‘Snow Queen’ Mikaela Shiffrin dominates Zagreb slalom (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin began 2015 the way she finished 2014, winning her second straight World Cup slalom race and putting an early-season slump further behind her.

Shiffrin, who became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in Sochi, dominated to earn the “Snow Queen” title in Zagreb, Croatia, on Sunday.

She posted the fastest time in both runs and prevailed by 1.68 seconds over Austrian Kathrin Zettel. Norway’s Nina Loeseth was third.

“Mikaela is from a different planet,” Zettel said, according to The Associated Press. “It looks like nothing can go wrong.”

It marked Shiffrin’s largest margin of victory of her 12 career World Cup wins.

“For the first time in my career, I feel like I’m in complete control,” Shiffrin, who did a crossword puzzle and hugged Croatian legend Janica Kostelic before racing, said in a Zagreb press conference.

Shiffrin earned a queen’s crown, robe and sat on a throne for her victory. Shiffrin won the same race two years ago, and her crown broke.

She also jumped from fourth into second place in the World Cup season slalom standings, through five of nine races. She is one point behind Swedish leader Frida Hansdotter.

She’s won consecutive races after going five races without a podium finish and six without a win, the longest droughts since she won her first World Cup race more than two years ago.

She fought illness, put off making her World Cup super-G debut and focused on fixing her slalom, including equipment changes.

It worked.

Shiffrin won her 11th career World Cup slalom race Sunday, matching the record for most victories in the discipline before turning 20 years old. France’s Perrine Pelen also took 11 in the 1970s and ’80s.

Shiffrin will have two more chances for No. 12 before turning 20 on March 13.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill and super-G in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, next weekend. Lindsey Vonn is expected to compete. Shiffrin said Sunday she won’t race a super-G before the World Championships in February, much to the chagrin of World Cup overall leader Tina Maze.

15 Olympic sports events to watch in 2015

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

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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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