Shaun White
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Shaun White has worst X Games finish since 2000

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Shaun White finished 11th at the Winter X Games on Thursday night, his worst halfpipe result at the event since his debut at age 13 in 2000.

The two-time Olympic halfpipe champion was unable to notch a clean run in two attempts, both times losing all of his momentum after failing to fully rotate and land one of his tricks. White’s best score was a 29.66, placing 11th out of 12 riders.

Australian Olympian Scotty James won with a 90-point run featuring back-to-back double cork 1080s, according to ESPN. Full results are here.

White was considered a medal favorite in his X Games return after missing last year’s event due to a dispute with organizers.

He won both of his contests in the 2015-16 season, including notching his biggest air out of the halfpipe of his career at the U.S. Open last March.

White did, though, have offseason ankle surgery and failed to make the final at his only other contest this season, using a Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., as a “test run” in December.

White, 30, wasn’t quite at the form Thursday required to win his ninth X Games halfpipe title and first since 2013. He nearly matched James in soaring 21 feet above the halfpipe. He tried a new trick in his first run, a switch frontside double cork 1440, according to ESPN, but was unable to pull it off.

VIDEO: White’s first run | White’s second run

White’s biggest rivals struggled, too.

The 2014 and 2015 X Games champion Danny Davis was fifth, Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano was ninth and Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov was 10th.

White is expected to compete next week at his home pipe at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Also Thursday, 16-year-old U.S. Olympic hopeful Hailey Langlund won snowboard big air by becoming the first woman to land a double cork at the X Games, according to ESPN.

Olympic slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson was fourth. Big air makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

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*Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in February is an Olympic qualifier. It is for ski and snowboard slopestyle and snowboard slopestyle, but not snowboard halfpipe.

Alysa Liu rallies to win Junior Grand Prix with another quadruple jump

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U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu landed a quadruple Lutz for a second straight Junior Grand Prix, rallying from fourth after the short program to win an event in Poland on Friday.

Liu, who in January became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, won both of her starts in her first season on the Junior Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman to qualify for the six-skater Junior Grand Prix Final since 2013 (Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen). The Final is held with the senior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy, in December.

She won Friday by 6.63 points by surpassing a pair of Russians, a rarity in this era. Her free skate is here.

Liu trailed by 4.03 points after doubling a planned triple loop in the short program. She was the lone skater in the field to attempt a triple Axel (landing three of them, including two in combination and one with a negative grade of execution) or a quad.

Liu tallied 138.99 points in the free skate and 203.10 overall. She ranks sixth in the world this season by best total scores among junior and senior skaters, though some top skaters have yet to compete.

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Rafaela Silva, first Brazilian gold medalist at Rio Olympics, claims innocence after positive drug test

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Rafaela Silva, the judoka who grew up in Rio’s most famously violent favela to become Brazil’s first gold medalist at the Rio Olympics, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance last month.

Silva tested positive for fenoterol, a substance that can be legal to treat asthma if an athlete has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Silva did not have a TUE before testing positive at the Pan American Games in August, according to Brazilian media.

A possible punishment has not been announced.

Silva claimed innocence at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that a young child with whom she had bodily contact at her training location used the substance, and she plans to compete at a domestic event this weekend, according to O Globo.

Silva, 27, backed up her Rio Olympic 57kg title by taking bronze at the world championships later in August. If she is punished for the positive test, Silva could lose that bronze medal, though she said Friday that she had a clean drug test at worlds, according to O Globo.

Silva, from Rio’s Ciadade de Deus favela, has the Olympic rings tattooed on her right bicep with the inscription “God knows how much I’ve suffered and what I’ve done to get here.”

Brazil’s top female swimmer, Etiene Medeiros, reportedly tested positive for fenoterol in May 2016 but was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics.

In PyeongChang, Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol and was scratched before his nation’s last game before it was announced. Jeglic was suspended from the Games and, later, was suspended eight months.

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