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Australia, Philippines brawl in FIBA World Cup qualifying, leaving 2 on 5

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Thirteen players were ejected — and one chair was thrown — as a brawl between Australia and the host Philippines marred a 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifier on Monday.

WIth Australia up 79-48 in the third quarter, the Philippines’ Roger Pogoy and Australia’s Chris Goulding shoved each other with Goulding hitting the floor. It led to another Aussie, former Saint Mary’s star Daniel Kickert, leveling Pogoy.

Chaos ensued and spilled off the court. Somebody not wearing a basketball uniform threw a chair. Play stopped for more than 35 minutes as officials went off the court and determined punishments.

Full video is here.

In the end, nine Philippines players and four Australians were ejected, including former NBA big man Andray Blatche of the Philippines and Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker of Australia.

The teams continued playing, even though the Philippines had just three players. The Philippines intentionally fouled until it was down to one player, at which point the game was called with Australia winning 89-53.

FIBA opened disciplinary proceedings against both teams.

Australia and the Philippines each provisionally advanced to the final round of Asia World Cup qualifying that starts in September.

“Basketball Australia deeply regrets the incident in tonight’s match between the Boomers and the Philippines in Manila,” Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore said. “We are extremely disappointed with what happened and our role in it. This is not the spirit in which sport should be played and certainly not in the spirit in which we aim to play basketball.

“We apologize to our fans and will await the penalties to be handed down.”

MORE: U.S. men’s basketball team suffers rare loss in World Cup qualifying

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World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

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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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MORE: Viral Olympic moments of 2010s decade

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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MORE: Viral Olympic moments of 2010s decade