Committee denies US skaters’ bid for silver at Olympics

BEIJING (AFP) – Arbitrators have rejected a final request from US skaters for their silver medals before the Olympic Games end.

CAS said early Sunday in Beijing She refused the appeal By the nine skaters, who finished second in the team event, was marred by 15-year-old Russian doping Kamila Valyaeva.

She did not go into her decision and said she would announce the details in the coming days. The panel, with arbitrators from Denmark, France and China, met for two and a half hours on Saturday evening.

In an earlier decision, CAS allowed Valeeva to compete In the women’s event after her doping infection spread after the Russians won the team event. The IOC responded by saying that no medals would be awarded in any event where Valeeva finished in the top three.

Losing the case means that American figure skaters will have their medals months, perhaps even years, from now, after Valeeva’s case makes its way through hearings and appeals. She led the Russians to a convincing victory in the team event. If this score was reversed, the United States would receive gold medals.

The skaters argued, unsuccessfully, that the silver should be received at least before the closing ceremony on Sunday night. in a letter The skaters’ lawyer sent to IOC President Thomas Bach obtained by the Associated Press, saying that “the IOC’s own rules state that a victory ceremony ‘to present medals to athletes must follow the conclusion of each sporting event’.”

“We were disappointed with the decision. “It is unfortunate that these deserving athletes will be leaving Beijing without their medals,” said Ramsey Becker, Executive Director of Figure Skating USA. “We are proud of our team’s historic accomplishments and look forward to joining them, their families, friends, and the entire United States in celebrating their accomplishments from these Olympics.”

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A few hours before the decision, the US team made up of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier took sixth place At a couples event. They are among the skaters who will receive medals from the team event. After they skated on Saturday, Frazier said, “There should be a party for the clean athletes. They deserve it.”

In his letter to Bach, attorney Paul Green wrote, “A medal ceremony dignified from the point of view of our clients is one at Medals Plaza as originally planned and awarded to all other medalists.”

Alternatively, skaters can end up with Olympic lights. At a meeting with skaters earlier this week, Bach presented the torches as souvenirs while running a can of steroids. He later said at a news conference that the medals were not supposed to be replaced.

Valieva may never get anything done. She finished fourth in the women’s event Crying because she left the ice, then criticized by her coach after a long program full of mistakes.

After her testing became public, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency initially temporarily suspended her, then lifted the suspension. This prompted the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which acted quickly and said Valeeva could still compete. This time, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favor of the International Olympic Committee.

However, neither decision solves the larger question about the outcome of the team’s competition.

Because she is 15, Valeeva is considered a “protected person” under anti-doping rules, and she is not expected to receive a severe punishment. The coaches and doctors are under investigation by the Russian and world anti-doping authorities.

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Bells reported from Zhangjiakou, China. Associated Press writers Dave Skrita and Aaron Morrison contributed to this report.


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