Shaun White

Shaun White beaten in Winter X Games halfpipe

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Shaun White lost a Winter X Games halfpipe for the first time since 2007, finishing fourth, just as he did at the Sochi Olympics.

U.S. Olympic teammate Danny Davis won for the second straight year with a 93.66-point final run (watch it here). White, who skipped X Games last year for the first time since 1999, had a top score of 82 over his three runs in finals. It marked his first competition since Sochi.

Olympic bronze medalist Taku Hiraoka of Japan was second with 92.33, followed by Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov with 89.

Davis won on the very last run of the competition.

“Very unexpected,” Davis, who was 10th at the Sochi Olympics, said on ESPN. “I haven’t been riding a ton of pipe this year.”

White, the oldest man in the field at 28, won every X Games halfpipe from 2008 through 2013. He was second in 2007 and was last off the podium in 2005, when he was fourth.

White said on Thursday that he tweaked his back in a recent spill in practice.

His coach, Bud Keene, said this of White before the competition, according to the Associated Press:

“His career is far from over, athletically. He’s still, hands down, the best halfpipe rider in the world, and not by a small margin.”

Maddie Bowman caps unrivaled year with X Games three-peat

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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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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