James Magnussen
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James Magnussen falls short in Australia Olympic Trials 50m freestyle

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James Magnussen, Australia’s biggest swimming star four years ago, failed to make the Olympic team in an individual event for the Rio Games.

Magnussen finished third in the Olympic Trials 50m freestyle on Wednesday, two days after finishing fourth in the 100m freestyle. He needed to be top two to make the Olympics in those events individually.

However, his fourth-place 100m free finish was enough to earn an Olympic 4x100m free relay spot. Full Olympic Trials results are here.

“It was tight but, oh man, it didn’t feel good but, what can you do?,” Magnussen said on Australian TV. “I’ve been struggling as the week goes, having trouble getting through it.

In 2012, Magnussen swept the 50m and 100m frees at the Australian Olympic Trials and then finished .01 behind Nathan Adrian in the Olympic 100m freestyle.

Magnussen, 25, had the fastest 100m free time in the world in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, but his best yearly time had gotten slower each of the past four years.

He also missed the 2015 World Championships due to left shoulder surgery and conceded the injury may have hampered him more than he anticipated in Adelaide this week.

“I guess so,” Magnussen said. “I’ve stayed positive for the last nine months since surgery. I’m going to continue to try and stay positive. Otherwise I might go and bang my head against a couple of walls.”

He has ceded the mantle of Australia’s best sprinter to Cameron McEvoy, who on Wednesday became the first man to sweep the 50m, 100m and 200m frees at an Australian Championships.

Also on Wednesday, World champion Emily Seebohm was upset in the 200m backstroke final by Belinda Hocking but still made the Olympic team by finishing second. Seebohm took both backstroke World titles from Missy Franklin last year.

In the women’s 50m free semis, sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell posted the fastest qualifying times into Thursday’s final. Cate clocked 23.93, the third-fastest time in history, an Australian record and a world record outside of the supersuit era.

MORE: Australia swim legend fails to make Olympic team

Does Lance Armstrong believe doping contributed to cancer?

Lance Armstrong
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Lance Armstrong said on Sunday’s ESPN film “Lance” that he didn’t know whether he got testicular cancer because of his doping in the early-to-mid 1990s.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “And I don’t want to say no because I don’t think that’s right, either. I don’t know if it’s yes or no, but I certainly wouldn’t say no. The only thing I will tell you is the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season [before being diagnosed with moderate to advanced cancer in October 1996]. So just in my head, I’m like ‘growth, growing, hormones and cells.’ Like, if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it, too, would grow?”

Armstrong was asked a similar question by Oprah Winfrey in his January 2013 doping confession.

“Do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?” Winfrey asked.

“I don’t think so,” Armstrong said then. “I’m not a doctor, I’ve never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally, but I don’t believe so.”

That was not the first time doping and cancer were part of the same conversation.

Teammate Frankie Andreu and then-fiancee Betsy said that Armstrong told a doctor on Oct. 27, 1996, at Indiana University Hospital that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs; EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Armstrong said he probably began doping at age 21, in 1992 or 1993.

“I remember when we were on a training ride in 2002, Lance told me that [Michele] Ferrari [the infamous doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs] had been paranoid that he had helped cause the cancer and became more conservative after that,” former teammate Floyd Landis said in 2011, according to Sports Illustrated.

TIMELINE: Lance Armstrong’s rise and fall

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Cortina requests to postpone Alpine skiing worlds from 2021 to 2022

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year’s world Alpine skiing championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup Finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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