Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods in Val d’Isere, plans to support Lindsey Vonn on road to Sochi Olympics

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It looks like Lindsey Vonn will have company for her downhill race in Val d’Isere, France, on Saturday — boyfriend Tiger Woods.

Woods was spotted in Val d’Isere on Friday, a day after a blog was posted on his website saying he would put his “clubs away for a while” to spend time with his kids and support Vonn as she prepares for the Sochi Olympics.

“We see our sports through the same looking glass in how we approach them,” the blog read. “We both work very hard and are prepared for our seasons. And when we’re ready to go, we give it everything we possibly have and there’s no holding back. I think that’s some of our commonalities. But she has to be way more aggressive in her sport than I have to be in mine. You’re trying to make your way down a mountain at 80-plus mph, and you have to have the adrenaline and the aggressiveness to do it.

“But I think it’s the preparation that we both appreciate and the fact that we can do it time and time again, and we’ve done it for a long period of time. It’s not a flash in the pan, and you just don’t do it for one year — she’s done it for 13 years, and I’ve done it for 18 years. As far as Lindsey competing in Sochi, we’re very hopeful. It all depends on how that knee is.”

Vonn has said Woods has helped her return from major knee surgery because he’s gone through it before.

“Having experienced reconstructive surgery on my knee and the ensuing rehab, and the amount of pain associated with it, it’s really hard to explain to anybody unless you’ve been through it,” the blog said. “And then coming back on it athletically, to trust that it’s going to be there, that’s a whole different ballgame. I’ve had my share of experiences in that regard — unfortunately — but I think it helps her in a sense because she can bounce ideas off me about what to expect. It is a frustrating process and really difficult to go through.”

Woods and Vonn have both been asked if Woods will be attending the Sochi Olympics and have said they are unsure, citing his schedule and Vonn’s status not being 100 percent for the Games. Though Vonn appears more and more likely to compete with every training run.

Lindsey Vonn ponders World Cup career wins record

World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

AP
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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