Russia says team figure skating medals ‘not subject to review’

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The president of the Russian Olympic committee said on Thursday that the country would fight against any effort to redistribute the medals in the team figure skating competition, although star skater Kamila Valieva is ultimately disqualified for doping.

Russia won the gold medal in the team event, thanks in part to the stunning performances of Valieva. But her Olympic committee soon revealed Valieva had tested positive for a banned drug in December, sparking a legal dispute that eclipsed figure skating competition at the Beijing Games.

A panel of referees decided on Monday that Valieva, 15, could continue to compete, but an investigation could possibly lead to her disqualification.

Russian Olympic committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said on Thursday that his organization had sent a letter to world skating’s governing body saying that “the results of the team competition are not subject to revision in any way, regardless of the outcome of the disciplinary investigation against the athlete.”

Pozdnyakov said her statement was a direct response to remarks by an International Olympic Committee official this week that the results of the team event and women’s singles, which took place on Thursday, were considered “preliminary”.

The IOC had said it would not award medals in either event until Valieva’s doping case was resolved, a process that could take months. But Valieva, considered a big favorite for the gold medal, finished fourth after a poor performance in the free skate. Valieva burst into tears before she even saw her scores; her teammate Anna Shcherbakova won gold and a third Russian, Alexandra Trusova, won silver.

Still, Russia has vowed to fight any effort to take medals away from its fellow skaters.

World anti-doping rules, Pozdnyakov said, allow a review of the results of a team event only if a doping violation occurred during the Olympics.

“We will defend this position consistently in any eventual proceedings,” he said.


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