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Alysia Montaño to receive medals several years after being cheated out of them

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U.S. 800m runner Alysia Montaño will receive her first world outdoor track and field championships medals, six and nine years after being cheated out of them.

Montaño will be in Doha for the world championships that start next week, not to compete but to be given bronze medals from the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, according to her social media.

Montaño crossed the finish line fourth in each of those world 800m finals. Russian Maria Savinova, an original gold and silver medalist in those respective races, was retroactively stripped of those medals (and her 2012 Olympic title) years later for doping. That cleared the way for Montaño’s upgrade.

“I always give everything I’ve got, and in track and field that has also been the case,” was posted on Montaño’s Instagram. “Everything I had I left it out there, I have no regrets, used all of the power in me to come up with the best possible result for all my true, honest hard work and over a decades time worth of dedication. From 2007-2016 I had the ultimate displeasure of racing against dopers who ultimately dominated the top of the scoreboard. These athletes who were doping stole precious moments and money from clean athletes including me, who never got the outdoor podium moment that I earned. -The [IAAF] took monetary bribes from the athletes that were doping at the time to cover up theirs failed results, if it were not for whistle blower Yulia Stepanova who secretly recorded her teammates as they explained their operation, what they took and how they got away with it, I would not have the opportunity to stand on and receive my podium moment and my medals that I honestly earned.”

Montaño, 33 and a 2012 Olympian, last competed at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships, placing seventh in her first-round heat while five months pregnant.

MORE: U.S. roster for track and field worlds

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World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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