Chris Mazdzer
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2020 World Luge Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Olympic silver medalist and former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant Chris Mazdzer expects to be back in top shape just in time for the luge world championships this weekend in Sochi.

“Mentally, I’m always about 100 percent,” Mazdzer said on a conference call this week. “I’m physically doing great also.”

Mazdzer, one of very few luge sliders to participate in both singles and doubles, has been dealing with a neck problem that caused him to miss the last four World Cup stops.

On the other side of the injury report, 2019 world championship bronze medalist Emily Sweeney has gone back to the U.S. to deal with a neck problem, a lingering result of a crash in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in which she suffered fractures in her neck and back.

Sweeney has been on the podium in three World Cup races this seasonSummer Britcher has reached the podium four times, including a third-place finish earlier this month in Oberhof, Germany.

Tucker West had a pair of second-place finishes in Lake Placid earlier this season.  

Mazdzer’s doubles partner, Jayson Terdiman, also has had a neck issue but is set to compete.

With several women from the perennially dominant German team, including two-time defending Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger, out of action this season, Russia’s Tatyana Ivanova is the leader in the women’s World Cup, just ahead of Germany’s Julia Taubitz in a two-woman race for the season title.

Russia’s Roman Repilov is the men’s World Cup leader. Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken have a slim lead over their longtime rivals Tobias Wendt and Tobias Arlt in the doubles competition.

The championships will be live on OlympicChannel.com, with delayed broadcasts on the Olympic Channel and NBCSN.

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 5:30 a.m. Doubles sprint OlympicChannel.com
6:25 a.m. Women’s sprint OlympicChannel.com
7:20 a.m. Men’s sprint OlympicChannel.com
Saturday 5:40 a.m. Doubles OlympicChannel.com
8:15 a.m. Women’s singles OlympicChannel.com
12:30 p.m.* Doubles Olympic Channel | STREAM
2 p.m.* Women’s singles Olympic Channel | STREAM
Sunday 5:15 a.m. Men’s singles OlympicChannel.com
9:50 a.m. Team relay OlympicChannel.com
11:30 a.m.* Men’s singles Olympic Channel | STREAM
10:30 p.m.* Highlights NBCSN

*Delayed broadcast

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Salwa Eid Naser, world 400m champion, provisionally banned

Salwa Eid Naser
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Salwa Eid Naser, the world 400m champion of Bahrain, was provisionally suspended for missing three drug tests in a 12-month span.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” Naser, 22, said in an Instagram live video. “I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.”

Naser said “the missed tests” came before last autumn’s world championships, where she ran the third-fastest time in history (48.14 seconds) and the fastest in 34 years.

“This year I have not been drug tested,” she said. “We are still talking about the ones of last season before the world championships.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping cases for track and field, did not announce whether Naser’s gold medal could be stripped.

“Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image, but it has happened,” she said. “It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.”

Naser, the 2017 World silver medalist, upset Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas for the world title in Doha on Oct. 3.

The only women who have run faster than Naser, who was born Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Nigeria to a Nigerian mother who sprinted and a Bahraini father, were dubious — East German Marita Koch (47.60) and Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99).

“I would never take performance-enhancing drugs,” Naser said. “I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”

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When Laurie Hernandez winked at the Olympics

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Blink, and you may have missed one of the social-media-sensation moments of the Rio Olympics.

Laurie Hernandez, then 16, was the youngest woman on the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. She was about to start arguably the most important floor exercise routine of her life.

So, she winked.

“The amazing thing about the Olympics is that you feel so many different emotions in the span of a few days, and they are all intense,” she wrote in her 2017 book, “I Got This,” a nod to what she told herself before her balance beam routine earlier that night. “So it was nice to have at least one totally playful moment.”

The U.S., on its fourth and final rotation, already had the team gold all but locked up. Knowing she was nervous, Hernandez’s teammates confirmed to her that they were a few points ahead.

Then Hernandez heard the beep, and it was time to go. She was in the view of an out-of-bounds judge at the Rio Olympic Arena.

“Well, I looked straight at her and suddenly felt this surge of confidence to wink,” she wrote. “Later, a woman came up to me while I was watching Simone [Biles] and Aly [Raisman] compete in their all-around finals and she said, ‘Wow, I just want you to know that when you winked at the judge, it really worked.’ I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said, ‘Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say.’ That’s when she told me she was the out-of-bounds judge! All I could say was ‘Oh my goodness.'”

Hernandez, a New Jersey native, finished the Olympics with a team gold and balance beam silver.

She took more than two years off before making a comeback in earnest last year, announcing she planned to return to competition this spring under new coaches in California. Now that’s on hold given the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

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