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Usain Bolt ‘not sad’ after returning Olympic gold medal

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(AP) — Usain Bolt says he is resigned to the fact that he’s lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals, but isn’t holding any grudges against drug-tainted Jamaican relay teammate Nesta Carter.

Carter has said he will appeal after re-analysis of his sample from the 2008 Beijing Games using more advanced scientific methods returned a positive test to the prohibited stimulant methylhexaneamine.

The result announced by the International Olympic Committee last week meant Jamaica was stripped of the 4x100m relay gold, one of Bolt’s unprecedented three gold medals at three consecutive Olympics at Beijing, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro last year.

Bolt and fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday for a Nitro Athletics meet which begins Saturday.

“Initially (I was) disappointed, of course,” Bolt said at Melbourne airport.

“But in life, things happen … I’m not sad, I’m waiting to see if Nesta is going to appeal or whatever,” Bolt added. “So right now I’m just waiting to see what’s going to happen. But I gave up my medal.”

Carter teamed with Bolt on three straight world championship relay-winning teams, from 2011 through 2015. Carter also took an individual bronze in the 100m in 2013 in Moscow, behind Bolt and Justin Gatlin of the United States.

Carter, who did not compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year, faces a ban from the IAAF.

Bolt, Powell and Michael Frater, the fourth member of the relay team which crossed the line in a world record time of 37.1 seconds at the Beijing Games, are all in Melbourne to compete in the Nitro Athletics series.

The meet held over three nights will feature six teams of 24 track and field athletes — 12 women and 12 men — from Australia, an international team representing the Bolt All-Stars, China, England, Japan, and New Zealand.

Organizers say the team-based competition “combines strength, endurance, power and extreme energy” and includes sprint, distance, field and para-athletic events. The series continues on Feb. 9 and 11, also at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium.

Former 100m world record holder Powell also served a doping ban in 2014 after testing positive to the stimulant oxilofrine, although his sanction was reduced from 18 months to six following a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“We went out there as a team and we did what we had to do,” Powell said Wednesday.

“It’s very unfortunate, and we have to look to the future. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we just need to be positive about everything right now. I’m in no position to say what should and should not be (banned). It is what it is. Some things aren’t fair.”

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Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future