David Boudia leads four more U.S. divers in booking Rio Olympic berths

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — David Boudia and Kassidy Cook couldn’t wait to share their Olympic moments Sunday.

So Boudia walked calmly to the stands and grabbed his toddler daughter from his wife, holding her up so she could celebrate with him.

Cook hugged everyone in sight.

Now the defending Olympic champion in men’s 10-meter and America’s comeback kid in women’s 3-meter will head to Rio as teammates after winning the final events at this year’s U.S. Olympic diving trials.

“The job’s not done yet,” Cook said shortly after making her first Olympic team after missing the team by 0.42 points in 2012. “This is just the first step. Now it’s time to go to Rio and kick some butt there.”

Boudia can advise the 21-year-old Texan about what to expect – and what it will take to win gold on diving’s biggest stage.

And at age 27, he looks every bit as good as he did 2012.

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

Thy synchro 10-meter team of Boudia and Steele Johnson qualified together on Thursday. Then after finishing second in the individual 10-meter prelims, behind Johnson, Boudia took the lead in the semifinals and pulled away in the finals by scoring at least 83 points on four of his six dives to finish with a score of 1,534.4.

Johnson earned the second spot in the event by finishing with 1,475.15 points, exactly 12 more than David Dinsmore in what was the best duel in the pool all week.

Johnson spent most of the night in second place but surrendered that spot briefly to Dinsmore after Round 3. Dinsmore wound up with a 61.05 on his next dive, opening the door for Johnson who scored a 99.9 and retook second.

Dinsmore rallied for scores of 96.9 and 102.6 on his final two dives, but Johnson got an 88.4 and an 86.4 – just enough to bring Johnson to his knees and Dinsmore to tears.

“I honestly thought Dinsmore was ahead of me,” Johnson said. “I thought I needed a 95 to go ahead of him, but it turned out 86 was good enough – by 12 points.”

Boudia celebrated his win differently.

He cuddled his daughter, Dakoda, in his arms and repeatedly hugged and kissed her as she pointed to the fans and raised her arm as if she was acknowledging the applause for her dad. When Boudia handed his daughter back, he gave his wife, Sonnie, a kiss.

The next stop is Rio where Boudia will try to join Greg Louganis, Samuel Lee and Bob Webster as the only American men to win back-to-back Olympic golds in platform.

“What’s funny is that after this competition was over, I wasn’t exactly happy with it,” Boudia said. “I know it’s not going to cut it in Rio. So while I’m happy, I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

For Cook, the stakes were even higher.

After missing out on London, injuries cost here most of the next three years of training. That left Cook with less than 18 months to regain Olympic form – knowing she could be setting herself up for more heartbreak.

She didn’t allow it to happen.

Cook took a solid lead into the finals and continued to pad it. She finished with a score 1,003.65, well ahead of her good friend Abby Johnston, who was part of the synchro 3-meter team that knocked Cook out of the Olympics four year earlier. Johnston, who attends medical school, claimed the second Olympic spot with 949.3 points. Laura Reedy was third at 898.8.

When it ended, all that emotion rushed out in one quick burst.

The ecstatic Cook sprinted to Johnston and gave her a hug. Coach Ken Armstrong was next in line for a hug, and then Cook sprinted up the steps to the judge’s stand, hopped over the railing and into the crowd where she began hugging a large contingent of family and friends.

“I’m at a loss for words because it all happened so fast,” Cook said, speaking with the pace of an auctioneer. “It’s still all a blur right now but it was amazing.”

Johnston, a silver medalist in London, was every bit as excited for her friend as she was about making her second Olympic team and her first in an individual event.

She even added to the diving tradition by awarding Cook her Olympic ring.

“She deserves it. It was so hard four years ago because we are such good friends, and to be the one who narrowly edged her out, it really weighed on me to see someone I cared so much about so sad,” Johnston said. “I know she is going to kick butt in Rio, and I’m going to be right there with her.”

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Maria Sharapova appears set to miss Tokyo Olympics

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Maria Sharapova, who would have a difficult time qualifying for the Olympics next year, committed to play an event in California the week of the Tokyo Games.

Sharapova is scheduled to play World Team Tennis matches in California during the Olympic tennis events in late July, according to a press release. Sharapova’s longtime agent hasn’t responded to a message seeking confirmation that she is ruling out the Tokyo Games.

Sharapova, 32 and the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, was barred from the Rio Games due to her 15-month meldonium suspension in 2016 and 2017. That alone could rule her ineligible for Tokyo, given the World Anti-Doping Agency’s sanctions against Russia on Monday.

Sharapova is ranked No. 131 after a season shortened by shoulder surgery. She would have to be among the top four ranked Russian women after the French Open in June for possible automatic Olympic qualification. She is currently the 14th Russian.

Olympic eligibility rules include minimum participation requirements in Fed Cup, which Sharapova hasn’t done in this Olympic cycle, though exceptions can be made.

Sharapova’s passion for the Olympics is well documented.

She carried the Russian flag into the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and carried the Olympic flame into Fisht Stadium at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony, where she worked for NBC Olympics.

“It was the one thing that my parents allowed me to watch on TV late into the evening was the Olympics,” Sharapova said in 2017. “I grew up watching figure skating and hockey and a little bit of tennis. … Just capturing the Opening Ceremonies and seeing all the countries and the little hats that they wore, and I, as a little girl, I just imagined that maybe it would be me. But I never, ever thought that I would be carrying the flag.

“I received that [flag] honor in a text message, which is a very Russian way of communicating. I originally thought it was a joke, a big fat joke. Then I showed it to my mother, and she [said], no, they probably wouldn’t joke like that.”

In February 2016, Sharapova entered a Fed Cup tie, despite saying she was injured, in order to receive Olympic eligibility. One month later, her failed drug test was announced.

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Russia banned from Olympics, world champs for 4 years; athletes could compete as neutrals

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Russia is banned from the next two Olympics and other major sports events for four years, though its athletes could still compete without representing the country if cleared by anti-doping authorities.

Russia’s hosting of world championships in Olympic sports also face being stripped after the World Anti-Doping Agency executive committee approved a full slate of recommended sanctions for tampering with a Moscow laboratory database.

Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in major events — including world championships — only if they are not implicated in positive doping tests or their data was not manipulated, according to the WADA ruling. “In this circumstance, they may not represent the Russian Federation,” according to a WADA release.

“While I understand the calls for a blanket ban on all Russian athletes whether or not they are implicated by the data, it was the unanimous view of the CRC [compliance review committee], which includes an athlete, that in this case, those who could prove their innocence should not be punished, and I am pleased that the WADA ExCo [executive committee] agreed with this,” WADA CRC chairman Jonathan Taylor said.

There are 145 unnamed athletes within WADA’s “target group of most suspicious athletes” from 2012-15 who would not be allowed to compete at the Olympics, Taylor said, adding that it’s possible those names will be made public. About one-third of them are still active.

Russia’s anti-doping agency can appeal the decision within 21 days. Russia previously signaled it would appeal the ruling.

“The decision will come into effect only when it becomes final ie when either RUSADA accepts it or it is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” a WADA spokesperson said in an email.

Russia avoided blanket bans for the Rio and PyeongChang Olympics after a state-run doping program was exposed by media and WADA investigations after Russia hosted the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Approved Russian athletes competed as neutrals — “Olympic Athletes from Russia” — including in team sports in PyeongChang. Those Russians combined to earn two gold medals (figure skater Alina Zagitova and men’s hockey) and 17 overall, compared to the leading 33 Russia earned at the Sochi Olympics before medals were stripped for doping.

“Will Russian athletes be accepted as Olympic Athletes from Russia?” during the ban, Taylor said. “No, they are neutral athletes, which means not representatives of any country. Not representatives of Russia.”

Going forward, “they cannot use the name of the country in the name of the team,” WADA president-elect Witold Bańka told The Associated Press.

Two of the 168 Russians who competed in PyeongChang failed drug tests and were punished for doping.

More recent evidence shows that Russian authorities tampered with a Moscow laboratory database to hide hundreds of potential doping cases and falsely shift the blame onto whistleblowers, WADA investigators and the International Olympic Committee said last month. “Flagrant manipulation” of the Moscow lab data was “an insult to the sporting movement worldwide,” the IOC said last month.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order … but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” WADA president Craig Reedie said.

Russia will be allowed to participate in the Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland, that open Jan. 9.

WADA’s inability to fully expel Russia from the Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games frustrated the doping watchdog’s vice president.

“I’m not happy with the decision we made today. But this is as far as we could go,” said Linda Helleland, a Norwegian lawmaker who serves on WADA executive committee and has long pushed for a tougher line against Russia. “This is the biggest sports scandal the world has ever seen. I would expect now a full admission from the Russians and for them to apologize on all the pain all the athletes and sports fans have experienced.”

Although the IOC has called for the strongest possible sanctions, it wants those sanctions directed at Russian state authorities rather than athletes or Olympic officials.

“To allow Russia to escape a complete ban is yet another devastating blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport and the rule of law,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement. “And, in turn, the reaction by all those who value sport should be nothing short of a revolt against this broken system to force reform.”

Russia’s Olympic champion women’s handball team is currently competing at the world championships in Japan. Its next match is Tuesday against Montenegro. Russia has been the scheduled host for the world luge championships in Sochi in mid-February.

The “major sports” events that fall under WADA’s sanctions do not include European Championships or other non-world championships events such as tennis’ upcoming Australian Open.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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TIMELINE: Russia’s recent history of sports doping