Sochi medalists David Wise, Devin Logan near Olympic spots

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Sochi medalists David Wise and Devin Logan just crowded the U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe qualifying standings.

Wise and Logan, who struggled in the first of five Olympic qualifiers last season, made up for it with first- and second-place finishes, respectively, at the second qualifier at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., on Friday.

Wise, who in 2014 became the first Olympic ski halfpipe champion, won the men’s event with a 92.8-point run. He had been eighth in the first qualifier last February.

Logan, who won slopestyle silver in Sochi, finished second to Frenchwoman Marie Martinod on Friday. Martinod tallied 83, with Logan coming in at 79.6.

Logan, who is expected to try and qualify for Pyeongchang in both halfpipe and slopestyle, was 30th in the first qualifier in February.

Copper Results: Men | Women

In Olympic ski halfpipe qualifying, athletes must earn a pair of top-three finishes among the five Olympic selection events to be eligible for automatic Olympic berths.

So far, nobody has met that criteria through two of five events.

Four men and two women have a single top-three finish — Wise, Torin Yater-WallaceGus Kenworthy and Taylor Seaton and Logan and Sochi gold medalist Maddie Bowman.

No more than three men and three women can clinch Olympic berths via two top-three finishes, so tiebreakers could come into play. The tiebreaker is best two finishes, so a pair of wins seals the deal even though three qualifying events remain.

The U.S. Olympic halfpipe teams can include up to four men and four women, depending on how U.S. Ski & Snowboard decides to allocate its freestyle skiing quota spots.

The U.S. Grand Prix Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain continues with snowboard halfpipe finals Saturday and snowboard big air finals Sunday.

The next ski halfpipe qualifier is next week at Breckenridge, Colo.

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U.S. Olympic Qualifying Standings
Ski Halfpipe
1. Torin Yater-Wallace — 145*
2. David Wise — 132*
3. Gus Kenworthy — 94*
4. Taylor Seaton — 64*
5. Aaron Blunck — 82

1. Maddie Bowman — 125*
2. Annalisa Drew — 95
3. Brita Sigourney — 90
4. Devin Logan — 81*
5. Carly Margulies — 72

**Has automatic qualifying minimum of two top-three results.
*Has one top-three result.

U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Finals
Saturday

Snowboard Halfpipe
1 p.m. ET — NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app — LIVE
4 p.m. ET — NBC, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app

Ski Halfpipe
1 p.m. ET — NBC, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app (from Friday)

Sunday
Snowboard Big Air
1 p.m. ET — NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app — LIVE
8 p.m. ET — NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app

World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

AP
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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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