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WATCH LIVE: Swimming gets underway with men’s, women’s 400m IM

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Things get going at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium Saturday afternoon, with the heats in six different competitions being held during the afternoon session. Action begins at 12:00 p.m., with the preliminary heats airing on and on the NBC Sports app starting with the men’s 400 meter individual medley.

WATCH: Swimming Day 1 Preliminaries on

The men’s 400 meter individual medley has been won by an American in every Summer Olympics since 1996 in Atlanta. Looking to keep that streak alive are Jay Litherland and Chase Kalisz, who will bot compete in heat four with Litherland in lane three and Kalisz in lane five. In between them in lane four will be Japan’s Daiya Seto, whose qualifying time of 4:08.50 being the fastest in the field. In fact the Japanese have the two fastest qualifiers in the event, with Kosuke Hagino (4:08.54) swimming in heat three.

Also being held is the women’s 400 meter individual medley with Maya DiRado and Elizabeth Beisel representing the United States, with DiRado swimming in heat four and Beisel in heat five. Also competing in the women’s 400 meter individual medley is Hungary’s Katinkia Hosszu, whose qualifying time of 4:29.89 is the fastest of any competitor in the field. Hosszu will be in heat five, swimming out of lane four with Beisel in lane two.

In the women’s 100 meter butterfly the United States’ Kelsi Worrell and Dana Vollmer are among the fastest qualifiers, with Worrell being the fastest at 56.48 seconds, and they’ll be swimming in heats four and three respectively. The men’s 400 meter freestyle has seven heats to run Saturday afternoon, with Americans Connor Jaeger (heat six, lane five) and Conor Dwyer (heat seven, lane two) among the competitors. Jaeger’s expected to contend for a medal in this event, with Australia’s Mack Horton (the fastest Olympic qualifier) and China’s Sun Yang also in the mix.

The men’s 100 meter breaststroke will be the final individual heat of the afternoon, with Americans Kevin Cordes and Cody Miller both swimming in heat four. Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, the lone competitor to post a qualifying time below the 58-second mark, will be swimming in heat six. Closing out the afternoon session at the pool will be the women’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay, with Australia entering as the favorites to win gold. Their Olympic qualifying time of 3:31.48 is more than three seconds better than the second-best time, which was posted by the United States (3:34.61). Both teams will swim in heat two, with the Aussies in lane four and the Americans in lane five.

Swimming Day 1 PreliminariesWATCH LIVE
12:02 p.m.: Men’s 400 meter individual medley heats
12:28 p.m.: Women’s 100 meter butterfly heats
12:48 p.m.: Men’s 400 meter freestyle heats
1:32 p.m.: Women’s 400 meter individual medley heats
2:04 p.m.: Men’s 100 meter breaststroke heats
2:24 p.m.: Women’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay heats

Does Lance Armstrong believe doping contributed to cancer?

Lance Armstrong
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Lance Armstrong said on Sunday’s ESPN film “Lance” that he didn’t know whether he got testicular cancer because of his doping in the early-to-mid 1990s.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “And I don’t want to say no because I don’t think that’s right, either. I don’t know if it’s yes or no, but I certainly wouldn’t say no. The only thing I will tell you is the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season [before being diagnosed with moderate to advanced cancer in October 1996]. So just in my head, I’m like ‘growth, growing, hormones and cells.’ Like, if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it, too, would grow?”

Armstrong was asked a similar question by Oprah Winfrey in his January 2013 doping confession.

“Do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?” Winfrey asked.

“I don’t think so,” Armstrong said then. “I’m not a doctor, I’ve never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally, but I don’t believe so.”

That was not the first time doping and cancer were part of the same conversation.

Teammate Frankie Andreu and then-fiancee Betsy said that Armstrong told a doctor on Oct. 27, 1996, at Indiana University Hospital that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs; EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Armstrong said he probably began doping at age 21, in 1992 or 1993.

“I remember when we were on a training ride in 2002, Lance told me that [Michele] Ferrari [the infamous doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs] had been paranoid that he had helped cause the cancer and became more conservative after that,” former teammate Floyd Landis said in 2011, according to Sports Illustrated.

TIMELINE: Lance Armstrong’s rise and fall

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Cortina requests to postpone Alpine skiing worlds from 2021 to 2022

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year’s world Alpine skiing championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup Finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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