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Russia wins 3 medals on day 4 of world championships

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HONG KONG (AP) Russia’s Daria Shmeleva won her first individual gold medal in the women’s 500-meter time trial at the world track cycling championships on Saturday.

Shmeleva, ranked No. 6 in the world in the event, finished in 33.282 seconds to beat Germany’s Miriam Welte, whose time of 33.382 seconds left her with silver. Last year’s winner, Anastasia Voinova, qualified with the fastest time but finished in third in 33.454 seconds.

Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky and Jolien D’Hoore led the women’s madison from the start and finished first with 44 points. Elinor Barker and Emily Nelson, from Great Britain, finished in second with 34 points, and despite two falls by Alexandra Manly after being bumped by teammate Amy Cure, the second-ranked Australians finished in third with 26 points.

Chloe Dygert, the 20-year-old American who missed setting a world record in the qualifying round of the women’s individual pursuit by less than a second, won her second gold medal of the championships in the event with a time of 3 minutes, 24.641 seconds. She beat Australia’s Ashlee Ankudinoff, who finished in 3:31.784, in the final, and the United States’ Kelly Catlin won the bronze medal race in 3:30.365.

France’s Thomas Benjamin won the men’s omnium with 149 points. Spain’s Albert Torres Barcelo, who opened the final race as the leader, finished in third with 138 points, with Aaron Gate, of New Zealand, finishing two points behind Benjamin in second.

Russia’s Denis Dmitriev, a bronze medalist in both last year’s world championships and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, did not lose a heat in the men’s sprint race and claimed the gold medal. He beat the Netherlands’ Harrie Lavresen in the final, with Ethan Mitchell of New Zealand edging Great Britain’s Ryan Owens for bronze.

World champ Peter Sagan to race in Tour Down Under

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia has confirmed he will compete in the Tour Down Under in January, the opening World Tour event of the season.

Sagan won the world title last month for the third straight year, becoming the first cyclist to do so. He competed in the Tour Down Under for the first time last year, finishing second on three stages behind Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan.

Sagan, who rides for the BORA-hansgrohe team, said the six-stage Tour Down Under is “the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year … a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what.”

Former Olympic cycling champ fired after positive drug test

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) Former Olympic road cycling champion Samuel Sanchez, who returned a positive doping test in August, had his B-sample confirmed Wednesday and was promptly fired by the BMC Racing Team.

Sanchez’s out-of-competition test revealed growth hormone-releasing peptide 2, or GHRP-2, a drug that increases a body’s level of growth hormone. Several cyclists have tested positive for the drug, among them Italian rider Stefano Pirazzi, who was given a four-year ban earlier this week.

The U.S.-based BMC Team said in a statement Wednesday that it was adhering to its zero-tolerance policy toward doping by terminating the Spaniard’s contract “with immediate effect.”

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who had been provisionally suspended, won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.