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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, others call for Russia Olympic ban

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National anti-doping agencies, including USADA, want Russia’s Olympic Committee banned from the PyeongChang Winter Games, while setting criteria for individual Russians to be cleared as neutral athletes.

“[Anti-doping] leaders called on the IOC to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from participation in the 2018 Winter Games for proven corruption of the Sochi Olympic Games and continuing failure in its obligations to clean sport,” a joint press release Thursday said. “The IOC needs to stop kicking the can down the road and immediately issue meaningful consequences.”

IOC president Thomas Bach has said he hopes a decision on Russian sanctions will be made before the winter sports season is in full swing later this fall.

It would come after an IOC-commissioned investigation into Russian doping delivers its findings.

“[Anti-doping] leaders reaffirmed their commitment to provide consistent criteria for individual Russian athletes to compete, as neutrals and independent of the Russian Olympic Committee, for those who have been subject to robust anti-doping protocols, consistent with precedent established by the IAAF,” Thursday’s press release said.

The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, was the lone sport federation to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics.

Anti-doping leaders, including from USADA, criticized the IOC for not issuing a blanket Russia ban for Rio given the nation’s well-publicized doping issues.

The IAAF allowed one Russian athlete to compete in Rio — long jumper Darya Klishina — because she had been based in the U.S. for three years and subject to reputable drug testing.

Russia’s federation remains banned from international track and field competition, but more Russian athletes were cleared to compete as neutrals this year, including for the world championships last month.

Before calling for Russia’s ban from PyeongChang, officials from 17 national anti-doping organizations met for two days. It was the fourth special meeting since the Rio Games.

The group included anti-doping leaders from the nations that finished Nos. 2-9 behind Russia in the Sochi Olympic medal standings.

They addressed “the International Olympic Committee’s continuing refusal to hold Russia accountable for one of the biggest doping scandals in sports history, saying IOC inaction imperils clean athletes and the future of the Olympic movement.”

In January, a similar group of national anti-doping leaders (including from USADA) similarly called for Russia to be banned from all international sports competitions while allowing for cleared athletes to compete as neutrals.

Now, with the winter sports season already under way, the leaders are looking at PyeongChang specifically.

“A country’s sport leaders and organizations should not be given credentials to the Olympics when they intentionally violate the rules and rob clean athletes,” the press release said. “This is especially unfair when athletes are punished when they violate the rules.”

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MORE: WADA eyes fast-tracked power to sanction cheating countries, sports

Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

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2020 Tour de France results

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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