US figure skaters have been awarded the gold medal in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics following the disqualification of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva over a four-year doping ban. The ban, which is retroactive to December 25, 2021, resulted from Valieva’s positive test for the performance-enhancing substance trimetazidine when she was only 15.
Valieva, who led the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to first place in the team event, had her results disqualified in both the singles and team events by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Consequently, the ROC fell to third place in the team event, with the US and Japan moving up to first and second, respectively. However, Canada expressed deep disappointment after not being awarded the bronze and is considering options to appeal the decision.
Skate Canada argued that the International Skating Union (ISU) did not apply Rule 353, which would have required re-ranking of teams in accordance with the disqualification. The ISU has not provided clarification on its re-ranking methodology despite inquiries from CNN.
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) celebrated the news, confirming that the 2022 US Figure Skating team event athletes have been awarded the gold medal. The IOC stated that it would organize a medal ceremony for the US, Japan, and Canada at an unspecified date and location.
Anti-doping bodies, including the IOC, welcomed the decision. Russian athletes competed as neutrals due to a previous doping non-compliance ban. Despite the ban, the Russian Figure Skating Federation’s director general, Alexander Kogan, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed disagreement with Valieva’s disqualification, maintaining their athletes’ status as champions.
CAS declared the four-year ban on Valieva as “final and binding,” allowing parties to appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on limited grounds.