Kamila Valieva: Canada will appeal decision to award bronze medal to Russian figure skating team

News of Kamila Valieva’s failure only emerged after she helped Russia win Olympic gold

Skate Canada will appeal the decision to award the Russian Olympic Committee’s figure skating team the bronze medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics, despite the disqualification of Kamila Valieva.

Russia was relegated from gold to bronze by the International Skating Union (ISU) after Valieva, 17, received a four-year ban for doping in January.

Despite removing Valieva’s scores, the ISU said Russia’s total score at the Beijing Games was one point higher than fourth-place Canada.

The United States was promoted to gold and Japan to silver.

“Our call is rooted in a commitment to fairness, transparency and integrity in sport,” Skate Canada said.

“Skate Canada believes that it is crucial to the integrity of competitive figure skating that the rules and regulations are followed consistently and fairly.

“While we respect the decisions made by the ISU, we disagree with the conclusion they reached and believe an independent review will provide much-needed clarity to all parties involved.

“While continuing this appeal, we would like to express our full support and admiration to the gold and silver medalists from the United States of America and Japan.

“Their hard work, dedication and outstanding performance deserve to be recognized, and we sincerely hope that they receive their well-deserved medals in due course.

“We appreciate the support of the skating community as we pursue this matter.”

Valieva, then 15, tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned heart medication, in December 2021, but news of her failed test only emerged after her participation in the Olympic Games in Beijing.

There, she became a world star when she became the first skater to land a quadruple jump and win gold in team figure skating.

She was initially cleared by an investigation by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada), but in January the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) upheld the appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

Her ban was backdated to December 25, 2021 – the date Valieva took the failed test – and the Case jury also ordered “the disqualification of all competitive results obtained” from that date.

In awarding bronze to Russia, Skate Canada previously said the ISU failed to apply its own Rule 353, which states that “competitors who have completed the competition and who initially placed lower than the disqualified competitor will advance accordingly in their ranking.

Alec Dittman

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