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Heather Richardson takes another world record from Brittany Bowe

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Heather Richardson took Olympic teammate Brittany Bowe‘s name off the world record books for the second straight Saturday, breaking Bowe’s mark in the 1500m in Kearns, Utah.

Richardson won a World Cup race at the 2002 Olympic venue in 1 minute, 50.85 seconds, taking .74 off Bowe’s world record set Sunday in Calgary (Dutch broadcast video here).

Bowe, skating in the same pair, also came in under her own world record (1:51.31).

Richardson’s time was .44 faster than the time Norwegian legend Johann Olav Koss skated to win the men’s 1500m at the Lillehammer 1994 Olympics, then a world record before the clap-skate era.

Last Saturday, Bowe broke the 1000m world record and Richardson reset it about three minutes later.

“I think we feed off each other,” Richardson said, according to US Speedskating. “I know last weekend I fueled her fire after taking the record in the 1000m, then she went and did the 1500m, so I’m sure tomorrow she’s going to bring her A game [in the 1000m at Kearns].”

Now, Richardson owns the women’s 1000m and 1500m world records, while another U.S. Olympian, Shani Davis, owns the men’s 1000m and 1500m world records from 2009.

In the last two weekends, world records have been broken in four of the 10 individual Olympic speed skating events. In three of those four, the world record has been broken multiple times.

The races have all been at Calgary and Kearns, the fastest venues in the world. World Cup races are held in Calgary and Kearns annually, which makes this year’s bevy of records quite extraordinary but also means no more records should be set the rest of this season.

The record flurry included one in the grueling men’s 10,000m earlier Saturday, when Dutch-born Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen clocked 12:36.30, taking 5.39 seconds off Sven Kramer‘s mark from 2007.

Kramer’s time was the longest-standing Olympic event world record.

On Friday, Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov broke the men’s 500m world record for the second straight week, clocking 33.98 seconds in Kearns.

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USOPC seeks to revoke USA Badminton’s status

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U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland filed a complaint to revoke USA Badminton’s status as the national governing body for the sport, a year after a USOPC audit found the organization lacked athlete safety requirements.

USA Badminton “failed to meet its responsibilities as an NGB and consistently failed to meet its obligations to its members and to U.S. athletes,” according to the USOPC. “Further, USAB has failed to conduct itself in a manner that demonstrates it can fulfill those responsibilities.”

Asked for reaction, USA Badminton interim CEO Linda French said, “I’m very disappointed in the USOPC and the conduct of their staff.”

USA Badminton recently had mass resignations among its board and top officials amid governance issues and the USOPC threatening decertification. A 2018 USOPC audit found four “high risk” areas in USA Badminton’s athlete safety and SafeSport compliance that, by March, had not been fully resolved.

“We have attempted to work with USAB’s leadership over the course of the last year to address our concerns, however those efforts have not yielded the results necessary to give me confidence in USAB’s ability to continue to serve its athletes as an NGB,” Hirshland wrote. “We remain committed to working with USAB’s leadership to address our concerns but have so far not found a willing partner.”

The next step is for Hirshland to appoint an independent panel to hear the complaint. There is no specific timeline for a resolution, though Hirshland said it will take a minimum of several weeks.

If USA Badminton’s status is revoked, the USOPC would assume control on an interim basis.

Last November, the USOPC filed the same complaint against USA Gymnastics, seeking to revoke its status after the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes came to light followed by several leadership changes.

USA Gymnastics since filed for bankruptcy and named former college gymnast and NBA executive Li Li Leung its new CEO in February. It remains the sport’s NGB with eight months until the Tokyo Olympics.

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Sun Yang should get lengthy ban if he loses doping hearing, WADA says

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency wants China’s star swimmer Sun Yang banned for up to eight years for alleged doping rules violations.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday ahead of a rare appeal hearing in open court on Friday that WADA requests a ban of two to eight years. Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 for a positive test.

If WADA wins, the three-time Olympic freestyle champion will miss the Tokyo Games.

WADA has challenged world swimming body FINA’s ruling to merely warn Sun after a disputed attempt by sample collectors to take blood and urine from him at his home in China in September 2018. The late-night confrontation lasted from 11 p.m. to beyond 3:30 a.m.

The day-long hearing will examine why a secure box storing a glass vial of blood came to be destroyed by Sun’s entourage, who questioned the sample team’s authority. A FINA tribunal panel agreed the officials lacked proper credentials to make the sample collection valid.

WADA believes Sun broke anti-doping rules by refusing to submit to a sample collection.

All sides agreed to Sun’s request to hold a first CAS appeal in public for 20 years.

A verdict is unlikely until early next year.

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