Yelena Radionova leads Russian sweep at Rostelecom Cup

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Russian Yelena Radionova led the first Grand Prix women’s podium sweep by one nation since 2008 at Rostelecom Cup on Saturday.

Radionova, World junior champion Yevgenia Medvedeva and Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova topped the standings in the Moscow event following the free skate.

The last women’s Grand Prix podium sweep was by Japan at 2008 NHK Trophy.

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will have Rostelecom Cup coverage Sunday from 12-1:30 p.m. ET.

Radionova, the leader after Friday’s short program, performed a clean free skate with seven triple jumps to notch her third career Grand Prix title. Her 211.32 total points are the highest by any skater since Mao Asada won the March 2014 World Championship.

The 16-year-old clinched her second straight Grand Prix Final berth and will look to better last year’s silver medal at the December event in Barcelona. She previously finished third at Cup of China this season.

“I feel I redeemed myself after the Cup of China,” Radionova said, according to the International Skating Union.

Medvedeva, also 16 and the reigning World junior champion, totaled 206.76 points after landing seven triple jumps in her free skate with no major errors. Medvedeva won Skate America in October and also qualified for the six-skater Grand Prix Final.

Sotnikova, in her first top-level competition since winning the Sochi Olympics, improved from fourth after the short program for the bronze medal. Sotnikova erred near the end of her program, performing a weak double-single jump combination and falling on a double Axel. Watch her free skate here.

Sotnikova cannot qualify for the Grand Prix Final since she’s only competing in one qualifying event and not the required two.

U.S. Olympian Polina Edmunds was fourth.

The Grand Prix season continues next week with NHK Trophy in Japan, where Ashley Wagner will look to qualify for the Grand Prix Final with a podium finish.

MORE: Javier Fernandez wins Rostelecom Cup; makes Grand Prix Final

Top Grand Prix season scores
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 211.32 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 206.76 (Rostelecom Cup)
3. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 206.01 (Skate America)
4. Gracie Gold (USA) — 202.80 (Skate America)
5. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 202.52 (Skate Canada)
6. Mao Asada (JPN) — 197.48 (Cup of China)
7. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 195.76 (Cup of China)
8. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 188.99 (Skate Canada)
9. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 188.07 (Skate America)

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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