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Russia says ‘understanding’ reached on doping data for WADA

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin says there is “understanding” on how crucial data on drug use by Russian athletes will be handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency, whose representatives arrived in Moscow on Wednesday.

WADA officials are making their third visit seeking the Moscow laboratory data, which could help the agency file doping charges against numerous Russian athletes it believes doped in previous years.

Russia missed a deadline to hand over the data by Dec. 31, meaning its anti-doping agency could face sanctions from WADA.

“There were some working disagreements which arose last time related to which storage devices (the data) will be transferred onto and how, and so on. I would say these are not so much substantial matters as issues of logistics,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Wednesday.

“As far as we know via our sports authorities, there are intensive contacts under way and now understanding has been reached with the WADA representatives regarding how the work will continue.”

WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald said the three-person team had arrived in the Russian capital.

“They look forward to starting their work tomorrow,” Fitzgerald told The Associated Press by e-mail. WADA estimates the team will stay three days, Fitzgerald said, but “it could be longer, could be shorter.”

Despite protests from many Western athletes and anti-doping figures, WADA lifted a suspension on Russia’s anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, in September on condition the country handed over the data by Dec. 31. A WADA group which visited last month left empty-handed when Russian officials claimed their equipment wasn’t certified under Russian law.

Even after the deadline was missed, WADA has said it could still accept Russian cooperation before a committee meeting rules on RUSADA next week. Russia must also make stored lab samples available for analysis by June 30.

IOC pledges €500,000 to help restore Notre Dame ahead of 2024 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.

NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patrick Kane joined by NHL All-Stars on world championship roster

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NHL All-Stars Jack EichelRyan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.

Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.

Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.

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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster
Forwards

Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)

Defensemen
Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Goalies
Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)