Gabby Douglas
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Gabby Douglas, mom had concerns before agreeing to TV series

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Gabby Douglas — and her mom — were not initially OK with cameras following them for a TV series.

“Douglas Family Gold” premieres on Oxygen on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (the entire first episode of the reported six-week series is also viewable now here).

The series was the idea of Douglas’ older sister, Arielle, but it took several approaches by major companies before the family agreed to take part.

“For the most part, I was a little bit hesitant on doing this show because I was like, woah, woah, woah, the main goal is Rio,” the 2012 Olympic all-around champion said last month while promoting one of her sponsors, P&G, in New York. “I can’t get distracted and have the cameras like, coming all up to the gym. So I was a little hesitant, and I was talking to my mom, and we came to an agreement that the cameras weren’t going to be in there as much. And they were very respectful. They weren’t in there as much. I was like, all right, fine, let’s do it. It’s been a fun process and a fun journey.”

Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, said that after multiple overtures from “really big production companies,” a friend of a friend from Wilmer Valderrama Enterprises came along.

Hawkins asked that friend to outline a vision for a show.

“When she told me, it was exactly what I had envisioned if I had a show,” Hawkins said. “So I said, done, how do we get the ball rolling? And we just were off and running from there.

“We basically wrote down on paper the type of show we wanted to make.”

And that is?

“What it takes behind the scenes,” Hawkins said. “What it takes to stay focused. What it takes to be inspired. What the stakes are. Really, a lot of people don’t know, we actually haven’t shared a lot of our story. But at least this part that we can share about this road is some of what goes on behind the scenes to support an elite athlete, and, for me as a mom, to support my other children at the same time.”

The show’s premiere begins with the lead-up to the August 2015 P&G Championships, with Douglas training in Columbus, Ohio. Hawkins is based in California, managing Douglas’ business ventures, and said she and Douglas see each other about once a month, plus at meets.

Douglas trained in Iowa, California, Iowa again and now Columbus since the London Olympics.

She has been in Columbus since summer 2014 and said last month she hasn’t thought about whether she will compete after the Rio Olympics, should she make the team announced in July.

“When we first started out [returning to training in May 2013], she was in Iowa, and then unfortunately, she had to leave, but the goal was never to be in Columbus, but now that we’re there, it probably was the best thing that happened on the journey,” Hawkins said. “At least one of the best.”

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World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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