U.S. olympic figure skating team awarded gold medals after russian skater’s disqualification for doping.

Members of the U.S. Olympic figure skating team received welcome news late Monday as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to disqualify Russian skater Kamila Valieva for doping at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. The IOC confirmed that gold medals would now be awarded to the U.S. team for the team competition, previously marred by Valieva’s positive test.

The IOC conveyed the decision to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), stating that it was ready to award the medals based on the ranking established by the International Skating Union, the governing body for the Olympic skating event. The USOPC CEO, Sarah Hirshland, received the news, and the IOC expressed sympathy for the athletes who had awaited the final results for two years. Plans for a dignified Olympic medal ceremony are underway.

While the gold for the U.S. team is confirmed, uncertainty remains about the silver and bronze medals. Japan, initially third, is likely to move up to second. Depending on the interpretation of scoring rules, Russia might still finish third, ahead of Canada, even after deducting Valieva’s points.

The U.S. figure skaters set to receive the gold medals are Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim, and Vincent Zhou. The USOPC is initiating the process of determining a suitable time and place for the medal ceremony.

This decision follows the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling earlier in the day, banning Kamila Valieva for four years, dating back to Dec. 25, 2021—the date of her positive test. The sanction vacates Valieva’s results post that date, concluding just before the next Winter Games in Italy.

The lengthy legal saga began when Valieva’s positive test for a banned heart medicine was revealed six weeks after the sample was taken during the Russian championships. Appeals, hearings, and legal complexities ensued, with the CAS ultimately deciding against leniency based on Valieva’s minor status at the time.

Despite criticism from Russian authorities, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the IOC opted against having a medals ceremony in Beijing, where the doping scandal unfolded. Valieva, once the star performer, will now end up empty-handed, marking a significant turn of events in the aftermath of legal challenges and ongoing controversies in the world of figure skating.