Update on the latest sports
US, others pull out of Luge World Cup, citing safety
UNDATED (AP) – The U.S. has pulled its entire team out of this weekend’s series of World Cup luge races in Winterberg, Germany, while athletes from many nations are protesting what they are calling unsafe ice conditions.
Austria has also withdrawn its entire team from the weekend events and even several sliders from Germany – on home ice, no less – have said they are not willing to race this weekend. The International Luge Federation offered a compromise of sorts Friday by saying it would shorten the race distance, but even that did not solve the intense disagreement between sliders and officials over the safety issue.
Sliders from many nations have said there is too much ice buildup on certain curves, which significantly increases the chance of crashing.
Training this weekend in Winterberg has been marred by several crashes and even some injuries to top sliders.
WORLD CUP-WOMEN’S DOWNHILL
Gut-Behrami ends 2-year wait for win in a World Cup downhill
CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) – Lara Gut-Behrami has won a World Cup downhill race for her first victory in more than two years.
The 28-year-old former overall World Cup champion was 0.80 seconds faster than downhill standings leader Corinne Suter on Friday in Switzerland. That give the Swiss team a 1-2 finish. Stephanie Venier of Austria was 0.92 behind in third.
American Mikaela Shiffrin still leads the overall World Cup standings despite an extended break from racing after the death of her father.
WORLD CUP QUALIFYING-CHINA OUTBREAK
China to play 2022 World Cup qualifiers in neutral Thailand
ZURICH (AP) – World soccer’s governing body says China will play two World Cup qualifying games next month in neutral Thailand because of the virus outbreak in China.
China was to host the Maldives on March 26 and travel to face Guam, a U.S. territory, five days later.
FIFA (FEE’-fuh) says both games will now be played at Buriram, Thailand. Spectators will likely be barred from entering the stadium.
China is scheduled to host the Philippines and Syria in June, but many sports matches and competitions have been canceled, postponed or moved from China since the virus emerged in Wuhan late last year.
HALF MARATHON-WORLD RECORD
Yeshaneh sets world record in half marathon in Nike shoes
RAS AL KHAIMAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) – An Ethiopian runner has set a world record in a women’s half marathon, the latest breakthrough by athletes wearing high-tech Nike shoes.
Ababel Yeshaneh won Friday’s event in the United Arab Emirates in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 31 seconds. Her time knocked 20 seconds off the previous record set in 2017.
The men’s and women’s records in both the marathon and half marathon since 2018 have all been broken by athletes in Nike shoes. World Athletics cleared athletes to keep using Nike Vaporfly-style shoes last month, but it warned that new shoe technology could threaten the sport’s integrity.
The shoes have prompted concerns that athletes sponsored by other companies have no chance of competing in key races, such as the upcoming Olympics.
American women seek more than $66M in damages from US Soccer
UNDATED (AP) – Players on the U.S. women’s national soccer team are seeking more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
The damages were revealed in a slew of court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ahead of a scheduled May trial. The women’s national team sued the federation last year alleging unequal pay and treatment than players on the men’s national team.
Among the dozens of documents were the separate collective bargaining agreements of the U.S. men’s and women’s teams. The collective bargaining agreements showed a disparity in bonuses but also highlighted the different pay structures between the two teams.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN DOCTOR-INVESTIGATION
University of Michigan investigates doctor sex abuse claims
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – An Olympic wrestler is accusing a University of Michigan doctor of touching him inappropriately during medical exams at the school. Andy Hrovat says the physician’s reputation for such conduct was well known among his teammates in the 1990s. Hrovat competed for the U.S. in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He tells The Associated Press that the encounters with the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson happened during his freshman year in 1998.
Hrovat is the first athlete to make public accusations against Anderson following complaints this week from other former students that the doctor sexually abused them decades ago.