Gracie Gold

Figure skating Grand Prix assignments announced

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Olympic bronze medalists Jeremy AbbottJason BrownGracie Gold and Ashley Wagner lead the U.S. entries for the 2014-15 Grand Prix figure skating season announced Friday.

Olympic champions Yuzuru HanyuAdelina Sotnikova and Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov are also slated to dot across six events in the fall, beginning with Skate America in Chicago from Oct. 24-26. They’ll vie to qualify for the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona from Dec. 11-14.

Grand Prix assignments: Men | Women | Pairs | Ice Dance

Here are the U.S. assignments:

Skate America: Jeremy Abbott, Jason Brown, TBD; Gracie Gold, Mirai Nagasu, TBD; Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim, Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier, TBD; Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani, Madison Chock/Evan Bates, TBD.

Skate Canada: Max Aaron, Adam Rippon; Courtney Hicks, Ashley Wagner; Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay; Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton; Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue.

Cup of China: Richard Dornbush, Josh Farris; Ashley Cain, Polina Edmunds, Christina Gao; Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea; Shibutani/Shibutani.

Rostelecom Cup: Aaron, Brown, Stephen Carriere; Vanessa Lam, Nagasu, Angela Wang; Denney/Frazier, Kayne/O’Shea, DeeDee Leng/Simon Shnapir; Aldridge/Eaton, Chock/Bates, Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker.

Trophee Bompard: Dornbush, Rippon; Samantha Cesario, Hicks, Wagner; Scimeca/Knierim; Hubbell/Donohue.

NHK Trophy: Abbott, Farris, Ross Miner; Edmunds, Gao, Gold; Leng/Shnapir, Zheng/Bartholomay; Hawayek/Baker.

Japan’s Hanyu is in Cup of China (with Russian Maksim Kovtun and China’s Yan Han) and NHK Trophy with Abbott.

Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan and four-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko were not given Grand Prix assignments. Chan, 23, is uncertain of his future. Plushenko, 31, wants to compete again, following post-Olympic back surgery.

The 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek is also out. He has not competed in more than four years but has not announced his retirement, either.

Russia’s Sotnikova is in Rostelecom Cup (with World Championships fourth-place finisher Anna Pogorilaya) and NHK Trophy (with Gold and Edmunds).

Volosozhar and Trankov are in Skate America and Cup of China.

Absent from the list are Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who previously announced they would sit out next season. Their longtime rivals, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, were also not given assignments. Their future is unclear.

Very pregnant Alysia Montano runs at U.S. Championships

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang gets rare open hearing in doping case

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Monday it will hear the World Anti-Doping Agency’s case against three-time Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang on Nov. 15 in front of reporters — possibly even live-streamed — at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Montreux, Switzerland.

The hearing won’t be completely open. Registration will be required, and photographers and videographers “will be invited to leave the hearing room after the opening,” CAS said in a statement. But those outside the room may still get a glimpse of the proceedings.

“With the agreement of all parties, it is intended to live stream all or parts of the hearing on the CAS website,” CAS said.

CAS noted that it has only held one prior hearing that wasn’t in a private setting — the 1999 case involving Irish swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin, who won three gold medals in the 1996 Olympics but was banned for four years for tampering with a urine sample, a case that still prompts soul-searching in the Irish media. De Bruin lost the appeal.

Sun is accused of smashing a vial of blood at a drug test last fall. FINA allowed him to continue to compete, but the WADA has appealed, seeking a substantial suspension.

The Chinese swimmer won two gold medals at the world championships this summer and snubbed by some rivals at each medal ceremony, leading to a confrontation with British swimmer Duncan Scott.

RECAP AND VIDEO: Sun taunts Scott after medal ceremony

Sun has won 11 world individual titles in several freestyle distances but also has a long history of controversies ranging from a prior positive drug test and confrontations with other swimmers.

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U.S. women’s volleyball team ends year with surprise loss to Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic surprised the U.S. women’s volleyball team in the final of the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean) women’s continental championship Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, winning the first two sets and regrouping after a U.S. rally to win the fifth set.

The final score of the back-and-forth match: 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-9. The U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in three previous finals: 2011, 2013 and 2015. The Dominican Republic won a semifinal matchup on its way to the 2009 title.

In group play, the U.S. team had beaten the Dominican Republic in straight sets. The U.S. also breezed past Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico in group play and swept past Canada in the semifinals.

The loss doesn’t affect Olympic qualification. The U.S. women had already qualified for the 2020 Olympics by winning a qualification tournament in August in Bossier City, La.

MORE: U.S. women rally to qualify

Semifinalists Canada and Puerto Rico qualified for a last-chance Olympic qualifier that the Dominican Republic will host in January. Mexico defeated Cuba in the NORCECA fifth-place game to be the last of the four teams vying for one spot.

The Dominican Republic has had some success in women’s volleyball, finishing fifth in the 2014 world championships and reaching the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals before falling to the U.S. The team also won this year’s Pan Am Games, to which the U.S. did not send its top players. Currently, the team is ranked 10th in the world.

Earlier this year, the U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in two tournament finals — the Pan American Cup and the NORCECA Champions Cup. The U.S. also won a matchup in the World Cup last month, but the Dominican Republic won another five-set match in the Nations League preliminary round in Italy.

The U.S. finishes the year with a 44-7 record in tournament play, including a first-place finish in the Nations League and second place in the World Cup.

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