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    Latvia skeleton team pulls out of worlds in Sochi

    Latvia’s Lelde Priedulena will be one of the competitors not taking part in the skeleton world championships in Sochi.
    Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/AP/File 2016
    Latvia’s Lelde Priedulena will be one of the competitors not taking part in the skeleton world championships in Sochi.

    Latvia will not send its skeleton athletes to this season’s world championships in Sochi, the first such announcement by any national team in response to the Russian doping scandal. The world championships for bobsled and skeleton are scheduled to be held on the 2014 Olympic track from Feb. 13-26. A number of athletes, including some past Olympic medalists from the United States and Britain, have said they will consider skipping worlds unless officials move the event out of Russia. But no other national team had taken such an official stance, until Sunday. ‘‘Enough is enough,’’ the Latvian skeleton team said in a statement. If worlds are going to be moved out of Sochi, a decision by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation would have to come quickly. The IBSF said it will ‘‘act promptly and decisively’’ after World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren’s latest report detailing the scope of the doping program in Russia was released Friday. US officials have said they will support any American athlete who chooses not to race in Sochi.

    Among the concerns some sliders have expressed about going back to Russia is a fear that food and beverage supplies could be tampered with and that athletes could unknowingly ingest a banned substance. If they were subsequently tested and that test came back positive, they would likely be ineligible to compete in the 2018 Olympics. The Russians are scheduled to compete this weekend in a World Cup bobsled and skeleton competition in Lake Placid, N.Y., as are sliders from most other nations on the circuit. Latvia has seven Winter Olympic medals in its history — all of them in sliding sports. The Latvian team is led by Martins Dukurs, the seven-time defending World Cup overall champion who has gotten silver medals at the past two Olympics.

    McLaren’s report released on Friday said that Russians who won 15 medals in Sochi had their drug-testing samples tampered with, including two athletes who won four gold medals. McLaren’s report did not include names.


    ‘‘While our international federation is still going to ‘read and digest the report,’ we will do what we can,’’ the Latvian skeleton team wrote. ‘‘We will be glad to race in World Championships at any track of the world, but we are not participating in World Championships in Sochi, Russia — a place where Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014.’’

    Unbeaten Shiffrin wins Cup slalom

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    Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin remains unbeatable in slalom. The American won the 11th consecutive World Cup race that she has entered in the discipline, finishing with a massive 1.09-second advantage over Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova in Sestriere, Italy. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland placed third. Shiffrin, 21, missed two months last season after tearing a ligament in her right knee during a training fall in Sweden. She has won six straight slaloms since her return . . . Motivated after missing a race over a sponsor flap, Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway won a World Cup men’s slalom in Val D’isere, France. Kristoffersen, the World Cup slalom winner last year, skipped the opening slalom this season in Levi, Finland, last month to protest being blocked by the Norwegian federation from wearing the helmet of a personal sponsor. Kristoffersen finished ahead of five-time defending overall champion Marcel Hirscher.

    Russian cross-country skier Sergei Ustyugov won a World Cup sprint race in Davos, Switzerland, edging Finn Haagen Krogh of Norway. Norway’s Sindre Bjoernestad Skar was third. Earlier, Maiken Caspersen Falla edged Norwegian teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg in the women’s race. Hanna Falk of Sweden into third American Jessica Diggins placed fifth . . . Poland’s Kamil Stoch claimed his 16th win in the World Cup ski jump at Lillehammer, Norway, edging compatriot Maciej Kot. Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler finished third.


    Borowiecki, Oleksiak get suspended

    Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki and Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak were suspended two games each by the NHL for illegal hits in games. Borowiecki boarding Kings forward Tyler Toffoli and was assessed a major penalty for the play during Ottawa’s 4-1 loss at Los Angeles on Saturday. Based on his average annual salary, Borowiecki forfeits $12,222.22 that goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Oleksiak’s illegal check to the head of Flyers forward Chris VandeVelde came in Dallas’s 4-2 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday. He forfeits $10,208.34 to the PEAF.


    NCAA will honor Frates at his home

    NCAA officials plan to hand deliver an award to former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge that raised millions of dollars for ALS research. Frates is unable to attend an awards celebration in Nashville this January to accept the 2017 Inspiration Award because the neurodegenerative disease is progressing. NCAA president Mark Emmert and NCAA honors committee chair Dr. Michael Benson will present the award to him at his home in Beverly. Frates was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2012. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than $220 million when it took off worldwide on social media in 2014 . . . Notre Dame offensive lineman and former Everett star John Montelus will transfer to Virginia to use his final year of eligibility as a graduate-student. Montelus was a 2012 Globe All-Scholastic.


    Brazel captures Hong Kong Open


    Australia’s Sam Brazel birdied the 18th hole to narrowly edge Rafa Cabrera Bello to capture the Hong Kong Open, his first title on the European Tour. Brazel plays on the Asian Tour and had never had a top-10 European Tour finish before. The win gives him automatic entry into European Tour events for the next two years. Brazel shot a 68 for an overall total of 13-under-par 267, while Cabrera Bello shot a 69 and finished a stroke back. Andrew Dodt shot a final-round 66 to tie for third with Tommy Fleetwood (68), two shots off the leader. American David Lipsky carded a 68 to finish in fourth place at 10 under . . . David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites shot a 10-under 62 to win the PNC Father/Son Challenge in Orlando by a stroke. Duval and Karavites finished at 21-under 123 in the scramble event to hold off 2013 winners Stewart and Connor Cink, newcomers Retief and Leo Goosen, and Fred and Taylor Funk . . . Max Holloway scored a knockout over Anthony Pettis 4:50 into the third round for the interim featherweight championship in the co-main event at UFC 206 on Saturday night in Toronto. It was the first time a UFC belt was on the line for just one fighter. It became an interim featherweight title bout for Holloway when Pettis failed to make weight on Friday, coming in 3 pounds over the 145-pound limit. Earlier, Cub Swanson won a unanimous decision over Dooho Choi in a featherweight bout. In her UFC debut, Viviane Pereira beat Valerie ‘‘Trouble’’ Letourneau by split decision in the lone women’s strawweight bout on the card.