Russian figure skaters to get Olympic team bronze medals despite Valieva disqualification – PPT News



GENEVA — Despite the disqualification of Kamila Valieva in a doping case, the Russia figure skating team was set to get bronze medals from the 2022 Beijing Olympics, the sport’s governing body said on Tuesday.

The United States is the new Olympic champion in the team event and Japan gets upgraded to silver from bronze. The demoted Russians get third place by a single point ahead of fourth-placed Canada even when stripped of the points star skater Valieva earned on the ice.

Valieva was disqualified by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday from all of her events since December 2021 and banned for four years in a doping case that took almost two years to resolve. She was 15 during the Beijing Olympics. She turns 18 in April.

The International Skating Union published an amended points table from the Beijing competition that took Valieva’s maximum 10 points from each of her two events but did not add an extra point to the other teams below her.

The final decision on awarding medals is for the International Olympic Committee, which the ISU said was consulted before completing its duty as the event organizer to amend the result.

“The ISU is in close contact with the International Olympic Committee and the relevant ISU member federations in regard to the implementation of this decision,” the governing body said.

The decision could be open to legal challenge by Canada because other teams did not have their points increased to take account of Valieva being disqualified.

Canada still gets eight points out of 10 from the women’s short program and free skate sections, where its skater was Madeline Schizas. Japan still gets nine points each time for originally finishing second to Valieva, through Wakaba Higuchi in the short program and Kaori Sakamoto in the free skate.

Canada’s overall points total remained 53 and the Russians’ tally dropped from 74 to 54 — enough for the bronze medals which Valieva’s teammates will get but she will not.

The Canadian skate federation likely can challenge the ISU decision at CAS.

Skate Canada did not address the question of medal reallocation in a statement on Monday. It praised the ruling to disqualify Valieva which it said “underscores the significance of stringent anti-doping measures and the need for continuous vigilance in protecting the integrity of figure skating and all sports.”

A Canadian appeal to the court in Lausanne, Switzerland, could extend the case for about another year.

That would stall a medal ceremony which did not take place in Beijing because details of Valieva’s positive test for a banned heart medicine emerged hours after she skated and sealed the Russian win.

In Russia on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Valieva and her five teammates from two years ago were still considered winners.

“Upon their return from China we honored these athletes as Olympic champions,” Peskov said. “We are convinced that they will always remain Olympic champions to us, whatever decisions may be taken in that regard, even unfair ones.”

The IOC executive board has its next scheduled meeting from March 19-21 in Lausanne at the same time Canada is hosting the figure skating world championships in Montreal.

The Olympic leadership is in South Korea for the Youth Winter Games and could address the skating medal issue there.

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