Henrik Kristoffersen

Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, 19, wins first World Cup race

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Mikaela Shiffrin isn’t the only teenage slalom phenom.

Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen won his first World Cup race Tuesday, taking a night slalom in front of a raucous crowd that included Arnold Schwarzenegger in Schladming, Austria.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Kristoffersen, who threw his ski poles to the ground, fell to the snow and pumped his arms after his second run, even though first-run leader Mario Matt still had to go. “To win my first World Cup race here in Schladming with 45,000, 50,000 spectators is just unbelievable.”

The Austrian Matt straddled a gate early in his second run, much to the disappointment of Schwarzenegger and the flare-waving crowd.

Kristoffersen won in a two-run time of 1 minute, 47.43 seconds. Another Austrian, world champion Marcel Hirscher, was second, .18 behind. German Felix Neureuther was third.

Americans Ted Ligety and Bode Miller straddled gates early in their first runs and did not qualify for the second run.

Ligety led Matt at the first split, encouraging for him. Ligety did win three World Championships in Schladming last February, but none of them came in slalom, one of his weaker events.

“This is aggressive snow and I was going for it,” Ligety said, according to The Associated Press. “I just started cutting in too soon. It’s always a bummer to straddle. It’s unfortunate. At least I was skiing pretty well. I feel like had my setup pretty dialed in now where I can actually start to look for speed in slalom.”

Top American David Chodounsky had blood on his face, bib and suit after a gate slammed his nose in the first run, according to the AP. He finished 22nd.

This was the final slalom before the Winter Olympics.

Kristoffersen is squarely in the medal mix — perhaps the gold-medal mix — with four slalom podiums this season. He’s tied for second in the World Cup standings with Neureuther behind Hirscher after six races.

Kristoffersen would be the youngest male medalist in Olympic Alpine history if he wins a medal in Sochi.

“I haven’t thought that much about the Olympics, actually,” said Kristoffersen, a two-time junior world champion. “I’ve been more focused on World Cup races. Of course it’s a boost [for Sochi]. I get a little bit more pressure now, but it’s OK.”

The Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill and a giant slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Saturday and Sunday. They are the final races before the Olympics.

Schladming Slalom
1. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) 1:47.43
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 1:47.61
3. Felix Neureuther (GER) 1:47.62
4. Fritz Dopfer (GER) 1:47.71
5. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 1:47.76
6. Mattias Hargin (SWE) 1:48.38
7. Manfred Moelgg (ITA)  1:48.99
8. Markus Larsson (SWE) 1:49.15
9. Steve Missillier (FRA) 1:49.27
10. Reinfreid Herbst (AUT) 1:49.30
22. David Chodounsky (USA) 1:51.04

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Steve Penny, ex-USA Gymnastics president, arrested on charge of tampering with Larry Nassar evidence

AP
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny was arrested Wednesday after a Texas grand jury indicted him, alleging he tampered with evidence in the sexual assault investigation of now-imprisoned gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

In a statement issued late Wednesday night, the Walker County district attorney’s office in Huntsville, Texas, said Penny was arrested by a fugitive task force in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and awaits extradition to Texas.

The third-degree felony is punishable by two to 10 years in prison. It was unclear if Penny has an attorney. Messages left with USA Gymnastics weren’t immediately returned.

Penny resigned under pressure in March 2017.

The indictment alleges Penny ordered the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch relating to Nassar’s activities at the ranch, near Huntsville. It alleges Penny acted after learning that Texas Rangers and Walker County authorities were investigating the ranch, which was being managed by USA Gymnastics.

The indictment states the documents were delivered to Penny at the USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis, they have not been recovered and their whereabouts are unknown to authorities.

Nassar was charged in June with sexually assaulting six minors in Walker County. A former sports medicine trainer, Debra Van Horn, was also indicted on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Prosecutors said Van Horn was charged as “acting as a party” with Nassar.

In Michigan, Nassar was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison, after hundreds of women and girls accused him of molesting them with his hands under the guise of medical treatment. They said the abuse went as far back as the 1990s while he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Nassar was a former team doctor for both the women’s program at USA Gymnastics as well as Michigan State University athletics.

In Texas, a number of gymnasts who had trained at the Karolyi Ranch have said Nassar sexually assaulted them there. Walker County prosecutors have said there is no corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by world-renowned gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, and the couple has denied wrongdoing.

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Kip Keino, Kenyan Olympic legend, hands himself over to police in corruption case

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Running great Kip Keino handed himself over to police in Kenya on Thursday and is under arrest, set to face charges of corruption and abuse of office that threaten the reputation of one of track and field’s most revered figures.

The 78-year-old Keino, former Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario and two other former sports ministry officials surrendered to police to meet a 6 a.m. deadline.

They are due in court Friday to plead to the charges relating to the misuse of more than half a million dollars meant to fund Kenya’s team at the Rio Olympics. Keino was president of the Kenyan Olympic committee at the time.

Keino is a two-time Olympic champion, an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee and was one of the first athletes to be inducted into track and field’s half of fame in 2012.

He was the forerunner for generations of Kenyan distance-running champions, winning the 1500m at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

He is accused of playing a role in the misappropriation of more than $545,000 of government money set aside for Kenyan athletes at the Rio Games two years ago. Keino and six other current and former Olympic and government officials were accused by prosecutors of the embezzlement of more than $200,000 and misuse of more than $300,000.

Relating to the misuse, prosecutors allege the seven wasted more than $150,000 on unused air tickets to Rio, overpaid allowances amounting to nearly $150,000, and incurred tens of thousands of dollars of other expenditure on “unauthorized persons” — people who were not Olympic officials or athletes.

The Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya reported that Keino will be charged with giving his son nearly $25,000 of Team Kenya’s money for an air ticket to Brazil and spending money in Rio. The exact charges against the four who reported to police Thursday morning will be published when they appear in court.

Three other officials, current Olympic committee secretary general Francis Kinyili Paul, Rio team manager Stephen Arap Soi and former sports ministry official Richard Ekai, appeared in court Monday. They were charged with multiple counts of corruption and abuse of office. They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail, with a judge saying the trial of all seven would start Nov. 16.

Keino, possibly Kenya’s most respected sportsman, handed himself over to police at about 5.30 a.m., the Daily Nation reported, to beat the deadline.

Wario is a former member of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet and now the ambassador to Austria, meaning the corruption case reaches upper levels of the government. Ekai, his former sports ministry colleague, was recently appointed Kenyan ambassador to Russia.

Details of a chaotic Kenyan Olympic trip emerged in 2016, with allegations of joy riders being given thousands of dollars in allowances and hundreds of thousands of dollars and equipment meant for Kenyan athletes disappearing.

Despite that, Kenya finished second in the track medals table and had its most successful Olympics.

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