Anthony Ervin misses world team as Caeleb Dressel keeps rising

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Anthony Ervin defied Father Time in Rio. He couldn’t do it again in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Ervin, who last year became the oldest individual Olympic swimming champion by four years, finished sixth in the 50m freestyle at USA Swimming Nationals. Ervin will not be going to the world championships later this month.

USA Swimming Nationals, part of the TeamUSA Summer Champions Series, presented by Comcast, determines the team for worlds in Budapest.

Ervin, who at 36 was the oldest swimmer at nationals by three years, needed a top-two finish to earn a trip to Hungary.

Caeleb Dressel won the 50m free in 21.53 seconds, qualifying for his fourth individual event at worlds. He was followed by Nathan Adrian in 21.87. Ervin clocked 22.09.

Dressel, 20, has nine events to choose from at worlds when including five relays (two mixed-gender). He swam in one individual event (sixth in the 100m free) and two relays in Rio (prelim only in the medley relay).

SWIM NATIONALS: Full Results

In other events Saturday, Leah Smith joined Katie Ledecky on the world team in the women’s 1500m freestyle by swimming 16:01.02.

It’s the second-fastest time in the world this year, 25 seconds behind the leader Ledecky. Ledecky had a bye onto the world team in the 1500m by winning the 800m free on Tuesday.

Smith, the Olympic 400m free bronze medalist, qualified for the world team in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, plus the 400m individual medley and the 4x200m free relay.

If Smith swims all of those events at worlds, it lines up to be 7,000 total meters of racing if she makes every final (700 more meters than Ledecky’s slate).

“Last summer, I swam three events [in Rio],” Smith said on Universal HD. “So, this will be really fun to challenge myself.”

Simone Manuel won the women’s 50m freestyle in 24.27 seconds. Abbey Weitzeil held off Lia Neal by .03 to sneak onto the world team.

Olympians Chase Kalisz and Melanie Margalis won the 200m IMs.

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World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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