Katie Uhlaender
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Katie Uhlaender, fourth in Sochi, contacts Russian bronze medalist about doping report

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Skeleton bronze medalist Elena Nikitina‘s name appears on an athlete list that guided Russian doping violations at the Sochi Olympics, though Nikitina denied doping by any Russian skeleton sliders in a Facebook message to U.S. fourth-place finisher Katie Uhlaender, according to The New York Times.

“I am not on the list!” Nikitina told Uhlaender, according to the newspaper. “I hope that the truth will prevail! And the perpetrators of this scandal will be punished!”

In Sochi, Uhlaender finished .04 behind Nikitina after four runs, just missing her first medal in her third Olympics.

“I’ll never know what it feels like to stand on the podium in Sochi, but I want to put this behind me,” Uhlaender said, according to the newspaper. “I want to know: Am I a bronze medalist?”

Uhlaender, 31, sat out the 2014-15 season with hip and ankle surgeries, tried her hand at track cycling and returned to skeleton last season, finishing 10th at the world championships.

Nikitina has continued to compete since the Sochi Olympics, earning bronze at last season’s world championships.

Fifteen Sochi medalists, including men’s skeleton champion Alexander Tretiakov, were on a Russian doping list first reported by CBS News in May and expanded by The New York Times.

The reports cited Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of a Moscow drug-testing lab that was stripped of its accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency in April.

MORE: Russia Olympic doping probe results coming Monday

First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW (AP) Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Clare Egan notches first World Cup podium in biathlon season finale

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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.

Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.

Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.

“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.