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Mikaela Shiffrin highlights Olympic sports action this week

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin looks to continue an already spectacular World Cup season this weekend in Maribor, Slovenia, the final event before the World Championships. The 23-year-old has 11 World Cup wins so far this season, three shy of the single-season record held for 30 years by Swiss skier Vreni Schneider. Shiffrin is expected to compete in both slalom and giant slalom in Maribor, live Friday and Saturday at 7 a.m. on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.

The World Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Championships begin this week in Park City, Utah. Olympic silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis is expected to contend for her sixth world title in the first event, snowboard cross, airing Friday at 1 pm on NBCSN.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP — Kitzbuehel, Austria; Maribor, Slovenia; Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Monday 4:00 p.m. Men’s Downhill & Super-G* NBCSN
Tuesday 11:00 p.m. Men’s Slalom* NBCSN
Friday 4:00 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
12:00 p.m. Women’s Giant Slalom* NBCSN
Saturday 4:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Downhill (CANCELED) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 2:00 a.m. Women’s Slalom* NBCSN
4:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) (CANCELED) OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) (CANCELED) Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day and next-day delay

CURLING WORLD CUP — Jonkoping, Sweden

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. Mixed Doubles: USA vs. Norway Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
11:30 a.m. Men’s: Sweden vs. USA Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Thursday 12:30 a.m. Mixed Doubles: USA vs. Norway* NBCSN
10:00 a.m. Mixed Doubles: China vs. USA Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Mixed Doubles: China vs. USA* NBCSN
2:00 p.m. Women’s: USA vs. Japan Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Friday 10:00 a.m. Men’s: USA vs. Sweden Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
11:00 p.m. Men’s: USA vs. Sweden* NBCSN
Saturday 6:00 a.m. Mixed Doubles: USA vs. China OlympicChannel
10:00 a.m. Mixed Doubles: USA vs. China* Olympic Channel
Sunday 2:30 a.m. Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Game OlympicChannel
6:00 a.m. Men’s Gold Medal Game OlympicChannel
10:00 a.m. Women’s Gold Medal Game Olympic Channel
6:00 p.m. Gold Medal Games NBCSN
9:30 p.m. Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Game* Olympic Channel
Monday 5:00 p.m. Men’s Gold Medal Game* Olympic Channel

*Same-day and next-day delay

CYCLO-CROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS — Bogense, Denmark

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 5:00 a.m. Junior Men OlympicChannel.com
7:00 a.m. Men’s Under-23 OlympicChannel.com
9:00 a.m. Women’s Elite Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 5:00 a.m. Women’s Under-23 OlympicChannel.com
9:00 a.m. Men’s Elite OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. Men’s Elite* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay Men’s Elite races stream live on OlympicChannel.com and NBC Sports Gold.

SHOW JUMPING WORLD CUP — Guadalajara, Mexico

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Sunday 9:00 a.m. From Guadalajara, Mexico* Olympic Channel

*Pre-recorded

FREESTYLE SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS — Park City, Utah

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 1:00 p.m. Snowboard Cross NBCSN NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 3:00 p.m. Ski Cross Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
9:00 p.m. Freeski: Big Air Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 1:00 a.m. Ski Cross* NBCSN
1:00 p.m. Team Snowboard Cross Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
3:30 p.m. Freeski: Big Air* NBCSN
5:00 p.m. Team Snowboard Cross* NBCSN

*Next-day delay

MEN’S HANDBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Tuesday 12:00 a.m. Gold Medal Match: Denmark vs. Norway* NBCSN

*Pre-recorded

LUGE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, WORLD CUP — Winterberg, Germany; Altenberg, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Monday 10:30 p.m. FIL World Luge Championships* NBCSN
Saturday 3:00 a.m. Doubles (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
4:30 a.m. Doubles (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
5:50 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
7:35 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
2:00 p.m. Men’s Singles* Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m. Doubles* Olympic Channel
Sunday 3:15 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
4:50 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
7:00 a.m. Team Relay OlympicChannel.com
3:00 p.m. Women’s Singles* Olympic Channel
10:00 p.m. From Altenberg, Germany* NBCSN

*Pre-recorded and same-day delay

NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP — Klingenthal, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 6:55 a.m. Men’s HS140 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
9:00 a.m. Men’s 10km OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 6:15 a.m. Men’s HS140 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
9:00 a.m. Men’s 10km OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold

SAILING WORLD CUP — Miami, Florida

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 12:00 p.m. From Miami, Florida OlympicChannel.com
Sunday 12:00 p.m. From Miami, Florida OlympicChannel.com

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP — Oberstdorf, Germany; Hizenbach, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 10:00 a.m. Ski Flying OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
6:30 p.m. Ski Flying* Olympic Channel
Saturday 8:15 a.m. Women’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
10:00 a.m. Ski Flying OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. Ski Flying* Olympic Channel
Sunday 8:15 a.m. Women’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
10:00 a.m. Ski Flying OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Ski Flying* Olympic Channel
9:00 p.m. Ski Flying* NBCSN

*Same-day delay

SPEED SKATING WORLD CUP — Hamar, Norway

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 9 a.m. Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
5:30 p.m. Day 1* Olympic Channel
Saturday 10:30 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
5:30 p.m. Day 2* Olympic Channel
Sunday 10 a.m. Day 3 NBC Sports Gold
5:30 p.m. Day 3* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

SHORT TRACK WORLD CUP — Dresden, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 8:50 a.m. Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
8:30 p.m. Day 1* Olympic Channel
Sunday 9:05 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
11:30 p.m. Day 2* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

TRACK CYCLING WORLD CUP — Hong Kong

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Monday 12:00 p.m. From Hong Kong* Olympic Channel

*Pre-recorded

ISTAF INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD — Berlin, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday TBA ISTAFF Indoor NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. ISTAFF Indoor* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

Maria Sharapova appears set to miss Tokyo Olympics

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Maria Sharapova, who would have a difficult time qualifying for the Olympics next year, committed to play an event in California the week of the Tokyo Games.

Sharapova is scheduled to play World Team Tennis matches in California during the Olympic tennis events in late July, according to a press release. Sharapova’s longtime agent hasn’t responded to a message seeking confirmation that she is ruling out the Tokyo Games.

Sharapova, 32 and the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, was barred from the Rio Games due to her 15-month meldonium suspension in 2016 and 2017. That alone could rule her ineligible for Tokyo, given the World Anti-Doping Agency’s sanctions against Russia on Monday.

Sharapova is ranked No. 131 after a season shortened by shoulder surgery. She would have to be among the top four ranked Russian women after the French Open in June for possible automatic Olympic qualification. She is currently the 14th Russian.

Olympic eligibility rules include minimum participation requirements in Fed Cup, which Sharapova hasn’t done in this Olympic cycle, though exceptions can be made.

Sharapova’s passion for the Olympics is well documented.

She carried the Russian flag into the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and carried the Olympic flame into Fisht Stadium at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony, where she worked for NBC Olympics.

“It was the one thing that my parents allowed me to watch on TV late into the evening was the Olympics,” Sharapova said in 2017. “I grew up watching figure skating and hockey and a little bit of tennis. … Just capturing the Opening Ceremonies and seeing all the countries and the little hats that they wore, and I, as a little girl, I just imagined that maybe it would be me. But I never, ever thought that I would be carrying the flag.

“I received that [flag] honor in a text message, which is a very Russian way of communicating. I originally thought it was a joke, a big fat joke. Then I showed it to my mother, and she [said], no, they probably wouldn’t joke like that.”

In February 2016, Sharapova entered a Fed Cup tie, despite saying she was injured, in order to receive Olympic eligibility. One month later, her failed drug test was announced.

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Russia banned from Olympics, world champs for 4 years; athletes could compete as neutrals

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Russia is banned from the next two Olympics and other major sports events for four years, though its athletes could still compete without representing the country if cleared by anti-doping authorities.

Russia’s hosting of world championships in Olympic sports also face being stripped after the World Anti-Doping Agency executive committee approved a full slate of recommended sanctions for tampering with a Moscow laboratory database.

Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in major events — including world championships — only if they are not implicated in positive doping tests or their data was not manipulated, according to the WADA ruling. “In this circumstance, they may not represent the Russian Federation,” according to a WADA release.

“While I understand the calls for a blanket ban on all Russian athletes whether or not they are implicated by the data, it was the unanimous view of the CRC [compliance review committee], which includes an athlete, that in this case, those who could prove their innocence should not be punished, and I am pleased that the WADA ExCo [executive committee] agreed with this,” WADA CRC chairman Jonathan Taylor said.

There are 145 unnamed athletes within WADA’s “target group of most suspicious athletes” from 2012-15 who would not be allowed to compete at the Olympics, Taylor said, adding that it’s possible those names will be made public. About one-third of them are still active.

Russia’s anti-doping agency can appeal the decision within 21 days. Russia previously signaled it would appeal the ruling.

“The decision will come into effect only when it becomes final ie when either RUSADA accepts it or it is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” a WADA spokesperson said in an email.

Russia avoided blanket bans for the Rio and PyeongChang Olympics after a state-run doping program was exposed by media and WADA investigations after Russia hosted the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Approved Russian athletes competed as neutrals — “Olympic Athletes from Russia” — including in team sports in PyeongChang. Those Russians combined to earn two gold medals (figure skater Alina Zagitova and men’s hockey) and 17 overall, compared to the leading 33 Russia earned at the Sochi Olympics before medals were stripped for doping.

“Will Russian athletes be accepted as Olympic Athletes from Russia?” during the ban, Taylor said. “No, they are neutral athletes, which means not representatives of any country. Not representatives of Russia.”

Going forward, “they cannot use the name of the country in the name of the team,” WADA president-elect Witold Bańka told The Associated Press.

Two of the 168 Russians who competed in PyeongChang failed drug tests and were punished for doping.

More recent evidence shows that Russian authorities tampered with a Moscow laboratory database to hide hundreds of potential doping cases and falsely shift the blame onto whistleblowers, WADA investigators and the International Olympic Committee said last month. “Flagrant manipulation” of the Moscow lab data was “an insult to the sporting movement worldwide,” the IOC said last month.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order … but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” WADA president Craig Reedie said.

Russia will be allowed to participate in the Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland, that open Jan. 9.

WADA’s inability to fully expel Russia from the Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games frustrated the doping watchdog’s vice president.

“I’m not happy with the decision we made today. But this is as far as we could go,” said Linda Helleland, a Norwegian lawmaker who serves on WADA executive committee and has long pushed for a tougher line against Russia. “This is the biggest sports scandal the world has ever seen. I would expect now a full admission from the Russians and for them to apologize on all the pain all the athletes and sports fans have experienced.”

Although the IOC has called for the strongest possible sanctions, it wants those sanctions directed at Russian state authorities rather than athletes or Olympic officials.

“To allow Russia to escape a complete ban is yet another devastating blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport and the rule of law,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement. “And, in turn, the reaction by all those who value sport should be nothing short of a revolt against this broken system to force reform.”

Russia’s Olympic champion women’s handball team is currently competing at the world championships in Japan. Its next match is Tuesday against Montenegro. Russia has been the scheduled host for the world luge championships in Sochi in mid-February.

The “major sports” events that fall under WADA’s sanctions do not include European Championships or other non-world championships events such as tennis’ upcoming Australian Open.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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TIMELINE: Russia’s recent history of sports doping