The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Saturday rejected an appeal from nine American figure skaters to have their team silver medals awarded before the end of the Beijing Games.
The skaters filed the request independently of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, with the group including men’s singles gold medalist Nathan Chen.
The International Olympic Committee decided not to hold the team figure skating medal ceremony involving the winning Russian Olympic Committee team as well as the second and third-placed teams from the United States and Japan after Russian women’s singles skater Kamila Valieva was revealed to have failed a pre-games doping test.
According to the Associated Press, a lawyer for the U.S. skaters sent a letter to IOC President Bach telling him the group seeks a ruling on the appeal before Sunday’s closing ceremony.
CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb speaks during a press conference to announce the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport following a hearing on Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 14, 2022 (Getty/Kyodo)
Valieva skated both the women’s short and free program in the team event, topping both, as Russia ran away with the competition.
However, on Feb. 8, a day after the winner was decided, it became public that Valieva failed a doping test at the December Russian nationals, leading her to be suspended by the Russian doping authority.
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After an appeal by the skater, her ban was lifted and she was permitted to skate in the women’s singles later in the games.
The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to CAS to have a ban reimposed, but their case was denied due to Valieva being a minor and considered a “protected person” under doping rules.
Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva performs her free skate at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 17, 2022, at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Valieva went on to skate in the singles, although she failed to win a medal despite taking a lead into the free program.
In a press conference Friday, Bach said he held a meeting with the group of U.S. skaters to hear their concerns, and that he had presented them with Olympic torches as a placeholder gift while the process played out.
In the same press conference, Bach said he offered to also meet with the Japanese skaters, but was told by the Japanese Olympic Committee they had accepted the IOC decision.