Javier Fernandez

Javier Fernandez wins Rostelecom Cup; Jason Brown’s best free skate (video)

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Spain’s Javier Fernandez won the Rostelecom Cup to earn a berth in the Grand Prix Final, while Jason Brown posted the best free skate of his international career for fifth place Saturday.

Fernandez, the two-time reigning World bronze medalist who finished fourth at the Sochi Olympics, totaled 265.01 points to win by 13.01 over Russian Sergey Voronov. Fernandez, who finished second at Skate Canada two weeks ago, clinched a spot in the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona in December.

The Spaniard had several errors on landings in his free skate — though he didn’t fall — which prompted concern from his coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser.

“It’s gonna be close,” Orser told Fernandez, the final skater to go, as he came off the ice in Moscow.

“It’s OK,” Fernandez responded. “I don’t care.”

Brown, a 19-year-old who finished ninth at the Olympics, scored 159.24 in his free skate (235.56 total) despite stumbling out of a triple Lutz landing. He improved from seventh after the short program Friday.

Japan’s Rika Hongo won the women’s competition with 178 points, the lowest total to win a women’s Grand Prix series event in two years. Russian Anna Pogorilaya was second with 173.43, followed by Canadian short program leader Alaine Chartrand (172) and American Mirai Nagasu (165.88).

Three different Russian women had won the first three Grand Prix events this season before Rostelecom Cup, an unprecedented feat.

In ice dance, U.S. Olympians Madison Chock and Evan Bates won for the second time in four Grand Prix events.

In pairs, Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov led a Russian medals sweep with the highest total score of the Grand Prix season.

The Grand Prix series continues with Trophee Bompard in France next week.

Rostelecom Cup men’s results
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 265.01
2. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 252
3. Michal Brezina (CZE) — 241.23
5. Jason Brown (USA) — 235.56
7. Max Aaron (USA) — 212.6
9. Stephen Carriere (USA) — 201.24

Leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Tatsuki Machida (JPN) — 269.09 (Skate America)
2. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 265.01 (Rostelecom Cup)
3. Takahito Mura (JPN) — 255.81 (Skate Canada)
4. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 252 (Rostelecom Cup)
5. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 244.87 (Skate Canada)
6. Maksim Kovtun (RUS) — 243.34 (Cup of China)
7. Michal Brezina (CZE) — 241.23 (Rostelecom Cup)
8. Misha Ge (UZB) — 238.05 (Rostelecom Cup)
9. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 237.55 (Cup of China)
Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan not competing in Grand Prixs.

U.S. men’s leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Jason Brown — 235.56 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Jason Brown — 234.17 (Skate America)
3. Max Aaron — 231.77 (Skate Canada)
4. Stephen Carriere — 231.67 (Skate Canada)
5. Richard Dornbush — 226.73 (Cup of China)
6. Jeremy Abbott — 219.33 (Skate America)
7. Max Aaron — 212.6 (Rostelecom Cup)

Rostelecom Cup women’s results
1. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 178
2. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 173.43
3. Alaine Chartrand (CAN) — 172
4. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 165.88
8. Ashley Cain (USA) — 150.9
9. Angela Wang (USA) — 150.75

Leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 196.6 (Cup of China)
2. Elena Radionova (RUS) — 195.47 (Skate America)
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 191.81 (Skate Canada)
4. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 189.62 (Skate America)
5. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 186 (Skate Canada)
6. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 181.75 (Skate Canada)
7. Gracie Gold (USA) — 179.38 (Skate America)
8. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 178 (Rostelecom Cup)
Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova is out with a torn ankle ligament.

U.S. leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Ashley Wagner — 186 (Skate Canada)
2. Gracie Gold — 179.38 (Skate America)
3. Samantha Cesario — 174.58 (Skate America)
4. Courtney Hicks — 174.51 (Skate Canada)
5. Mirai Nagasu — 165.88 (Rostelecom Cup)
6. Polina Edmunds — 161.27 (Cup of China)

Jamaica (re)starts women’s bobsled team

Does Lance Armstrong believe doping contributed to cancer?

Lance Armstrong
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Lance Armstrong said on Sunday’s ESPN film “Lance” that he didn’t know whether he got testicular cancer because of his doping in the early-to-mid 1990s.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “And I don’t want to say no because I don’t think that’s right, either. I don’t know if it’s yes or no, but I certainly wouldn’t say no. The only thing I will tell you is the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season [before being diagnosed with moderate to advanced cancer in October 1996]. So just in my head, I’m like ‘growth, growing, hormones and cells.’ Like, if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it, too, would grow?”

Armstrong was asked a similar question by Oprah Winfrey in his January 2013 doping confession.

“Do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?” Winfrey asked.

“I don’t think so,” Armstrong said then. “I’m not a doctor, I’ve never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally, but I don’t believe so.”

That was not the first time doping and cancer were part of the same conversation.

Teammate Frankie Andreu and then-fiancee Betsy said that Armstrong told a doctor on Oct. 27, 1996, at Indiana University Hospital that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs; EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Armstrong said he probably began doping at age 21, in 1992 or 1993.

“I remember when we were on a training ride in 2002, Lance told me that [Michele] Ferrari [the infamous doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs] had been paranoid that he had helped cause the cancer and became more conservative after that,” former teammate Floyd Landis said in 2011, according to Sports Illustrated.

TIMELINE: Lance Armstrong’s rise and fall

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Cortina requests to postpone Alpine skiing worlds from 2021 to 2022

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year’s world Alpine skiing championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup Finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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