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

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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