Shaun White

Shaun White supports St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign (video)

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Two-time Olympic champion snowboarder Shaun White joined a roster of celebrities as part of the 10th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign this holiday season.

The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness and funds to help the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s mission to find cures for children battling cancer and other deadly diseases through research and treatment.

National TV spots and movie theater trailers featuring White, Jennifer AnistonRobin WilliamsMichael Strahan and more will run through the end of  2013.

“One of the most incredible experiences I have is when I visit St. Jude and meet the children,” White said in a press release. “By supporting the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign we can help St. Jude continue the lifesaving work being done every day.”

Consumers can support St. Jude by donating online at stjude.org.

White will not only look to win another Olympic halfpipe title in Sochi, but he also hopes to compete in the new Olympic snowboarding event of slopestyle. White is entered in the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo., from Dec. 12-15.

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Shaun White among celebrities in Thirty Seconds to Mars video

Alysa Liu rallies to win Junior Grand Prix with another quadruple jump

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U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu landed a quadruple Lutz for a second straight Junior Grand Prix, rallying from fourth after the short program to win an event in Poland on Friday.

Liu, who in January became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, won both of her starts in her first season on the Junior Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman to qualify for the six-skater Junior Grand Prix Final since 2013 (Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen). The Final is held with the senior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy, in December.

She won Friday by 6.63 points by surpassing a pair of Russians, a rarity in this era. Her free skate is here.

Liu trailed by 4.03 points after doubling a planned triple loop in the short program. She was the lone skater in the field to attempt a triple Axel (landing three of them, including two in combination and one with a negative grade of execution) or a quad.

Liu tallied 138.99 points in the free skate and 203.10 overall. She ranks sixth in the world this season by best total scores among junior and senior skaters, though some top skaters have yet to compete.

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Rafaela Silva, first Brazilian gold medalist at Rio Olympics, claims innocence after positive drug test

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Rafaela Silva, the judoka who grew up in Rio’s most famously violent favela to become Brazil’s first gold medalist at the Rio Olympics, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance last month.

Silva tested positive for fenoterol, a substance that can be legal to treat asthma if an athlete has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Silva did not have a TUE before testing positive at the Pan American Games in August, according to Brazilian media.

A possible punishment has not been announced.

Silva claimed innocence at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that a young child with whom she had bodily contact at her training location used the substance, and she plans to compete at a domestic event this weekend, according to O Globo.

Silva, 27, backed up her Rio Olympic 57kg title by taking bronze at the world championships later in August. If she is punished for the positive test, Silva could lose that bronze medal, though she said Friday that she had a clean drug test at worlds, according to O Globo.

Silva, from Rio’s Ciadade de Deus favela, has the Olympic rings tattooed on her right bicep with the inscription “God knows how much I’ve suffered and what I’ve done to get here.”

Brazil’s top female swimmer, Etiene Medeiros, reportedly tested positive for fenoterol in May 2016 but was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics.

In PyeongChang, Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol and was scratched before his nation’s last game before it was announced. Jeglic was suspended from the Games and, later, was suspended eight months.

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