Hope Solo
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Hope Solo says she’s ‘begrudgingly’ going to Rio Olympics (video)

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U.S. goalie Hope Solo‘s decision to make herself available for the Rio Olympics did not come easy.

“Begrudgingly, I think, is a good way to put it,” Solo, who has voiced concern about the Zika virus in Brazil for months, said on CNBC on Tuesday. “I’m very excited for the Olympics. It’s never been done, where we’ve won the World Cup and then backed it with an Olympic championship. So, I’m always a competitor first. I want to set a new standard. I want to break records.

“But at the same time, I am very worried about my health. … I’m going to take every precaution necessary. I’m not even sure I’m going to be leaving the hotel room outside of practice.”

Solo, who played every minute in goal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and 2011 and 2015 World Cups, said in February that she would not go to the Olympics if she had to choose at that time, citing being uncomfortable with the current situation in Brazil, including Zika.

In April, Solo said she would go to the Olympics but still had concerns about the Zika virus.

On Tuesday, Solo was asked if she could change her mind again. She said she’s committed to going, having talked to her teammates and coach.

“I’m doing everything I can to be fully aware of any situation that may come,” Solo said. “Ultimately, you never know what’s going to happen.”

The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer roster of 18 players — versus 23 for the World Cup — is still to be announced.

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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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