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

Ester Ledecka must decide between ski, snowboard worlds

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SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy (AP) — Skier-snowboarder Ester Ledecka will not be able to follow up her dual sport gold-medal performances at the PyeongChang Olympics with a similar haul of world titles this season.

That’s because the schedule won’t allow it, and she’s not happy about it.

The parallel giant slalom at the world freestyle skiing and snowboard championships in Utah is Feb. 4 — the same day downhill training opens at Alpine skiing worlds in Are, Sweden, and a day before the super-G.

“I was a little bit hoping they would reschedule the snowboard race — put it a week earlier so I could do it both — but they didn’t want to so I have to choose,” Ledecka said Tuesday after placing 29th in a World Cup downhill.

In PyeongChang, Ledecka followed her super-G title by winning the parallel GS in snowboarding — becoming the first athlete to win two golds at one Winter Games using two different types of equipment.

The 23-year-old Czech is the reigning world champion in parallel GS.

Ledecka said she brought up the issue with the International Ski Federation, which governs both sports.

“On one side I see their point. For one athlete why should they do that, right? But from the other side I think I made snowboarding a little more popular, and I think a lot of fans would be happy to see me compete in both,” Ledecka said. “It’s their decision, and I have to respect it.”

Ledecka has not decided which worlds she’ll compete in. She’s currently going back and forth between the snowboard and ski circuits.

Last week, she finished first and second in two parallel GS events in Italy and then switched to downhill skis this week. She was fastest in a downhill training run Monday before finishing 29th in Tuesday’s race.

“I think I can decide right before,” Ledecka said. “But it will probably be early, so I’m well prepared.”

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MORE: Is Mikaela Shiffrin chasing records? Not exactly

Sandro Viletta, Olympic super combined champion, retires

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Sandro Viletta, the surprise 2014 Olympic super combined champion, retired from Alpine skiing at age 32 after major injuries, according to the Swiss Ski Federation.

Viletta, who did not defend his Olympic title in PyeongChang, has not raced on the World Cup since tearing a knee ligament in a December 2016 super-G crash. He hasn’t raced anywhere since another knee ligament tear in a lower-level race in March.

Viletta took gold in Sochi despite having one World Cup podium to his name (from more than two years earlier). Viletta was 14th in the downhill part of the Olympic combined, then had the second-fastest slalom to win by. 34 over Croatian Ivica Kostelic.

“I did not think this was possible; I did not expect to win, even after I had the lead today,” Viletta told reporters after the race. “But on one day, I had the perfect day.”

Viletta was the lowest-ranked racer in the downhill to come back to win the Olympic combined since the format changed from two slalom runs to one in 2010. He is Switzerland’s lone Olympic men’s Alpine champion from the last two Winter Games.

The combined’s place at the Olympics and world championships and on the World Cup is in peril as the International Ski Federation has incorporated more parallel slalom and giant slalom races in recent years.

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MORE: Is Mikaela Shiffrin chasing records? Not exactly