In the aftermath of figure skater Valieva’s disqualification from the Olympics, the United States will be awarded gold medals

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The U.S. Olympic figure skating team has been informed that they will now be awarded gold medals following the disqualification of  skater Kamila Valieva for doping at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has notified the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) that they will receive the gold medal for the team competition. This decision comes after Valieva’s positive test, which was revealed six weeks before the competition. The IOC expressed sympathy for the athletes who had to wait for two years to receive the final results of their competition and stated that they will coordinate with the respective national Olympic committees to organize a dignified Olympic medal ceremony. The impact of Valieva’s disqualification on the silver and bronze medals is still uncertain. Japan, who finished third, is likely to move to second place. Depending on the interpretation of a scoring rule, may still finish third, ahead of Canada, even after deducting Valieva’s points from the team event. The U.S. skaters who will be awarded the gold medals include Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim, and Vincent Zhou. It has been a long and challenging two years for everyone involved, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum previously displayed the empty boxes that were meant to contain the medals that were not distributed in Beijing. Recently, Chock and Bates won their fifth U.S. title and were asked about the impending decision.

Bates expressed his dissatisfaction with the length of time it took to make this decision, stating that two years is too long. He also mentioned that the reasons behind the delay may never be known. However, he emphasized the importance of finally getting closure after such a prolonged waiting period.

The USOPC has not yet announced the location for the medals ceremony. They have stated that they are in the process of finding a suitable time and place to award the gold to their skaters. It is worth noting that the world championships for skating will be held in Montreal in March.

Unfortunately, Valieva will not receive any medals. The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision earlier in the day banned her from competing for four years, starting from December 25, 2021, which was the date of her positive test. As a result, all of Valieva’s results after that date will be invalidated. It is important to mention that this sanction will end approximately two months before the next Winter Games in Italy. The ruling has faced criticism from  authorities, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that it is politicized.

The IOC has decided against holding a medals ceremony in Beijing, where Valieva had performed exceptionally well just hours before her positive test was revealed. It is worth noting that her sample had been taken six weeks prior at the  championships but was not reported as a positive test until February 7, 2022. This case has caused legal confusion and complications.

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