Six Russian hockey players banned from Olympics for life

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Six skaters on Russia’s Sochi Olympic women’s hockey team — including its captain and leading points scorer — were banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC.

The Russian team that lost in the Sochi Olympic quarterfinals was also retroactively disqualified as a whole.

The IOC announced the decision Tuesday as part of its ongoing sanctions against Russian athletes committing doping violations at the Sochi Winter Games.

Captain and leading points scorer Yekaterina Smolentseva, a four-time Olympian, was among the six players banned.

The others were Inna Dyubanok, Yekaterina Lebedeva, Yekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova and Galina Skiba.

That makes 31 Russian athletes retroactively disqualified from the Sochi Olympics (not including the rest of the hockey players part of the disqualified team who haven’t been implicated in doping).

Russia is now the first nation to have 100 athletes disqualified from the Olympics all-time, according to Olympic historians.

The Russian women’s hockey team is the first team in any sport from any nation to be disqualified from an Olympics since 1948, according to Olympic historians.

The full IOC press release is here.

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MORE: List of Russia Olympic medals stripped; new Sochi medal standings

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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