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American skaters took home Olympic gold, and Canada snubbed the bronze after the Russian skater was disqualified

American skaters took home Olympic gold, and Canada snubbed the bronze after the Russian skater was disqualified



CNN

The US figure skating team will receive a gold medal for its Winter Olympic performance in Beijing in 2022, after Russian figure skater Kamila Valeeva was banned for four years over a long-running doping controversy, but Canada was left “extremely disappointed” after not taking bronze.

Valeeva, now 17, led the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to first place in the team event ahead of the United States and Japan – before her doping test came back. Positive for the performance enhancing substance trimetazidine.

The ban dates back to December 25, 2021, the date on which the sample was collected. Valeeva was only 15 years old at the time.

No medals were awarded as a result of the doping controversy until the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided Valeeva was excluded from “all competitive results” she has achieved since her positive test.

in A statement posted on its website On Tuesday, the International Skating Union (ISU) confirmed that Valeeva's results had been disqualified in both the individual – where the teenager finished fourth – and the team event.

The disqualification of its results was accompanied by a rearrangement of the medal positions in the team event as the Republic of China dropped to third place, with the United States and Japan moving up to first and second place respectively. Canada remained in fourth place, one point behind the ROC's recalculated results.

in statement Skate Canada said Tuesday it “strongly opposes” the ISU's decision to leave its team in fourth place and said it “will consider all options to appeal this decision.”

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The ISU did not apply Rule 353 in its latest decision, which states that “competitors who finish the competition and who initially ranked lower than the disqualified competitor will advance accordingly in their positions,” the statement added.

CNN has reached out to the ISU to clarify the method it used to realign the teams.

Valeeva's disqualification from taking first place in the women's singles competition at the 2022 European Figure Skating Championships also vacated her gold medal to compatriot Anna Shcherbakova.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said in a statement Monday evening that its CEO, Sarah Hirshland, “confirms that she spoke with the IOC this evening and received great news that the athletes in the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Team event have captured gold in the Collective competition.”

“Let the celebrations begin,” he said in the statement. “Congratulations to Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Schock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim, and Vincent Chu.”

The long-awaited decision was welcomed by anti-doping bodies around the world, including the International Olympic Committee, which said it would award the medals according to the ISU classifications.

No date or location has been set for the medal ceremony, although the IOC has confirmed that it will organize a “generous Olympic medal ceremony” for the United States, Japan and future fourth-place finishers.

CNN Sport has contacted the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Japan Olympic Committee and ROC for further comment.

Russian athletes were competing under any flag as neutrals at the Winter Olympics in Beijing because Previous ban for non-compliance with doping.

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Even with the latest news of Valeeva's ban, Alexander Kogan, general director of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, said he still sees his athletes as champions in the team event.

On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed his disagreement with the decision to exclude Valeeva.

“When we returned from China – from the Olympics – we honored these athletes as Olympic champions,” he told reporters in a conference call.

“We are convinced that, for us, they will always remain Olympic champions. Whatever decisions are made in this matter, even if they are unfair.”

Peskov added that there cannot be any revisions or reductions in payments made by the state to Russian medalists at the Beijing Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said in its announcement on Monday that the decision to ban Valeeva for four years is “final and binding,” explaining that the parties can appeal to the Swiss Federal Court “within 30 days for limited reasons.”

CNN's Jill Martin and Anna Chernova contributed reporting.

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