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Vonn ahead of schedule

Lindsey Vonn is ahead of schedule in her return to the slopes on a surgically repaired right knee. She wasn’t supposed to be back on snow until around November. But she’s planning to ski this weekend in Portillo, Chile, with U.S. national team members.

The four-time overall World Cup champion is eyeing a possible return to competition in late November at a stop in Beaver Creek, Colo., which is near her hometown of Vail. That’s about three months ahead of the Sochi Olympics in February, where she will defend her downhill title.

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As for her expectations in Sochi, well, they remain as lofty as ever.

“I wouldn’t change my odds, just because I was injured,” Vonn said. “I’m going to be back just as good, if not better, than I was before.”

Bill Marolt, in charge for 18 years, will step down as CEO and president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association after the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

To take his place, the organization is bringing on board former Olympian Tiger Shaw, who will start Oct. 1 as chief operating officer before switching over to leading USSA after the Winter Games.


Donovan signs extension

Landon Donovan re-signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The multiyear contract could make him the highest-paid player in MLS if he reaches incentives within the deal. His decision to stick with the Galaxy is another turn in an eventful year for the fleet-footed midfielder widely considered the best player in American history.

Donovan’s return to the Galaxy is more good news for MLS, which welcomed U.S. star Clint Dempsey to Seattle this summer. Donovan believes the league has reached another superlative in its steady growth, and he wants to be part of it.

“I think we’re seeing a little bit of a tipping point right now,” Donovan said. “When you have a guy like Clint Dempsey, with all that he’s done and the player that he is, wanting to be in our league, it makes a big statement. When you have a young defender (Omar Gonzalez) who has a plethora of options and Omar wants to stay here, it makes a big statement.”

Gareth Bale is close to becoming the world’s most expensive soccer player.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said the forward’s transfer to Real Madrid could happen “very, very soon.” The Wales star has until Monday to complete his move to the Spanish power during the summer transfer window.

Bale has about three years remaining on his Tottenham contract. But the Premier League club is willing to sell him after spending the offseason strengthening the team in anticipation of his exit.

Villas-Boas said Bale’s deal is likely to be “the biggest transfer in world football,” exceeding the $124 million Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.


Mystics defeat Dream

Monique Currie, Tayler Hill and Ivory Latta each scored 15 points to help the Washington Mystics beat the host Atlanta Dream 85-80 in overtime.

Atlanta guard Angel McCoughtry, the WNBA’s leading scorer, injured her right ankle at the 3:27 mark of overtime and did not return.

Currie shook off McCoughtry’s defense on the left side of the floor and hit a three-pointer to force overtime with 6.4 seconds left in regulation. McCoughtry finished with 23 points.

Track and field

Bolt aims for 2016 Games

Usain Bolt said he is planning to defend his 100-, 200- and 4×100-meter relay golds at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. Three more golds would still leave Bolt trailing Carl Lewis’ Olympic track and field record of nine golds and one silver.


Bobby Labonte broke three ribs in a bike riding accident near his North Carolina home and will miss Sunday’s NASCAR race in Atlanta. He will be replaced in the No. 51 Chevrolet by Mike Bliss.

• Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup after being held to a 0-0 draw at home by 10-man Atletico Madrid, claiming the trophy on away goals after a 1-1 tie in the opening leg.

• The Houston Rockets signed free-agent swingman Ronnie Brewer.

• Free-agent forward Antawn Jamison signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

• The U.S. women’s national volleyball team lost to Brazil 25-19, 25-12, 25-10 in the opening FIVB World Grand Prix final-round match in Sapporo, Japan.

Michael Matthews of Australia won the fifth stage of the Spanish Vuelta in Lago de Sanabria, and Vincenzo Nibali of Italy kept the overall lead ahead of Christopher Horner of the U.S.

Carlos Condit (29-7) stopped Martin Kampmann (20-7) early in the fourth round in Indianapolis, putting himself in position to challenge for Georges St. Pierre’s UFC welterweight title.

• European 100-meter hurdles champion Nevin Yanit of Turkey was banned for two years for doping. Star Russian shot putter Anna Avdeyeva also was suspended for two years for doping.

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