races left.

Driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian (a 2014 U.S. Olympian) and brakewoman Carrie Russell (a 2013 World 4x100m champion in track and field) finished seventh in a World Cup in Winterberg, Germany.

Jamaica jumped from two spots out of the Olympic field to provisionally in the Olympic field by a small margin over a Romanian sled.

Qualifying races run to mid-January, but Saturday’s result could prove a game-changer.

Fenlator-Victorian and Russell competed in a sled Saturday that’s named “Mr. Cool Bolt” after “Cool Runnings” and Usain Bolt, according to International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announcers.

They became the first Jamaican women to compete on the World Cup in 16 years.

Eleven Jamaicans have competed at the Winter Olympics — all men, and all bobsledders save ski cross racer Errol Kerr in 2010, according to Olympic historians.

Fenlator-Victorian, 32, announced her plan to switch representation to Jamaica (where her father is from) in 2015.

The year before, she finished 11th in her Olympic debut in Sochi with two-time Olympic track and field athlete Lolo Jones.

Fenlator-Victorian made here race debut for Jamaica in November 2016, posting second- and third-place finishes on the lower-level North American Cup before Saturday’s World Cup debut.

The seventh-place finish Saturday put Jamaica 24 points ahead of Romania for the last Olympic spot, but there are plenty of races left in qualifying and 24 points can be made up in one race.

Jamaica is also vying to qualify in two-man bobsled for Pyeongchang after making the Olympics in 2014 for the first time since 2002.

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IOC publishes details of Russia bobsled star’s doping

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — An Olympic disciplinary panel says “powerful” evidence proved that two-time bobsled gold medalist Aleksandr Zubkov took part in the Sochi Winter Games doping conspiracy.

In its full decision published on Thursday of a Nov. 24 verdict, the IOC disciplinary panel chaired by Denis Oswald detailed why it disqualified Zubkov and banned him for life from the Olympics.

The verdicts states one sample had “an abnormally high level of salt” and two scratched bottles were tampered with.

Laboratory staff added salt to clean stored urine that was swapped in for steroid-tainted samples during the Olympics.

The panel says similar evidence exists in seven more cases from Russia’s Sochi bobsled teams.

Zubkov, who carried Russia’s flag at the Sochi Opening Ceremony, has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, along with most of the other 25 Russians banned from the Olympics for life.

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

Ryan Bailey, sprinter turned bobsledder, banned from 2018 Olympics

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Ryan Bailey‘s bid to become the 11th U.S. athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics is over.

Bailey’s ban for testing positive for a banned stimulant on Jan. 10 has been increased from six months to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Bailey is now banned until 2019 after a successful appeal by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

“I was disappointed to hear that Ryan Bailey was given an additional 18 months to serve on his suspension,” U.S. Bobsled CEO Darrin Steele said in a statement. “He was very honest about the situation and admitted that he didn’t take the proper steps to ensure that the supplement he was given was free of any banned stimulants. He’s a good kid, and he’s overcome a lot of obstacles to be here, but when you make mistakes you have to pay a price. He’s got the potential to be one of the best push athletes we’ve ever seen, and I hope we see him back in the future.”

The 28-year-old originally received a six-month ban from the American Arbitration Association that ended in July.

Bailey, who was fourth in the 2012 Olympic 100m, tested positive for a banned stimulant on Jan. 10 at a bobsled race in his first season on the ice.

Bailey said the failed test was caused by taking a high-risk dietary supplement that did contain a banned stimulant, but not the one for which he tested positive.

The standard ban for Bailey’s infraction is two years, but it was reduced following a July 25 hearing “based on his light degree of fault.”

Bailey raced in five of the six World Cup events so far this season, including taking a two-man silver medal in his first race.

He raced in a lower-level event Thursday, during which he was subbed out between the first and second run. That’s likely when he learned of the suspension.

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