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

Russia to finish Youth Olympics with most medals

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Russia clinched the top spot in the Youth Olympic medal standings, two days before the Closing Ceremony in Buenos Aires and eight months after it was excluded from the PyeongChang Winter Games for its doping problems.

The Russians have 52 medals with 25 golds so far, distancing the rest of the world.

1. Russia — 52 total, 25 gold
2. China — 36 total, 18 gold
3. Mixed NOCs — 36 total, 12 gold
4. Japan — 34 total, 14 gold
5. Italy — 31 total, 10 gold
10. U.S. — 15 total, 4 gold

China and Russia went one-two in total medals at the first two Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing, China in 2014. The U.S. has never topped a Youth Olympic total medal table, be it Summer or Winter Games.

The U.S. has, however, earned the most total medals at the last six Summer Olympics, beginning with the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The Youth Olympics, for athletes ages 14 to 18, do not emphasize medal counts (plus have many medal events where athletes from different nations compete on the same team). The Games include many Olympic events and some that are not on the Olympic program, including break dancing, where a Russian who goes by Bumblebee earned gold last week.

The next Youth Olympics are the winter version in the IOC base of Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2020, followed by the summer version in 2022 in Dakar, Senegal, the first Olympic Games of any kind to be held in Africa.

The Youth Olympics conclude with the last full day of medal competition on Wednesday and the Closing Ceremony on Thursday.

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MORE: Youth Olympic TV schedule

Aliya Mustafina returns to gymnastics worlds, year after giving birth

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Aliya Mustafina, an all-around medalist at the last two Olympics, made Russia’s team for next week’s world gymnastics championships, 16 months after giving birth to daughter Alisa.

Mustafina, 24, is joined by one Rio Olympic teammate, Angelina Melnikova, and three world championships rookies (plus Olympian Daria Spiridonova as an alternate), according to Russia’s gymnastics federation.

Mustafina is the last non-American woman to win an Olympic or world championships all-around, back in 2010 in her first year as a senior gymnast. A series of injuries followed, including surgeries on both knees and her left ankle.

She missed the 2015 Worlds with back pain but rebounded for a medal of every color in Rio (uneven bars gold, team silver and all-around bronze, just as she had done at London 2012).

Her seven total Olympic medals are tied for the most by a Russian woman since the fall of the Soviet Union with retired gymnast Svetlana Khorkina.

Viktoria Komova, the 2012 Olympic all-around silver medalist who has also struggled with injuries, is not on Russia’s team for worlds in Doha. She last competed at a global championship in 2015, sharing the uneven bars title with three other gymnasts.

Mustafina joins a list of distinguished moms to return to the top level of gymnastics, including Oksana Chusovitina, who began competing in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and, seven Olympics later, is still competing at age 43 (for Uzbekistan).

The most decorated Olympic gymnast, Soviet Larisa Latynina, earned 12 of her 18 medals after becoming a mom.

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