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Two more Russians stripped of 2008 Olympic medals

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian athletes Tatyana Lebedeva and Maria Abakumova lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday and were stripped of three silver medals for doping at the 2008 Olympic Games.

CAS confirmed the IOC decisions in 2016 to disqualify the pair plus compatriot Ekaterina Gnidenko.

The banned anabolic steroid turinabol was discovered in retests of all three women’s Olympic anti-doping samples.

Lebedeva won 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medals in the long jump and triple jump.

Abakumova won the silver in javelin at the 2008 Games.

Gnidenko was eighth in keirin track cycling at the 2012 London Olympics.

At their appeal hearings in May in Lausanne, all three failed to prove the anti-doping test methods were not scientifically valid, CAS said in a statement.

If medals are reallocated, Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan could win a third Olympic triple jump medal.

Rypakova stands to be upgraded from fourth to silver in 2008. She also won gold in 2012 and bronze in 2016.

Because Lebedeva was disqualified along with 2008 bronze medalist Chrysopigi Devetzi of Greece for doping, Yargelis Savigne of Cuba could move up from fifth to bronze.

In the women’s long jump, Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria may be upgraded from bronze to silver, and Chelsea Hammond of Jamaica improved from fourth to bronze.

In the 2008 javelin, Christina Obergfoll of Germany may be upgraded from bronze to silver, and Goldie Sayers of Britain from fourth to bronze.

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Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)