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Vaudoise Arena performer critically injured
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Youth Olympic Games ceremony performer critically injured in rehearsal accident

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A performer has been hospitalized after an accident in a Tuesday rehearsal for Thursday’s Youth Olympic Games opening ceremony.

“The performing artist suffered the accident at the Vaudoise Arena, after which she was evacuated to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) where she underwent treatment,” the IOC said in a statement that gave no other details.

Local police said the performer is a 35-year-old Russian skater who fell 15 feet after losing her balance while suspended above the ice. The police said the injuries are life-threatening.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for Thursday night local time. A Youth Olympic Games spokesperson said rehearsals have resumed and the ceremony will go ahead, Tribune de Genève reported.

Organizers say the ceremony is centered on the theme “Home” and “will be organized around 7 artistic tableaux and symbolic elements that epitomize the Olympic movement.” The ceremony is sold out.

Vaudoise Arena will host ice hockey events, including a new 3-on-3 discipline with teams composed of athletes from different countries, in addition to the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Youth Olympic Games feature all 15 Winter Olympic disciplines as well as the sport of ski mountaineering. The Olympic Channel will have same-day delay coverage of each day’s events, including the opening ceremony.

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Anna Shcherbakova wins Russian figure skating title; Yevgenia Medvedeva withdraws

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Anna Shcherbakova repeated as Russian national champion, topping arguably the deepest field in figure skating on Saturday.

Shcherbakova, the 15-year-old Skate America winner, rallied from a 9.93-point deficit to Alena Kostornaia after the short program. She landed three quadruple jumps and prevailed by 2.04 over Kostornaia, who had two triple Axels in her free but no quads and minor landing errors.

Full results are here.

Alexandra Trusova, the third member of the Russian Troika dominating the sport in their first years on the senior international stage, finished third. Trusova fell on her opening quad flip in the free in Krasnoyarsk.

Shcherbakova, Kostornaia and Trusova were 20 points clear of the rest of the field and made up the podium for a second straight year. They combined to win all seven titles on the top-level fall Grand Prix Series, including a podium sweep of the Grand Prix Final.

Yevgenia Medvedeva, a two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist, withdrew hours before her free skate after struggling with boot problems this week.

“My feet are burning. I did everything I could,” Medvedeva said after her fifth-place short program, according to an RT translation.

Medvedeva, who last won a top-level event in November 2017, then announced she will not skate the rest of the season, according to Russian media.

Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova withdrew from nationals two weeks ago, saying she needed to find the motivation to compete again after placing last in the six-skater Grand Prix Final.

Each of the last 14 Russian women’s champions was 17 years or younger. Before that, Maria Butyrskaya, Irina Slutskaya and Elena Sokolova combined to win the previous 12 titles, all at age 20 or older.

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MORE: Alina Zagitova took a break; what does that say about figure skating?

Russia appeals Olympic ban to Court of Arbitration for Sport

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has confirmed that it will appeal its four-year Olympic ban for manipulating doping data.

The Russian anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, sent a formal letter Friday disagreeing with the sanctions imposed earlier this month by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The case is now heading to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

MORE: WADA imposes four-year ban

Next year’s Olympics in Tokyo will be the third consecutive edition of the games preceded by a legal battle over Russian doping issues.

RUSADA said it “disputes the (WADA) notice in its entirety,” including the evidence of tampering with the data archive. The data was handed over in January and was meant to clear up past cover-ups, but has led to more legal tussles.

RUSADA’s own CEO, Yuri Ganus, attached his own note of protest to Friday’s letter. Ganus is critical of Russian officials and had disagreed with the decision to appeal. He was overruled by his agency’s founders, which include some of Russia’s most influential sports leaders.

The WADA sanctions ban the use of the Russian team name, flag or anthem at a range of major sports competitions over the next four years, including next year’s Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup.

However, Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as neutrals if they pass a vetting process which examines their history of drug testing and possible involvement in cover-ups at the lab. They will not be able to compete under the name “Olympic Athletes of Russia” as many athletes did in the 2018 Winter Games, where they won 17 medals.

Some anti-doping advocates, including outgoing WADA vice president Linda Helleland of Norway and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, have expressed disappointment that Russian athletes were not completely banned from the Olympics.

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

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