Jason Brown

Jason Brown stumbles, Javier Fernandez leads at Rostelecom Cup (video)

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Jason Brown fell out of a jump and placed seventh in the short program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday, well back of Spanish leader Javier Fernandez.

The U.S. Olympian Brown stumbled coming out of a triple-triple jump combination, putting both hands on the ice, and scored 76.32 points. Brown, who posted 79.75 at Skate America en route to second place three weeks ago, scored 17.6 fewer points than Fernandez on Friday.

The 2013 U.S. champion Max Aaron beat Brown by .77 for sixth place. If the standings hold after the free skate Saturday, it will be the first time this season that a U.S. man does not make the podium in four Grand Prix series events.

Fernandez, the two-time reigning World bronze medalist, posted the highest free skate score this Grand Prix season. He took second at Skate Canada two weeks ago and looks to earn a spot in December’s Grand Prix Final in Barcelona.

Canadian Alaine Chartrand surprisingly led the women’s short program with 61.18 points. She was followed by Japan’s Rika Hongo (59.85) and the pre-competition favorite, Russian Anna Pogorilaya (59.32). Americans Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Cain were fourth and fifth.

Chartrand, 18, was fifth at last year’s Canadian Championships and seventh at Skate Canada two weeks ago. She’s bidding to become the first non-Russian woman to win a Grand Prix event this season.

Rostelecom Cup wraps with the men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance free skates Saturday.

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will air Rostelecom Cup coverage Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski discuss collisions in figure skating

Rostelecom Cup Short Program

Men
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 93.92
2. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 90.33
3. Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) — 81.38
6. Max Aaron (USA) — 77.09
7. Jason Brown (USA) — 76.32
10. Stephen Carriere (USA) — 72.2

Women
1. Alaine Chartrand (CAN) — 61.18
2. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 59.85
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 59.32
4. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 58.9
5. Ashley Cain (USA) — 57.18
9. Angela Wang (USA) — 51.25

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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