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Russia Olympic doping probe results coming Monday

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TORONTO (AP) — The results of the latest investigation into Russian doping will be released on Monday.

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren will hold a news conference in Toronto to present the findings of his probe into alleged manipulation of doping samples in Russia.

McLaren was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate allegations of a state-backed doping conspiracy involving the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow’s drug-testing laboratory, told The New York Times that he provided Russian athletes with steroids ahead of the Olympics and helped switch tainted samples for clean ones through a concealed hole in the wall of the Sochi lab.

Rodchenkov, who is now living in the United States, said he operated on instructions from Russia’s sports ministry, which denies the claim.

WADA has said that McLaren was given the authority to look into wider allegations of doping in Russia.

McLaren said last month that his preliminary findings supported allegations that the Russian sports ministry was involved in manipulating test results before, during and after the track world championships in Moscow in 2013.

If his final report uncovers further widespread, state-backed cheating in Russia, WADA could push for further action against Russia. The possibility of Russia’s entire team being excluded from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has been called the “nuclear option” by former WADA president Dick Pound.

Pound headed a separate independent WADA investigation that led to Russia’s track and field athletes being banned from international competition, including the Olympics.

MORE: Olympic high jump champion not on Russian appeals list for Rio

Susie O’Neill, Australian great, answers Katie Ledecky by balancing beer while swimming

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Katie Ledecky‘s feat of balancing a glass of chocolate milk while swimming reverberated Down Under, where one of Australia’s Olympic legends attempted to mimic it with a cup of beer.

Susie O’Neill, an eight-time Olympic medalist from 1992-2000 known as Madame Butterfly, accepted a challenge put forth by her fellow radio show hosts. In video shared across Australian media, she took 13 strokes before the beer came off her head, just before reaching a wall.

“It’s actually not as hard as I expected,” O’Neill said in an Instagram Live. “Well, it was pretty hard.”

O’Neill, 47, said backstrokers sometimes train with a water bottle on their foreheads to stay straight. But O’Neill, a freestyler and butterflier, never balanced anything on her head while training.

MORE: O’Neill in tears watching Sydney Olympic defeat for first time

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Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to TASS. The ISU has not confirmed or denied that report.

The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu. Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

MORE: World’s top skater leaves famed coach

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