US figure skaters are denied in fight for Beijing medal ceremony amid Olympic doping scandal

Beijing, China - The US athletes just want to bring home the medal they won, but they've been denied.

The US Olympic Figure Skating Team won silver at the team event in Beijing, but that medal could become gold if the Russian team's win is disqualified over Valieva's positive doping test.
The US Olympic Figure Skating Team won silver at the team event in Beijing, but that medal could become gold if the Russian team's win is disqualified over Valieva's positive doping test.  © Collage: IMAGO/ITAR-TASS & AFLOSPORT

Nine US skaters have failed in their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to force the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a medal ceremony for the team figure skating event before the end of the Beijing Games.

The CAS said Saturday that the bid had been dismissed following a hearing held by video conference without giving reasons. A full decision will be published in due course, it said.

The move is over the scandal surrounding Russian skater Kamila Valieva, who tested positive for doping the day after leading the Russian Olympic Committee team to first place in the team event, ahead of the United States, who received silver.

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Despite her positive test, the 15-year-old was eventually allowed to compete in the individual event after a CAS hearing agreed her provisional suspension could be lifted.

But that case did not decide whether she was guilty of a doping violation or what the penalty would be. Thus, the IOC said no medal ceremonies involving her would take place until this was resolved, to the frustration of the Americans and the outrage of many in the skating and sports world.

2022 Olympians Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim ,and Vincent Zhou were the US skaters who filed the appeal, without the involvement of the US Olympic Committee.

The only certainties are that Valieva's case and consequence for testing positive for the prohibited heart medication will be resolved "at a later date," and that the American team will be going home without their Olympic medal. Whether it will be silver, or upgraded to gold with a possible disqualification of Valieva's winning result, is also still up in the air.

The last night of Olympic figure skating competition finished in Beijing on Saturday with the pairs competition, where US teams Knierim and Frazier and Cain-Gribble and LeDuc respectively placed sixth and eight.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/ITAR-TASS & AFLOSPORT

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