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Russia Olympic biathlon gold medalists face doping charges

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Yevgeny Ustyugov and Svetlana Sleptsova, two of Russia’s six gold medalists from the 2010 Olympics, are among four Russian biathletes charged with some of the nation’s latest doping violations, the International Biathlon Union said Friday.

The IBU cases derive from doping samples collected between 2012 and 2015 and are corroborated by information from the Richard McLaren report into Russian sports doping.

None of Ustyugov, Sleptsova and Alexander Chernysev have competed on the top international level in at least one year. The only active biathlete charged, Alexander Pechenkin, was provisionally suspended.

Russian media named Ustyugov, Sleptsova, Chernysev and Pechenkin as four biathletes charged with doping violations three months ago, when the IBU announced that four unnamed Russians’ cases would be brought to a doping hearing panel if the violations were not accepted.

Ustyugov, 33, earned one of Russia’s two individual Olympic gold medals in 2010. The nation’s disappointing results across all sports in Vancouver, along with hosting the next Winter Games in Sochi, helped lead to what McLaren’s 2016 report called “the well-oiled systemic cheating scheme” put in place ahead of the 2014 Olympics.

Russia’s other individual gold medalist from 2010, cross-country skier Nikita Kryukov, was banned from the Olympics for life by the IOC last November but reinstated upon appeal in January. He was still not invited to the PyeongChang Games by the IOC.

Sleptsova was part of Russia’s gold-medal relay team in 2010 anchored by Olga Zaitseva, who was implicated in the mass Sochi doping and stripped of her 2014 relay silver.

In 2014, Ustyugov was part of Russia’s Olympic champion relay team.

MORE: Biathlon president steps down after doping raid

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Finland, without its NHL stars, tops Canada for hockey world title

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Finland’s roster for the world men’s hockey championship included zero players who finished the 2018-19 season on an NHL team. Didn’t matter, the Finns knocked out the last three nations to win world titles en route to their first gold since 2011.

Finland beat Canada 3-1 in Sunday’s final in Bratislava, Slovakia, getting two goals from captain Marko Anttila, a 2004 Chicago Blackhawks draft pick who plays in the KHL (and has never played in the NHL). Anttila also scored the lone goal in Saturday’s semifinal with Russia.

The most notable name on Finland’s roster may be its youngest. Forward Kaapo Kakko, 18, could be the No. 2 pick in the NHL Draft behind American Jack Hughes.

Finland became the first nation to win a world title without a player who finished the season on an NHL roster since at least 1993, not counting the 1995 and 2005 lockout years. The NHL didn’t participate in the Olympics until 1998.

Canada’s roster was headlined by Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray, Nashville Predators forward Kyle Turris as captain and Philadelphia Flyers veteran forward Sean Couturier. But it lacked the superstars of recent years like Connor McDavid (2018), Claude Giroux (2017), Brad Marchand (2016) and Sidney Crosby (2015).

The Russians had stalwarts Alex OvechkinEvgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk but were blanked by Finland in the semifinals and ended up with bronze over the Czech Republic. They eliminated the Patrick Kane-captained Americans in the quarterfinals.

MORE: Great Britain gets first win at hockey worlds in 57 years

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U.S. diving roster for world championships finalized at nationals

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Collegians David Dinsmore and Brandon Loschiavo beat out Olympian Steele Johnson for the two U.S. men’s platform spots at July’s world championships.

Dinsmore, a rising Miami senior, had the highest cumulative score at the U.S. Championships in Indianapolis, while Loschiavo, a rising Purdue senior, was second while earning the national title with the top tally in Sunday’s final.

Johnson, coming back from two foot surgeries in the last eight months, ended up third, 41.95 points behind Loschiavo.

Johnson is still going to worlds in South Korea with former Purdue teammate Ben Bramley in the synchronized platform. Johnson is an Olympic silver medalist in that event with David Boudia, who left the platform for the springboard and won the national title on that event Saturday.

Also Sunday, Brooke Schultz and Sarah Bacon earned world spots in the women’s springboard, the one event this weekend without an Olympian in the field. Schultz won the previous world championships trials in 2017 and placed 25th at those worlds. Bacon, a rising Minnesota senior, is going to her first worlds.

Divers will compete at worlds for themselves but also to earn Olympic quota spots for the U.S.

U.S. roster for World Diving Championships
Women
Synchronized Springboard — Alison Gibson/Krysta Palmer
Synchronized Platform — Murphy Bromberg/Katrina Young (Olympian)
1m Springboard (Not an Olympic event) — Sarah Bacon, Maria Coburn
3m Springboard — Brooke Schultz, Sarah Bacon
Platform — Amy Cozad Magana (Olympian), Delaney Schnell

Men
Synchronized Springboard — Andrew Capobianco/MIchael Hixon (Olympian)
Synchronized Platform — Ben Bramley/Steele Johnson (Olympian)
1m Springboard (Not an Olympic event) — Briadam Herrera, Michael Hixon (Olympian)
3m Springboard — Michael Hixon (Olympian), David Boudia (Olympian)
Platform — David Dinsmore, Brandon Loschiavo

Mixed (Not Olympic events)
Synchronized Springboard — Briadam Herrera/Lauren Reedy
Synchronized Platform — Zach Cooper/Olivia Rosendahl

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