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Figure Skater Valieva Disqualified In Olympic Doping Case. Russians Set To Lose Team Gold To US

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GENEVA — Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was excluded from the 2022 Olympics on Monday, nearly two years after her doping case generated controversy at the Beijing Games.

According to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision, the Russians will lose their gold medal in the figure skating team event. The United States finished second and is expected to be crowned Olympic champion instead.

The International Olympic Committee opted not to award medals for the event in Beijing, where Valieva, then 15, was the star performance hours before her positive test for a banned cardiac medication was revealed.

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Figure Skater Valieva Disqualified In Olympic Doping Case. Russians Set To Lose Team Gold To US

The case caused legal havoc at the Beijing Olympics since Valieva’s sample, obtained six weeks earlier at the Russian national championships, was informed as a positive test on February 7, 2022, by a Swedish laboratory that experienced staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAS said it upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal, which requested the court to disqualify and ban Valieva from competing in the Olympics. A Russian sports tribunal cleared her of wrongdoing, citing her juvenile status.

The CAS judges suspended her for four years, until December 25, 2025, almost seven weeks before the next Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

The United States team won silver in Beijing and should be elevated to gold. Japan won bronze, and Canada finished fourth. The IOC is in charge of reallocating medals, and its executive board is next slated to meet in March.

“We now anticipate the day when we can wholeheartedly celebrate these athletes, along with their peers from around the world,” Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, said in a statement on Monday.

Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim, and Vincent Zhou are expected to be the new Olympic champions.

According to lawyer Andrea Pinna, Valieva’s legal team is examining the CAS ruling before determining whether to file an appeal with the Swiss Supreme Court. Pinna, based in Paris, led the skater’s defence during the appeal sessions in September and November.

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Figure Skater Valieva Disqualified In Olympic Doping Case. Russians Set To Lose Team Gold To US

Appeals to the Swiss Supreme Court might be brought based on narrow procedural reasons rather than the case’s merits.

The medication trimetazidine, which Valieva’s attorneys claimed her grandfather used, allegedly infected her. She was also using two oxygen-boosting drugs, which are not prohibited in athletics.

“Having carefully considered all the evidence put before it,” according to a statement issued by the court, “the CAS panel concluded that Ms. Valieva was not able to establish, on the balance of probabilities and on the basis of the evidence before the panel, that she had not committed the (doping violation) intentionally.”

The judges determined that, under Russian anti-doping guidelines, Valieva could not benefit from being a minor at the time of the positive test.

There was “no basis under the rules to treat them any differently from an adult athlete,” stated the court, which did not publish its complete ruling pending a review of confidentiality problems.

Valieva was free to continue skating in the Olympics after a Russian tribunal and a second CAS panel in Beijing ruled that she was not culpable because she was a minor.

The heavy focus on Valieva resulted in an error-filled skate in the solo event, where she was favoured for gold but finished fourth.

The drama continued as she departed the ice. Skating experts and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach chastised her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, for his behaviour.

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Figure Skater Valieva Disqualified In Olympic Doping Case. Russians Set To Lose Team Gold To US

One day later, Bach told reporters in Beijing that he was “very, very disturbed” by Valieva’s entourage’s “tremendous coldness”.

When a Russian journalist appeared to infer that Olympic officials and the world media were bullying a 15-year-old during a press conference, Bach responded in an unusually direct manner, assigning blame.

“The ones who have administered this drug in her body, these are the ones who are guilty,” the IOC president stated in Beijing.

When a young athlete tests positive for doping, the world anti-doping rules mandate an investigation into his or her entourage.

“The doping of children is unforgivable,” WADA, based in Montreal, warned Monday. “Doctors, coaches or other support personnel who are found to have provided performance-enhancing substances to minors should face the full force of the World Anti-Doping Code.”

The appeal came to CAS in late 2022 to contest a Russian anti-doping tribunal’s decision that Valieva was not at fault. That ruling proposed dismissing her from the national championships but retaining her Olympic results and a gold medal.

WADA sought CAS to impose a four-year suspension and disqualify Valieva from the Olympics. The International Skating Union requested a two-year suspension and disqualification.

“WADA took this appeal to CAS in the interests of fairness for athletes and clean sport and we believe that has been delivered through this decision,” the World Anti-Doping Agency stated.

Valieva, who will turn 18 in April, has not competed internationally since the Beijing Olympics.

Four days after the closing ceremony, Russia started a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine, and five days later, the International Skating Union barred Russian skaters from competing. That prohibition remains in place.

Since the Olympics, Valieva has competed on an enlarged Russian national competition circuit and in several TV events and ice shows. She is no longer the nearly invincible skater she appeared to be before the Beijing Olympics, and younger skaters from Tutberidze’s training group twice defeated her at the Russian championships.

Although national scores are frequently exaggerated, Valieva’s 237.99 points—third at the Russia championships—would have been the best in the world by more than 10 points this season.

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Figure Skater Valieva Disqualified In Olympic Doping Case. Russians Set To Lose Team Gold To US

When an athlete aged 16 or younger tests positive for a banned substance, international standards mandate an investigation into their entourage. The Russian anti-doping agency and WADA were expected to investigate the matter, but neither has released any results, and there is no sign that anyone else is facing anti-doping charges in the case.

At the national championships this past weekend, Evan Bates, an American ice dancer, stated that winning a team medal with partner Madison Chock would be meaningful to them.

“I say, you know, we’re the only two athletes from the Beijing team that are still competing — every single one of the rest of us has moved on,” Bates said. “I believe the two-year delay in making this judgement is excessive. We’re just looking forward to some closure after a lengthy wait.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

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The Eastern Conference won the All-Star Game for the first time since 2014, defeating the Western Conference 211-186 on Sunday in its annual showcase of its best players.

The rosters included top players including LeBron James, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokić, and Kevin Durant.

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

According to the NBA, the scoring spree smashed numerous records. The East scored the most points ever, exceeding the 196 that the Western All-Stars scored in 2016, and the overall total of 397 surpassed the previous record of 374 set in 2017. The Eastern All-Stars also made a stunning 42 three-pointers, breaking the previous record of 35 established in 2019.

“Everybody was asking what the record was,” Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard said. “We found out and went after it.”

This year’s All-Star Game also featured the return of the original East vs. West format. From 2018 to 2023, team captains (the two players with the most fan votes in each conference) selected players from an All-Star pool, regardless of team or conference.

Lillard led the East with 39 points, capping off a hugely successful weekend by being awarded All-Star Game MVP after defending his Three-Point Contest championship earlier on Sunday. Some of his shots during the showcase game came from far beyond the arc.

“Kawhi Leonard and I were impressed with his ability to shoot from the halfcourt line as if it were a free throw. “Strength, power, muscle memory,” said 14-time All-Star Kevin Durant.

Karl-Anthony Towns, a Minnesota Timberwolves big man coming off the bench for the West, led all scorers with 50 points in under 28 minutes. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a regular season MVP candidate, scored 31 points to power the West.

Despite the broken records and attacking masterclasses, many fans and analysts chastised Sunday’s game for its apparent lack of competition.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics scored 36 points, while Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, playing in his home court, scored 32.

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

Defence has always been regarded as optional in midseason exhibition games, with players preferring to put on a show for the spectators with spectacular highlights while playing with less energy to avoid injury.

The All-Star Game is primarily a showcase, but the high point totals and sluggish defensive attempts have begun to irritate fans.

With the East’s advantage expanding in the second and third quarters and little to no defence performed on either end, the game was out of reach for the West early on, resulting in a lack of suspense down the stretch.

The popular Elam Ending, which ends a game when one team hits a target score in an untimed fourth quarter, was also removed with the return to the conference structure.

Mychal Thompson, the father of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, called the event a “farce,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver appeared frustrated after the final buzzer.

“To the Eastern Conference All-Stars: You had the most points. “Well, congratulations,” he remarked on-court after the game.

Even the players had worries about the game.

“I hope the All-Star Game returns to what fans want to watch over time. “I guess guys are trying to figuNBAre out how to play hard while also staying safe,” Brown remarked after the game.

Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

Durant argued that the lopsided scoreline was due to the game’s high-powered offence.

“The shot-making from the East was incredible,” he said. “Hard to play defence when somebody’s shooting 30-, 40-footers over you.”

Finding a way to revive interest and inject some energy into this NBA season mainstay will be a struggle for Silver in the coming years as the league strives to balance crowd-pleasing on-court antics and competitive spirit.

SOURCE – (CNN)_

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

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Stephen Curry was on a roll in Indianapolis, but it wasn’t enough to beat Sabrina Ionescu.

And, fittingly, he won by three.

The Golden State star and NBA’s all-time 3-point champion defeated Ionescu 29-26 in the Steph vs. Sabrina battle at All-Star Saturday night, the league’s first him-versus.-her matchup.

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

“For us to deliver a show like that, it was perfect,” Curry said. “As much excitement as you can generate in that short period of time with two outstanding shooters going at it. This is something we will cherish for a long time.”

Ionescu won the WNBA’s 3-point shootout at All-Star weekend last year with a record of 37 points, breaking Curry’s NBA shootout record of 31. A challenge was issued from there, and a plan was devised for them to meet over All-Star weekend.

So they did, and it seemed like the main event of the evening.

“Hopefully, this isn’t the last time we do this,” Ionescu remarked.

Given how much the fans — and everyone in the NBA and WNBA — seemed to enjoy it, it’s unlikely to be the last time, especially since Curry and Ionescu discussed adding partners to the mix next year when All-Star weekend happens to be in San Francisco, where he plays, and she lives.

Curry received a championship belt with images of goats—as in, GOATs—on either side.

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

He is, without a doubt, the greatest shooter of all time. But Ionescu, the New York Liberty star, nearly overwhelmed him.

Ionescu took the first shot and made 18 of 27—starting 7 for 7. Some were worth one point, some worth two, for 26 points.

She shot from the NBA 3-point line, which is often 12 to 18 inches farther away from the hoop than the WNBA line, depending on the area of the court. Ionescu used a WNBA ball, which was smaller than Curry’s NBA ball.

Curry had to rally at the end, making nine of his last ten to seal the victory.

They combined to shoot 39 for 54 (72%) in a contest featuring unusual components, such as a lime-green glass floor in a football stadium with the world watching.

“This was so authentic for the both of us to be able to be here, finally not in a closed gym, shooting in front of everyone watching and understanding what it means for ourselves but also the bigger picture,” said Ionescu, who previously defeated Curry in an H-O-R-S-E competition without millions of people watching on television. “This is exactly where I wanted to be. It has altered the landscape of how people perceive what we are doing.”

There is no rivalry between the two, even though Curry heckled Ionescu during her rehearsal shooting session on Friday. He was booing her as she was shooting.

“Trying to apply some pressure, for sure,” Curry added.

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

He has inspired Ionescu for more than half of her life. Ionescu’s family held season tickets to the Warriors games. He once gave her a high-five in the tunnel connecting the locker room to the court. She used a photo of him as her screensaver.

Years later, when Ionescu was shining in Oregon, she was the one who high-fived Curry’s daughters, who adored her. And on Saturday, Ionescu said the experience of simply being a part of something so unique on the All-Star stage taught her a valuable lesson.

“To just keep believing in myself,” she stated. “You know, ten years ago, I would have never imagined this was conceivable. And so being able to be up here is a blessing and an opportunity to even be in the same conversation with Steph and to see how much he respects me as a player, a basketball player, and a person for wanting to come out here and do this.”

The competition garnered funds for both of their causes, and Curry won the belt at the end – but they were both pleased.

“I don’t know what’s going to come out of it, but Sabrina and I talked about how cool of an opportunity it is to do something that’s never been done before in our game,” Curry said. “Her presence on this stage will greatly inspire the next generation of young boys and girls who want to compete and see themselves in either of us.” Wherever it goes from there, we know we can establish ourselves as doing something truly unique.”

SIYRCE – (AP)

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Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

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Kansas City, Missouri – The mass shooting that occurred amid crowds at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration looked to be the result of a dispute between several persons, authorities said Thursday.

Police Chief Stacey Graves said the 22 people injured in the incident ranged in age from 8 to 47 years old, with half of them under the age of 16. A mother of two was also killed.

Graves said three people were held, including two children, but no charges have been filed yet. Police are urging witnesses, anyone with mobile footage and victims of the violence to contact a special hotline.

“We are investigating the involvement of others. It should be mentioned that we have retrieved multiple guns. “This is still a very active investigation,” Graves stated during a press briefing.

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Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

The shooting outside Union Station occurred despite the presence of around 800 police officers in the building and surrounding vicinity, including on top of adjoining structures, according to Mayor Quinton Lucas, who arrived with his wife and mother and fled for safety when the guns rang out. However, he does not plan to cancel the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“We hold parades all the time. I don’t think they will finish. “Certainly, we recognised the public safety challenges and issues surrounding them,” Lucas added.

Before the shooting, crowds gathered along the parade route, with some fans climbing trees and street poles or standing on rooftops to get a better view. Double-decker buses with drummers and DJs passing by the audience carried players.

The police had estimated that 1 million people attended the march, which took place in a city with a population of around 470,000 and a metropolitan area of roughly 2 million, but emphasised that a small group of people perpetrated the violence.

“The law enforcement response was excellent. “Those in attendance also responded,” Graves said. “They helped one another and even physically stop a person believed to be involved in the incident.”

Meanwhile, police continue to seek witnesses to come forward. Many others recalled a feeling of disorientation that spread throughout the gathering.

The demonstration had just ended, and music was still playing when the shooting began. Many folks initially believed they were hearing fireworks. However, mayhem ensued. Some in the crowd fell to the ground, while others jumped over barriers and fled the scene, some carrying toddlers in their arms.

The gathering was so large that normalcy swiftly returned, with several supporters confused about what had transpired. But suddenly, ambulances arrived, and officers rushed in, pistols drawn. Some of the least badly injured were transported away in golf carts.

The startled crowd, some in tears, cautiously gathered their possessions, attempting to find how to return home. Strangers consoled one another as police taped up the crime scene in an area where there had been a joyful party just moments before.

Hank Hunter, a sophomore at a Kansas high school, reported hearing bullets in the distance while watching the rally with a friend. At first, they had no idea what it was, but then, “like a chain reaction”, individuals began hitting the ground.

They tried to jump over a barricade, and his friend banged his head into the concrete, Hunter explained. As the players and coaches boarded buses, a security guard led his companion into Union Station, which was closed to the public. Coach Andy Reid consoled his pal, saying he “just tried to comfort him and calm him down.”

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Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

Social media users shared disturbing footage of cops dashing through Wednesday’s crowded scene. One video showed someone performing chest compressions on a victim while another person, who appeared to be in pain, lay on the ground nearby. People screamed in the background.

Another video shows two people chasing and tackling someone before holding them down until two police officers arrive. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Trey Filter of Wichita, Kansas, said he witnessed someone being chased and intervened.

“I could not see much. I heard, ‘Get them!’ I noticed a flash close to me. And I remember jumping and thinking, ‘I hope this is the fool they were talking about,'” he explained. “They began shrieking, ‘There’s a gun! “There is a gun!”

Filter stated that he and another man kept the person pinned down until authorities came. “I remember the officers pulling my feet off of him, and at that point, I was just looking for my wife and kids,” he told reporters.

It wasn’t immediately obvious whether the guy he was holding down was involved in the shooting, but Filter’s wife, Casey, noticed a gun nearby and grabbed it up.

According to radio station KKFI-FM, the woman slain in the incident was Lisa Lopez-Galvan, host of “Taste of Tejano.”

Lopez-Galvan, whose DJ name was “Lisa G,” was an outgoing and loving mother from a well-known Latino family in the neighbourhood, according to Rosa Izurieta and Martha Ramirez, two childhood acquaintances who worked with her at a hiring firm.

“She’s the type of person who would jump in front of a bullet for anybody — that would be Lisa,” she said.

chiefs

Shooting After Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Seemed To Stem From Dispute Among Several People, Police Say

Kansas City has long suffered from gun violence, and in 2020, it was one of nine towns targeted by the US Justice Department as part of an initiative to reduce violent crime. In 2023, the city tied a record with 182 killings, the majority of which included guns.

Lucas has joined mayors from throughout the country in pushing for additional gun-violence-reduction policies, such as universal background checks.

“We did everything to make this event as safe as possible,” Lucas, a Democrat, told KMBC-TV Thursday. “But as long as we have fools who will commit these types of acts, as long as we have their access to firearms with this level of capacity, then we may see incidents like this one.”

According to University Health spokesperson Leslie Carto, two of the eight gunshot patients who were brought to the hospital remain in critical condition. One person is in stable condition. The remaining five have been discharged. The hospital also treated four event attendees who sustained nongunshot injuries. Carto said that three of those patients had been discharged.

Stephanie Meyer, chief nursing officer at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, said the hospital was treating 12 rally patients, including 11 children aged 6 to 15, nine of whom had sustained gunshot wounds. Everyone was anticipated to recover, she said.

When asked about the children’s condition, Meyer said, “Fear.” The one word I’d use to describe what we saw and how they got to us is terror.”

Emily Hohenberg, a representative for St. Luke’s Hospital, said one gunshot victim is still in critical condition. Four people who were injured while fleeing the scene of the incident were treated and released.

SOURCE – (AP)

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