Medvedeva out of Grand Prix Final with broken foot

MOSCOW (AP) — Two-time world figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva will miss the Grand Prix Final because of a broken foot, the latest blow to her Olympic preparations.

The Grand Prix Final in Japan starts next Thursday, and Medvedeva’s withdrawal gives her more recovery time for the Russia championships from Dec. 21-24 which will help decide the team for the Pyeongchang Games.

Medvedeva broke a metatarsal bone in her foot and has been in a cast since winning the NHK Trophy last month.

Her place in the Grand Prix Final passes to the first alternate, Skate America winner Satoko Miyahara of Japan.

Unbeaten in two years, Medvedeva is the favorite for the gold medal at Pyeongchang if Russia is allowed to compete by the International Olympic Committee amid doping scandals.

Musher in doping scandal signs up for Norway race

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A four-time winner of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race who was recently accused in a dog-doping scandal has signed up to participate in Norway’s Finnmarkslopet race next year, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The announcement came weeks after Dallas Seavey withdrew from next year’s 1,000-mile (1,610 kilometers) Iditarod.

It will be Seavey’s first sled dog race in Europe, said Elise Houren, a spokeswoman for the racer.

Seavey quit the Iditarod in protest over race organizers’ handling of an investigation after four of his dogs tested positive for a banned substance following his second-place finish last March. Seavey denies the allegations.

More recently, animal-welfare investigators in Alaska said they found no evidence of animal cruelty after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals complained about a kennel operated by Seavey.

The Iditarod is held around the same time each year as the 745-mile (1,200 kilometers) Finnmarkslopet, which starts next year on March 9.