Monday Sports in Brief

February 15, 2022 GMT

OLYMPICS

BEIJING (AP) — The International Olympic Committee says there will be no medal ceremony in Beijing if 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva places in the top three in the women’s individual event.

There will also be no medal ceremony for the team event, where Russia won gold a week ago with help from Valieva. The U.S. won silver and Japan won bronze.

Valieva was cleared Monday by Court of Arbitration for Sport judges to compete starting Tuesday, despite failing a drug test ahead of the Olympics.

But a separate investigation of that possible doping offense must be done in Russia and could take several months to resolve.

In the meantime, if Valieva wins an individual medal when the competition concludes Thursday, there won’t be even a flower ceremony on the ice.

The IOC says its executive board decided “in the interest of fairness to all athletes” not to award medals this week.

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NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Tyreke Evans is eligible to return to the NBA after he was reinstated by the league and the National Basketball Players Association on Monday.

The 32-year-old was the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. He was dismissed and disqualified from the league on May 17, 2019, for testing positive for a prohibited substance under the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.

Evans will become an unrestricted free agent Friday, meaning he can negotiate a contract with any team.

NHL

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jack Eichel will make his debut with the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, playing for the first time since being acquired from Buffalo and since he became the first NHL player to undergo artificial disk replacement surgery on his neck in November.

Eichel was acquired on Nov. 4 in a trade with Buffalo for a package including forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs. Then he had surgery on Nov. 12 and began practicing with the Golden Knights on Jan. 11.

The 25-year-old was cleared for full contact last week and will return in time to face the league’s hottest team, the Colorado Avalanche.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Gonzaga reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll Monday for a third stint this season atop the AP Top 25, moving up one spot to swap places with Auburn after the Tigers fell to No. 2 following their first loss since November.

Mark Few’s Bulldogs earned 56 of 60 first-place votes to reach No. 1 for a fifth week this season. Gonzaga (21-2) was the preseason No. 1 after last year’s run to the NCAA championship game for what became its only loss. The Zags spent three weeks at the top before falling out after a loss to Duke, and also spent a week at No. 1 in mid-January before being supplanted by Auburn.

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Going back to 2018-19, Gonzaga has spent at least four weeks at No. 1 each season, including last year’s wire-to-wire hold on the top spot. The Zags have now spent 31 of 72 weeks at No. 1 in the poll over the past four seasons, with Duke (11) and Baylor (10) the closest competitors.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Becky Hammon, Penny Taylor and Doug Bruno will headline the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022.

The trio is joined by Alice “Cookie” Barron, Delisha Milton-Jones, Paul Sanderford, Bob Schneider and Debbie Antonelli in a group that will be inducted on June 11.

Hammon is being honored for her playing career in the WNBA and at Colorado State. She was a six-time All-Star and was voted one of the WNBA’s 15 greatest players of all-time in 2011. Taylor starred both with the Phoenix Mercury and the Australian national team. Bruno has coached at DePaul for 36 years, guiding the team to 24 NCAA Tournament appearances.

OBITUARY

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Eduardo Romero, the Argentine golfer who won European Tour events over three decades, has died. He was 67.

The tour announced Romero’s death on Monday, without giving any more details. Argentina’s national news agency, Telam, cited cancer as the cause of death.

Nicknamed “El Gato” (The Cat), Romero was best known in golf for winning eight titles on the tour between 1989 and 2002.

Romero won more than 80 tournaments in South America, and represented Argentina in the World Cup and the Alfred Dunhill Cup.

He transitioned successfully to the senior circuit, winning major titles at the Tradition in 2006 and the U.S. Senior Open in 2008.

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