Sage Kotsenburg

Sage Kotsenburg, Jamie Anderson beaten in Winter X Games slopestyle

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Both Olympic snowboard slopestyle champions came up short in the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday.

Jamie Anderson finished second to Norway’s Silje Norendal for a second straight year at X Games. Anderson had the lead with a 91.33 in her second run (video here), until Norendal posted 93.66 in the last run of the competition (video here). New Zealand’s Christy Prior won bronze.

Anderson is a four-time X Games gold medalist and has won a medal in all nine of her X Games slopestyle appearances, dating to her debut at age 15 in 2006.

Norendal finished 11th at the Sochi Olympics.

Later Sunday, Sage Kotsenburg was fifth in the men’s slopestyle in Aspen. Kotsenburg, the surprise Sochi gold medalist, improved over his 15th-place finish last year. He’s never won the X Games.

Canada’s Mark McMorris prevailed in slopestyle, with a second-run 96 (video here), two days after he won Big Air gold in Aspen. McMorris, the 2012 and 2013 X Games slopestyle champion, broke a rib at last year’s Winter X Games and won bronze in Sochi.

Norway’s Stale Sandbech won silver, just as he did in Sochi, with a 95-point run. Sweden’s Sven Thorgren took bronze with a 92.

In ski halfpipe, U.S. Olympic champion David Wise finished fourth behind Canadian winner Simon d’Artois. Wise had won X Games the previous three years.

That left women’s halfpipe skier Maddie Bowman as the only Sochi gold medalist to win gold at this year’s Winter X Games.

Full X Games results can be found here.

Chloe Kim becomes youngest Winter X Games champion

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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