AP

USOC files to remove itself as defendant in Larry Nassar lawsuits

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DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Olympic Committee is trying to remove itself as a defendant in lawsuits by gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, three of the gymnasts who sued the federation and others for their roles in the Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal.

In court papers filed last Friday, the USOC acknowledges it is “appropriately” part of “discussions concerning moral and social responsibility for sexual abuse, including legitimate questions about what could have been done to recognize and stop Nassar’s abuse.”

But, the motions say, there are no legal grounds to sue the USOC because Nassar never worked for the federation, nor were Nassar’s crimes foreseeable by the USOC.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky lauded the fortitude of the victims and reiterated some of his group’s efforts in response to the scandal — the opening of the U.S. Center for SafeSport and an investigation into what the USOC knew about the crimes and how it reacted.

“Our filing addresses an entirely different question, namely the legal responsibility for Nassar’s crimes,” Sandusky said.

Nassar, who is in prison for assault and child pornography crimes, was a volunteer for USA Gymnastics, which is also named as a defendant in several of the lawsuits.

The gymnasts contend the USOC, as an umbrella organization that oversees USA Gymnastics, should have done more when it learned of the abuse.

The USOC filed motions to dismiss itself as the defendant in six lawsuits overall, three of which were filed by plaintiffs identified as Jane Doe.

The USOC acknowledges there is “no debate regarding the harm Nassar caused,” or the plaintiffs’ “courage and strength in responding to his crimes.”

At issue in these motions is the murky relationship between the USOC and the national governing bodies — the organizations that run the individual Olympic sports. Those organizations receive funding and guidance from the USOC.

The USOC has ultimate authority to certify them, but it has little to do with their day-to-day operations, hirings or training methods. The USOC is now looking into redefining its relationship with the NGBs.

On Tuesday, the USOC’s interim CEO, Susanne Lyons, will appear before a Senate subcommittee to discuss changes the USOC has made since Nassar’s abuse was uncovered.

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Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

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2020 Tour de France results

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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