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More Russian medalists stripped, banned from Olympics

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Eleven more Sochi Olympians from Russia were disqualified by the IOC and banned from the Games for life, including two Sochi medalists, bringing the total to 43 athletes and 13 medals gone.

The athletes banned in Friday’s announcement relating to Russia’s doping violations:

– Lugers Albert Demtschenko and Tatyana Ivanova (Sochi silver medalists)
– Speed skaters Ivan Skobrev and Artem Kuznetcov
– Cross-country skiers Nikita Kryukov, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Natalia Matveeva
– Bobsledders Lyudmila Udobkina and Maxim Belugin
– Hockey players Tatyana Burina and Anna Shchukina

More from the IOC on the decisions is here.

In Sochi, Demtschenko became the oldest Winter Olympic medalist in an individual event when he took luge silver at age 42 in his record seventh Winter Games (Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai also competed in his seventh Winter Olympics in Sochi and hopes for his eighth in PyeongChang).

Italian Armin Zoeggeler, who took bronze in Sochi for his record sixth straight Olympic medal in one individual event, is in line to be upgraded.

As is the Sochi fourth-place finisher, Andi Langenhan of Germany (another German, Felix Loch, won gold).

Demtschenko and Ivanova made up half the Russian team for the first Olympic luge relay.

The Russians have been stripped of their silver medal from that event, with Latvia in line to go from bronze to silver and Canada potentially going from fourth to bronze. The Americans were sixth.

Demtschenko is retired.

Ivanova is Russia’s top female luger ranking third in the world last season and 10th this season. She won the World Cup race at the PyeongChang Olympic track in February.

The cross-country skier Kryukov was one of two individual Olympic champions for Russia at the 2010 Olympics, a title he will not lose for his Sochi DQ.

Kryukov and Bessmertnykh already had Sochi relay silver medals stripped due to teammates’ doping.

Kryukov, 32, last finished in the top 10 of World Cup standings in 2014.

The speed skater Skobrev won two individual Olympic medals in Vancouver but did not make a Sochi podium.

Skobrev is retired.

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

2026 Winter Olympic host: Milan-Cortina

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Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics, with Milan-Cortina winning an IOC vote over a Swedish-Latvian bid centered on Stockholm-Are.

After Winter Games in Vancouver (2010), Sochi (2014), PyeongChang (2018) and Beijing (2022), they return to a traditional European site for the first time since Italy hosted in Torino in 2006.

The two bids were left after five others dropped out for various reasons, all in 2018: Calgary, Canada; Erzurum, Turkey; Sapporo, Japan; Graz, Austria and Sion, Switzerland.

With the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games hosts both decided two years ago (Paris for 2024, Los Angeles for 2028), next up is the 2030 Winter Games. The U.S. has already said that if it bids, it will be with Salt Lake City, which held the 2002 Winter Olympics.

MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic master schedule

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Japan’s gymnastics worlds team: no Kohei Uchimura, Kenzo Shirai

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Not only is Kohei Uchimura going to miss the world championships, but so is 11-time world medalist Kenzo Shirai.

Japan finalized its five-man team for October’s worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, following a national-level meet this past weekend. Uchimura, arguably the greatest gymnast in history, was already out of the running, sidelined with his latest round of injuries.

Shirai, reportedly slowed by a left ankle injury this season, did compete this weekend. But he finished fifth on floor exercise and third on vault, his two best events, and did not earn one of the last two spots on the world team.

Uchimura, a two-time Olympic all-around champion with six world all-around titles, misses worlds for the first time since 2007. Shirai, a 22-year-old with four world titles between floor and vault, had competed in every worlds since debuting in 2013, just after his 17th birthday.

Without their two stars, Japan sends a relatively inexperienced team. Kazuma Kaya and Wataru Tanigawa, both 22, are the only men who have been to a worlds (and were part of the 2018 silver-medal team). The youngest member is 17-year-old Daiki Hashimoto.

Japan has earned a team medal at every Olympics and world championships since 2003, a streak bettered only by the U.S. women.

MORE: Olympic gymnastics team sizes return to five for Paris 2024

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