Faye Gulini

U.S. Olympic Snowboard Cross Team named

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Olympic silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis and 2006 and 2010 Olympian Nate Holland will lead the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Cross Team in Sochi.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the seven-rider roster Saturday.

Jacobellis and Holland were among five riders who had already earned their spots or been previously announced as team members. The others were first-time Olympians Alex Deibold and Trevor Jacob and 2010 Olympian Nick Baumgartner.

Baumgartner earned his spot over two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott on Friday.

Jacobellis and Holland won Winter X Games titles Friday; Jacobellis’ gold was record-breaking.

The two new announcements were Jackie Hernandez and 2010 Olympian Faye Gulini.

Hernandez, 21, ranks 10th in the World Cup standings this season. Gulini, also 21, was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Olympics.

Jacobellis is the U.S.’ best hope at gold in snowboard cross, which made its Olympic debut in 2006. It was in Torino that Jacobellis crashed on a method grab while leading on the next to last jump and took silver.

In 2010, Jacobellis was disqualified in the semifinals after hitting a gate and finished fifth. She ranks second in the World Cup standings behind Canadian Dominique Maltais, the 2006 Olympic bronze medalist.

The final members of the U.S. Olympic Team — up to 20 Alpine skiers — will be announced Sunday.

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World Alpine Skiing Championships on for 2021 after request to delay rejected

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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GENEVA (AP) — A request by the organizers of next year’s skiing world championships in Italy to postpone the event by one year was rejected Thursday by the International Ski Federation.

FIS ruled that the event will go ahead from Feb. 9-21, 2021, in Cortina d’Ampezzo — the highlight of an Alpine season that faces challenges to find safe protocols for international travel and attending races in Europe, North America and China.

The Veneto region of northern Italy was hit hard by the coronavirus and the season-ending World Cup races in Cortina in mid-March were canceled. That week-long event was to be a test for the 2021 worlds.

“The last month of efforts to come to this solution demonstrates the strong collaborative spirit of the ski family and stakeholders.” FIS president Gian-Franco Kasper said.

Organizers in Italy have said they expect losses of about 30 million euros ($34 million) if the worlds are also canceled. They asked for a postponement to March 2022, which would be only weeks after the Beijing Olympics.

“But we will be ready in any case and we will show that these world championships can change the history of a region despite the current difficulties,” Alessandro Benetton, president of the Cortina organizing committee, said in a statement.

Italian racer Sofia Goggia, the 2018 Olympic downhill champion, said she was “happy for Cortina because it will host the first major international event after the coronavirus epidemic.”

Cortina, which hosted the 1956 Olympics, will co-host the 2026 Winter Games with Milan and use the worlds as a showcase for the resort.

The women’s World Cup downhill on the Olympia delle Tofane course each January is one of the most scenic in the sport with a signature jump between tall outcrops of jagged rock.

The Dolomites venue was awarded the 2021 worlds by FIS after missing out as a candidate four straight times from 2013-19.

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Russia track and field athlete clearance frozen due to unpaid fine

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MONACO (AP) — The program allowing Russian track athletes to compete internationally will be frozen because the country’s federation failed to pay a fine on time, World Athletics said Thursday.

The Russian track federation, known as RusAF, owes a $5 million fine and another $1.31 million in costs for various doping-related work and legal wrangles. World Athletics said RusAF missed Wednesday’s deadline to pay.

World Athletics said it would freeze the work of the Doping Review Board, which vets Russian athletes who want the “authorized neutral athlete” status that allows them to compete internationally, and its taskforce monitoring RusAF’s anti-doping reforms.

World Athletics said both bodies will be “put on hold” until its council meets to discuss the situation at the end of July.

“RusAF is letting its athletes down badly,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “We have done as much as we can to expedite our ANA process and support RusAF with its reinstatement plan, but seemingly to no avail.”

RusAF president Yevgeny Yurchenko earlier told the Tass state news agency that his federation’s finances were damaged by the coronavirus pandemic and that it had asked for more time to pay.

World Athletics’ statement didn’t directly address that issue, but said Russia hadn’t indicated when it would pay.

Russia was fined $10 million by World Athletics in March, with $5 million suspended for two years, after the federation admitted to breaking anti-doping rules and obstructing an investigation.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said fake documents were used under the previous management to give an athlete an alibi for missing a doping test.

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