Two-time gold medalist skier from Austria may not qualify for Sochi Olympics

Austrian skier Benjamin Raich will miss the super-combined at the Sochi Olympics unless the sport’s ruling body makes an exception and lets the 2006 two-time gold medalist compete despite having failed to qualify.

The Austrian ski team said Wednesday it will ask the International Ski Federation for the exception for Raich on medical grounds.

Persistent back problems forced Raich to pull out of Friday’s World Cup super-combined in Wengen – his last chance of meeting the Olympic qualifying criteria set by FIS.

n Lindsey Vonn announced on her Facebook page that she had surgery on her right knee.


The knee injury prevented the reigning Olympic downhill champion from competing in the Sochi Games.

Vonn tore two ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed crash at the world championships last February. Then Vonn re-injured her surgically repaired ACL in a crash during training in November.

HOCKEY: Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk was named captain of Russia’s Olympic hockey team.


DAKAR RALLY: Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel closed the gap on Nani Roma to just two minutes after another all-out attack on the 10th stage along the Chilean coast.

NASCAR: Richard Petty Motorsports announced a three-year contract extension with Smithfield Foods Inc. as primary sponsor for Aric Almirola for 29 races through the 2016 season.



EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaia gave Russia a 1-2 lead after the women’s short program at Budapest, Hungary.

Carolina Kostner of Italy and the third Russian competitor, Alena Leonova, were next.


MLS: The Portland Timbers signed striker Gaston Fernandez and center back Norberto Paparatto, both of Argentina.

U.S. WOMEN: The U.S. women’s soccer team will play a second exhibition against Russia at the Georgia Dome in a five-day span when it travels to Atlanta on Feb. 12.


The Americans announced last week they will face the Russians on Feb. 8 in Boca Raton, Fla., the first meeting between the nations since a 5-1 U.S. win in September 2002.

WORLD CUP: An American referee was picked to officiate at the World Cup for the first time since 2002.

Mark Geiger, a 39-year-old high school math teacher from Beachwood, N.J., was among 25 referees selected Tuesday by FIFA.


GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: Samantha Sullivan scored 11 points, Dana Brooks and Torie St. Pierre each had 10, and Berwick Academy (10-1) cruised to a 60-26 win over visiting Concord Academy (0-9).

– From staff and news services

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