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Noah Lyles will not race 100m at USATF Outdoors; plans Olympic double

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Noah Lyles confirmed after his most recent 100m on Friday that he will not race the event at next week’s USATF Outdoor Championships, opting to focus on his best event, the 200m.

“That’s what I’ve been saying for a few months now,” Lyles told LetsRun.com after finishing second to world champion Justin Gatlin at a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday.

Still, Lyles said he discussed the potential 100m-200m double with his coach over the weekend, but they kept the plan to save him strictly for the 200m, according to Reuters.

“We have already decided to do the double next year at the Olympic Trials,” Lyles said, according to the report.

The double is more feasible at the 2020 Olympic trials, which is spread over 10 days, than at next week’s nationals, which are four days. The 100m is contested on Thursday and Friday and the 200m on Saturday and Sunday.

The double is also more feasible at the 2020 Olympics, where there is a full day off between the 100m final and the 200m first round, than the world championships in Doha in late September, when the 200m first round is the day after the 100m final.

Lyles must be cognizant of two other things: that he pulled out during the 2017 USATF Outdoors with a hamstring injury, forcing him to miss that season’s world championships. And that competing in the 100m, his complementary event, could tire him for the later 200m, though he is the overwhelming favorite in the latter and the top three per event make the team for this fall’s worlds in Doha.

Lyles, 22, ranks second in the world in the 100m this year behind countryman Christian Coleman, who is expected to do the 100m-200m double next week. Gatlin, 37, has a bye into worlds as the defending 100m champion, giving the U.S. four world spots in the event.

Lyles is the fastest 200m sprinter in the world this year by a comfortable two tenths of a second. He clocked 19.50 seconds in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 5, a time bettered in history only by Usain BoltYohan Blake and Michael Johnson.

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Alysa Liu rallies to win Junior Grand Prix with another quadruple jump

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U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu landed a quadruple Lutz for a second straight Junior Grand Prix, rallying from fourth after the short program to win an event in Poland on Friday.

Liu, who in January became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, won both of her starts in her first season on the Junior Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman to qualify for the six-skater Junior Grand Prix Final since 2013 (Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen). The Final is held with the senior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy, in December.

She won Friday by 6.63 points by surpassing a pair of Russians, a rarity in this era. Her free skate is here.

Liu trailed by 4.03 points after doubling a planned triple loop in the short program. She was the lone skater in the field to attempt a triple Axel (landing three of them, including two in combination and one with a negative grade of execution) or a quad.

Liu tallied 138.99 points in the free skate and 203.10 overall. She ranks sixth in the world this season by best total scores among junior and senior skaters, though some top skaters have yet to compete.

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Rafaela Silva, first Brazilian gold medalist at Rio Olympics, claims innocence after positive drug test

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Rafaela Silva, the judoka who grew up in Rio’s most famously violent favela to become Brazil’s first gold medalist at the Rio Olympics, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance last month.

Silva tested positive for fenoterol, a substance that can be legal to treat asthma if an athlete has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Silva did not have a TUE before testing positive at the Pan American Games in August, according to Brazilian media.

A possible punishment has not been announced.

Silva claimed innocence at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that a young child with whom she had bodily contact at her training location used the substance, and she plans to compete at a domestic event this weekend, according to O Globo.

Silva, 27, backed up her Rio Olympic 57kg title by taking bronze at the world championships later in August. If she is punished for the positive test, Silva could lose that bronze medal, though she said Friday that she had a clean drug test at worlds, according to O Globo.

Silva, from Rio’s Ciadade de Deus favela, has the Olympic rings tattooed on her right bicep with the inscription “God knows how much I’ve suffered and what I’ve done to get here.”

Brazil’s top female swimmer, Etiene Medeiros, reportedly tested positive for fenoterol in May 2016 but was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics.

In PyeongChang, Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol and was scratched before his nation’s last game before it was announced. Jeglic was suspended from the Games and, later, was suspended eight months.

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