Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner in Grand Prix Final fight after finishing behind Russians at Trophee Bompard (video)

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Ashley Wagner finished third after a flawed free skate at Trophee Bompard on Saturday, putting her hopes of making a third straight Grand Prix Final in jeopardy.

Wagner, who finished seventh at the Sochi Olympics and March’s World Championships, fell on a triple flip but managed to keep her standing from Friday’s short program in Bordeaux, France. She held one of her arms across her stomach as she walked to and sat in the kiss-and-cry area.

“I just don’t want to puke,” Wagner said as she waited for her score (177.74 points). “That’s way better [of a score] than I thought it was going to be.”

Russian Yelena Radionova won for the second time in five Grand Prix series events with 203.92 points. Radionova, who is 15 years old and was too young for the Sochi Olympics, became the first woman to crack 200 points this Grand Prix season.

Another Russian, Yulia Lipnitskaya, took second. Lipnitskaya was the star of the Sochi Olympic team event, helping Russia win gold.

Radionova, Lipnitskaya and countrywomen Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Anna Pogorilaya have qualified for four of the six spots in the Grand Prix Final in three weeks in Barcelona.

The field for the Grand Prix Final, the top annual international competition outside the World Championships, is made up of the top skaters from the Grand Prix series’ six events. The series concludes with NHK Trophy in Japan next week.

Wagner could make her third straight Grand Prix Final but must wait to see what happens at NHK Trophy. Only one other U.S. woman has made three straight Grand Prix Finals, Michelle Kwan.

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

Trophee Bompard women’s results
1. Yelena Radionova (JPN) — 203.92
2. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 185.18
3. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 177.74
4. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 172.58
7. Samantha Cesario (USA) — 161.7

Leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 203.92 (Trophee Bompard)
2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 196.6 (Cup of China)
3. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 195.47 (Skate America)
4. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 191.81 (Skate Canada)
5. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 189.62 (Skate America)
6. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 186 (Skate Canada)
7. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 185.18 (Trophee Bompard)
8. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 181.75 (Skate Canada)
9. Gracie Gold (USA) — 179.38 (Skate America)
10. 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. Ashley Wagner — 177.74 (Trophee Bompard)
4. Samantha Cesario — 174.58 (Skate America)
5. Courtney Hicks — 174.51 (Skate Canada)
6. Courtney Hicks — 172.58 (Trophee Bompard)
7. Mirai Nagasu — 165.88 (Rostelecom Cup)
8. Samantha Cesario — 161.7 (Trophee Bompard)
9. Polina Edmunds — 161.27 (Cup of China)

Grand Prix Final qualifiers
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS)
2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS)
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS)
4. Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS)
5. TBD
6. TBD

Fighting for final two Grand Prix Final spots
1. Ashley Wagner (USA)
2. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
3. Gracie Gold (USA)
4. Kanako Murakami (JPN)
5. Polina Edmunds (USA)

If Miyahara, Gold, Murakami or Edmunds wins NHK Trophy, she will make the Grand Prix Final.

If one of those four wins NHK Trophy and one of Miyahara, Gold and Murakami finishes second, the second-place finisher and Wagner will go to a tiebreaker for the last Grand Prix Final spot. The tiebreaker is which skater has a higher combined point total from their two events this season (Wagner led that tiebreaker after the four skaters’ first events).

If none of those four wins NHK Trophy (such as Russian Alena Leonova winning), Wagner will make the Grand Prix Final. In that scenario, if Miyahara, Gold or Murakami finishes second, she will also make the Grand Prix Final.

Alistair Brownlee, after Ironman, leans toward Olympic return

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Alistair Brownlee is already the only triathlete with multiple Olympic titles. In July, he is reportedly leaning toward another impressive feat, to win an Olympic gold medal the summer after completing the Kona Ironman World Championships.

The Brit Brownlee said he is “definitely swinging towards” trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games, according to the Times of London. Brownlee’s manager confirmed the stance while noting that his result in the Ironman Western Australia on Dec. 1 will play into the ultimate decision.

Brownlee previously reportedly said he was “50-50” on going for the Olympics and that he had to decide between focusing on the shorter Olympic distance or the Ironman, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon.

Other Olympic triathletes transitioned to the Ironman and never went back, such as 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True.

Brownlee finished 21st in Kona on Oct. 12 in 8 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds, which was 33:50 behind the winner Frodeno.

Brownlee won four half Ironmans between 2017 and 2018 (sandwiched by a hip surgery), then finished second to Frodeno at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 2.

One other triathlete won an Olympic title after completing the Kona Ironman — Austrian Kate Allen, who was seventh in Kona in 2002, then took gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

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Alberto Salazar appeals doping ban

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it has registered an appeal by track coach Alberto Salazar against his ban for doping violations, though a hearing will take several months to prepare.

CAS says Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown appealed against their four-year bans by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

After a multi-year USADA investigation, Salazar and Brown were found guilty of doping violations linked to the Nike Oregon Project training camp. USADA said Salazar ran experiments with supplements and testosterone, and possessed and trafficked the banned substance.

The case also related to falsified and incomplete medical records that disguised the work.

CAS says Salazar and Brown asked for more time to file “written submissions and evidence,” adding the hearing is “unlikely to take place before March.”

Verdicts typically take at least a further several weeks.

MORE: Mary Cain raises issues from being coached by Salazar

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