Curling

‘Curling Night In America’ set for NBCSN, Universal Sports

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Friday night is curling night.

“Curling Night In America,” a weekly Friday night curling telecast, will begin airing Jan. 23 on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for six weeks through March.

NBC Sports Group and Universal Sports Network will combine for 24 hours of coverage from the inaugural U.S. Curling Grand Prix.

The telecasts will feature eight international teams — four men’s and four women’s — from the U.S., China, Japan and New Zealand that competed in the U.S. Curling Grand Prix in December.

“Curling has one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports, and has developed a cult following as a result of our Winter Olympics broadcasts,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming of NBC Sports Group. “Just as Wednesday night has become ‘Rivalry Night’ for our NHL telecasts, and ‘Sunday Night is Football Night,’ we want viewers saying, ‘Friday Night is Curling Night.’”

Here’s the broadcast schedule:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
January 23 Curling Night In America NBCSN, Live Extra 11 p.m.
February 6 Curling Night In America NBCSN, Live Extra 11 p.m.
February 13 Curling Night In America NBCSN, Live Extra 12 a.m.
February 20 Curling Night In America NBCSN, Live Extra 11 p.m.
March 6 Curling Night In America NBCSN, Live Extra 11 p.m.
March 20 Curling Night In America NBCSN, Live Extra 11 p.m.
Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
January 22 Curling Night In America Universal Sports Network 2 p.m.
January 30 Curling Night In America Universal Sports Network 2 p.m.
February 6 Curling Night In America Universal Sports Network 4 p.m.
February 15 Curling Night In America Universal Sports Network 6 p.m.
February 27 Curling Night In America Universal Sports Network 6 p.m.
March 13 Curling Night In America Universal Sports Network 3 p.m.

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Alysa Liu rallies to win Junior Grand Prix with another quadruple jump

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U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu landed a quadruple Lutz for a second straight Junior Grand Prix, rallying from fourth after the short program to win an event in Poland on Friday.

Liu, who in January became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, won both of her starts in her first season on the Junior Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman to qualify for the six-skater Junior Grand Prix Final since 2013 (Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen). The Final is held with the senior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy, in December.

She won Friday by 6.63 points by surpassing a pair of Russians, a rarity in this era. Her free skate is here.

Liu trailed by 4.03 points after doubling a planned triple loop in the short program. She was the lone skater in the field to attempt a triple Axel (landing three of them, including two in combination and one with a negative grade of execution) or a quad.

Liu tallied 138.99 points in the free skate and 203.10 overall. She ranks sixth in the world this season by best total scores among junior and senior skaters, though some top skaters have yet to compete.

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MORE: 2019 Senior Grand Prix assignments

Rafaela Silva, first Brazilian gold medalist at Rio Olympics, claims innocence after positive drug test

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Rafaela Silva, the judoka who grew up in Rio’s most famously violent favela to become Brazil’s first gold medalist at the Rio Olympics, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance last month.

Silva tested positive for fenoterol, a substance that can be legal to treat asthma if an athlete has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Silva did not have a TUE before testing positive at the Pan American Games in August, according to Brazilian media.

A possible punishment has not been announced.

Silva claimed innocence at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that a young child with whom she had bodily contact at her training location used the substance, and she plans to compete at a domestic event this weekend, according to O Globo.

Silva, 27, backed up her Rio Olympic 57kg title by taking bronze at the world championships later in August. If she is punished for the positive test, Silva could lose that bronze medal, though she said Friday that she had a clean drug test at worlds, according to O Globo.

Silva, from Rio’s Ciadade de Deus favela, has the Olympic rings tattooed on her right bicep with the inscription “God knows how much I’ve suffered and what I’ve done to get here.”

Brazil’s top female swimmer, Etiene Medeiros, reportedly tested positive for fenoterol in May 2016 but was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics.

In PyeongChang, Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol and was scratched before his nation’s last game before it was announced. Jeglic was suspended from the Games and, later, was suspended eight months.

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