Russian Figure Skater Ban Gives Team USA Olympic Gold After the Fact

( — The International Olympic Committee on Monday notified the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee that the US figure skating team would receive the 2022 gold medal after it disqualified Russian skater Kamila Valieva for doping during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the Associated Press reported.

After nearly two years of legal battles, the IOC imposed a 4-year ban on Valieva after she was found guilty on Monday of violating the anti-doping rules by the Swiss Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 4-year ban was backdated to December 21, 2021, meaning that the medals Valieva earned during the 2022 Beijing Olympics would be stripped from her, according to CBS Sports.

In an email sent to the US Olympic committee, obtained by the Associated Press, the IOC said it was now in a position to award Valieva’s medals based on the rankings established by the International Skating Union, which is in charge of Olympic skating competitions.

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland confirmed that the US figure skating team was declared the gold medal winner for the 2022 Beijing Games.

It remains uncertain which teams will be awarded the silver and bronze medals in the wake of Valieva’s disqualification.

Japan, the third-place finisher, would likely move up to silver. However, the bronze medal winner would depend on how the scoring rule is interpreted. The bronze could go to Russia rather than fourth-place finisher Canada since, even after deducting Valieva’s score, Russia still scored higher than Canada.

According to CBS Sports, Canada failed to move up to the bronze position, and the team is now considering appealing the decision.

During the Beijing Games, Russia placed first, followed by the US and Japan. However, no medals were awarded due to the doping controversy swirling around Valieva, who was just 15 at the time.

Last summer, the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum marked the long delay in awarding the medals by displaying the empty boxes that should have contained the medals won by the US skaters in Beijing.

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