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Jerry Colangelo doesn’t expect more withdrawals, still awaits LeBron James’ decision

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Following a raft of withdrawals from his potential men’s Olympic roster, USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo thinks he’s seen the end of it. And even with all the players pulling out, he’s not concerned about a drop off in performance in Rio.

“To the best of my knowledge, as of this moment, we don’t expect any additional attrition due to injuries,” Colangelo told ESPN Radio’s Andy Katz and Rick Klein on Tuesday. “We have been in touch with most all of the players who still remain on our list of candidates. We’re moving quickly toward the selection process and we will name our team no later than June 27th.”

Concern arose last week as four players pulled their names out of consideration for various reasons, bringing the total to eight. James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin have said they will not compete in Rio

But Team USA is “blessed” with a deep roster, Colangelo said, one that is able to take some hits and remain the gold-medal favorite.

“There should be turnover each time, because that’s what keeps the system purring, if you will,” he said. “The depth that I refer to, we’re blessed with a lot of great players. If you look at our depth chart, you could take a number of hits, as we’re doing right now – and hopefully we’ve seen the end of it. And if that’s true, we’re going to be just fine.”

His stance may change should LeBron James take his name off the roster. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is 31 years old playing in his sixth consecutive NBA Finals, which pushes an already-long season into June. But Colangelo is preparing for life with or without James.

“LeBron, we were advised some time ago that he wouldn’t make his final decision until post playoffs. So honestly, what we’re doing right now is kind of composing a couple of rosters – one with LeBron, one without LeBron. And again, we won’t know until the finals are over,” Colangelo said.

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers extended the 2016 NBA Finals by winning Game 5 Monday night. James scored 41 points. Game 6 is Thursday.

The radio hosts also asked Colangelo about the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. From the information he’s been given, he said he’s not concerned about his well-being or that of his high-priced players. Not one NBA player has cited Zika as a reason for withdrawal.

“All systems go,” Colangelo said in regard to the virus.

MORE: James Harden is 8th U.S. basketball withdrawal; who remains?

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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MORE: 2019 Senior Grand Prix assignments

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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