Watch Simone Biles’ top-scoring ‘Dancing with the Stars’ debut

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Simone Biles winked at Laurie Hernandez before her first performance on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Then she channeled her “inner Laurie” and posted the highest score of the 12 contestants on the season premiere Monday night, 32 points out of 40.

A great start for Biles, who is looking to follow Hernandez and make it back-to-back gymnasts to lift the Mirrorball Trophy later this spring.

Biles, the last contestant to go, performed a tango with partner Sasha Farber that drew rave reviews from judges.

“You guys are the power couple,” Carrie Ann Inaba said as Farber lifted Biles off the floor and the gymnast giggled. “That was an exquisite exhibition of technique, elegance and power all wrapped together in a crunchy, yummy tango.”

Len Goodman called it, “the dance of the night.”

“You are the whole package, your frame, your posture, your footwork, your Sasha,” Julianne Hough said. “You guys are the dynamic duo.”

Farber said Biles was so nervous before their dance that she didn’t speak in the preceding minutes backstage.

“I would rather do [balance] beam,” Biles said afterward, noting she took off her heels pretty quickly after the show.

Earlier Monday, two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan scored 28 points with partner Artem Chigvintsev. Kerrigan tied for the third-highest score of the night.

Judge Bruno Tonioli said Kerrigan’s waltz made him feel “enveloped by a luxurious cashmere shawl.” The panel told Kerrigan she needed to improve on her footwork, eyes and leg extension.

“I’m sad that now it’s done because it’s gotten better and better,” she said. “Finally, it was feeling pretty good. Now it’s done. So I’m excited to do next week.”

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VIDEO: Tom Brady calls Simone Biles ‘the GOAT’

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang gets rare open hearing in doping case

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Monday it will hear the World Anti-Doping Agency’s case against three-time Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang on Nov. 15 in front of reporters — possibly even live-streamed — at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Montreux, Switzerland.

The hearing won’t be completely open. Registration will be required, and photographers and videographers “will be invited to leave the hearing room after the opening,” CAS said in a statement. But those outside the room may still get a glimpse of the proceedings.

“With the agreement of all parties, it is intended to live stream all or parts of the hearing on the CAS website,” CAS said.

CAS noted that it has only held one prior hearing that wasn’t in a private setting — the 1999 case involving Irish swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin, who won three gold medals in the 1996 Olympics but was banned for four years for tampering with a urine sample, a case that still prompts soul-searching in the Irish media. De Bruin lost the appeal.

Sun is accused of smashing a vial of blood at a drug test last fall. FINA allowed him to continue to compete, but the WADA has appealed, seeking a substantial suspension.

The Chinese swimmer won two gold medals at the world championships this summer and snubbed by some rivals at each medal ceremony, leading to a confrontation with British swimmer Duncan Scott.

RECAP AND VIDEO: Sun taunts Scott after medal ceremony

Sun has won 11 world individual titles in several freestyle distances but also has a long history of controversies ranging from a prior positive drug test and confrontations with other swimmers.

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U.S. women’s volleyball team ends year with surprise loss to Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic surprised the U.S. women’s volleyball team in the final of the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean) women’s continental championship Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, winning the first two sets and regrouping after a U.S. rally to win the fifth set.

The final score of the back-and-forth match: 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-9. The U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in three previous finals: 2011, 2013 and 2015. The Dominican Republic won a semifinal matchup on its way to the 2009 title.

In group play, the U.S. team had beaten the Dominican Republic in straight sets. The U.S. also breezed past Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico in group play and swept past Canada in the semifinals.

The loss doesn’t affect Olympic qualification. The U.S. women had already qualified for the 2020 Olympics by winning a qualification tournament in August in Bossier City, La.

MORE: U.S. women rally to qualify

Semifinalists Canada and Puerto Rico qualified for a last-chance Olympic qualifier that the Dominican Republic will host in January. Mexico defeated Cuba in the NORCECA fifth-place game to be the last of the four teams vying for one spot.

The Dominican Republic has had some success in women’s volleyball, finishing fifth in the 2014 world championships and reaching the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals before falling to the U.S. The team also won this year’s Pan Am Games, to which the U.S. did not send its top players. Currently, the team is ranked 10th in the world.

Earlier this year, the U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in two tournament finals — the Pan American Cup and the NORCECA Champions Cup. The U.S. also won a matchup in the World Cup last month, but the Dominican Republic won another five-set match in the Nations League preliminary round in Italy.

The U.S. finishes the year with a 44-7 record in tournament play, including a first-place finish in the Nations League and second place in the World Cup.

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