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Russian skaters take Olympic team bronze medals ahead of Canada despite Valieva DQ

Russian skaters take Olympic team bronze medals ahead of Canada despite Valieva DQ

The final decision on awarding medals rests with the International Olympic Committee, which FIFA said was consulted before completing its mandate as organizer of the event to amend the outcome.

The governing body said: “The Implementation Support Unit is in close contact with the International Olympic Committee and the relevant member federations of the Implementation Support Unit regarding the implementation of this decision.”

The decision could be open to a legal challenge by Canada because other teams did not have their points increased to account for Valeeva's disqualification.

Messages left with Skate Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee were not immediately returned.

Canada still earned eight out of 10 points from the women's short program and free skating sections, with skater Madeleine Chisas of Oakville, Ont.

Japan still got nine points each time for finishing second behind Valeeva, through Wakaba Higuchi in the short program and Kaori Sakamoto in the free skate.

Canada's point total remained at 53 and the Russians' tally dropped from 74 to 54 — enough for the bronze medals that Valeeva's teammates would receive but would not receive.

It's possible the Canadian Ski Federation could challenge the ISU's decision at CAS.

Skate Canada did not address the issue of medal reallocation in a statement Monday. She praised the decision to disqualify Valeeva, which she said “underscores the importance of strict anti-doping measures and the need for continued vigilance in protecting the integrity of figure skating and all sports.”

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

This would disrupt the medal ceremony, which was not held in Beijing because details of Valeeva testing positive for a banned heart medication emerged hours after she skated to the Russian victory.

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

“When they returned from China, we honored these athletes as Olympic champions,” Peskov said. He added: “We are convinced that they will always remain Olympic champions for us, whatever decisions may be made in this regard, even unfair ones.”

The IOC Executive Board is scheduled to hold its next meeting from March 19 to 21 in Lausanne at the same time that Canada hosts the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal.

The Olympic leadership is in South Korea for the Winter Youth Games and can address the issue of skiing medals there.


AP Sports Writer James Illingworth in Dusseldorf, Germany, contributed to this report. With files from The Canadian Press.


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Associated Press

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