Friday Sports in Brief
BEIJING (AP) — Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s right to compete in the women’s event at the Beijing Olympics will be decided at an urgent hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Testing Agency — on behalf of the IOC — said Friday they would fight the decision by Russia’s anti-doping agency to allow the 15-year-old Valieva to skate. The Russian agency provisionally banned Valieva on Tuesday because she failed a doping test in December. After an appeal, the agency lifted the ban Wednesday.
Valieva is the heavy favorite in her event, which begins Tuesday. She set world record scores this season and landed the first quad jump by a woman at an Olympics as the Russian athletes competing as ROC, short for Russian Olympic Committee, won the team event. The ROC said it will fight to keep that gold medal, and Valieva has passionate support from the Kremlin.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China (AP) — In Shaun White’s farewell performance, Ayumu Hirano of Japan won an elusive Olympic gold in the halfpipe with a boundary-pushing final run.
Hirano’s last run featured what is now the new gold standard of halfpipe riding, the triple cork, which is three head-over-heels flips that was once thought impossible. His score of 96 reflected that.
The two-time Olympic silver medalist moved past Scotty James of Australia, whose top score was 92.50 in the three-run final. Jan Scherrer of Switzerland took bronze.
White finished in fourth place. He fell on the final run of a career that’s seen the American star win three Olympic titles.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The death of former major leaguer Jeremy Giambi was a suicide, the office of the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner said Friday.
Giambi, 47, died Wednesday at his parents’ home in suburban Claremont.
The cause of death was a gunshot wound, according to the coroner’s online case records.
A brother of five-time All-Star Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi spent six seasons in the major leagues as an outfielder and first baseman with Kansas City (1998-99), Oakland (2000-02), Philadelphia (2002) and Boston (2002-03).
Auburn coach Bryan Harsin will return for a second season after defections by assistants and players alike helped prompt a school investigation into unspecified concerns.
Auburn President Jay Gogue announced the decision Friday, a week after telling trustees that his office was “trying to separate fact from fiction” surrounding the polarizing coach who was accused publicly by one former player of treating his team “like dogs.”
Gogue decried the “wild speculation” and misinformation in the “feeding frenzy” surrounding Harsin, whose firing would have cost Auburn millions. His contract runs through the 2026 season.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall is considered a mid-round NFL draft prospect but the quarterback who passed on transferring to a Power Five school won’t throw a football for months as he rehabs an upper body injury.
McCall had surgery last month and with his right arm is in a sling and he can’t turn his shoulder to throw until right before the start of preseason camp this summer. But he’ll be an active spectator when the Chanticleers go through spring workouts.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Marshall, which announced last fall that it would join the Sun Belt by July 2023, said Friday it intends to end its affiliation with Conference USA a year early.
Marshall’s athletic department said it will stop participating in Conference USA effective June 30, 2022.
Marshall said that while it has told Conference USA of its intentions, the league “refuses to discuss a resolution” with the school.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fisk University is launching the first women’s gymnastics program at a historically Black college and university.
The school based in Nashville, Tennessee, made the announcement Friday.
Fisk competes at the NAIA level, and is hoping to begin the gymnastics program during the 2022-23 season. The school said it will award athletic and merit scholarships.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR’s top drivers have once again unified to form an independent council to gain a collective voice in decisions that affect the sport.
The Drivers Advisory Council announced on Friday is a more organized effort than a previous attempt to unify in 2014. A board of directors has been established and retired driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton agreed to oversee the effort.
The board includes Denny Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner who spearheaded the first attempt at a driver council, as well as former Cup champions Kurt Busch and Joey Logano. Also selected were Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Daniel Suarez and retired driver Kyle Petty, who like Burton is an NBC Sports analyst.
PARIS (AP) — Formula One extended its contract to continue racing in Bahrain until 2036, saying Friday that the Middle Eastern country holds a “very special place in our sport.”
The Sakhir-based circuit has held F1 races since 2004 and will stage the season-opener next month.
The Bahrain GP is scheduled March 20 and the Bahrain International Circuit will also host pre-season testing. Hamilton won the race in 2021.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A necropsy on 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit showed no definitive cause of death.
The California Horse Racing Board on Friday released the results of the examination done after the colt collapsed and died after a workout on Dec. 6 at Santa Anita.
Trainer Bob Baffert said the colt suffered a heart attack. Medina Spirit had just completed five furlongs in his second workout since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.
The necropsy report said Medina Spirit’s swollen lungs and foam in his windpipe, as well as enlarged spleen and congestions and mild hemorrhages in other tissues “are common in horses dying suddenly, and are compatible with, but not specific for a cardiac cause of death.”
Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby victory last May came under scrutiny after he tested positive for betamethasone, a legal medication that is not allowed on race day in Kentucky.
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