IOC wants figure skating medal ceremony in Beijing to be as quick as possible

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LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee has told anti-doping bodies it wants a quick resolution to a drug scandal involving Russian teenage figure skater Kamila Valieva at the 2022 Beijing Olympics so a delayed medal ceremony can take place.

Valieva failed a doping test at the Russian national championships last December, but the result was not revealed until February 8, a day after she had already helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) win the team event at the Beijing Games.

The case cast a shadow over Russians’ participation in the Games when they were already under increased scrutiny over separate anti-doping sanctions which saw them compete without their national flag and national anthem.

It also delayed the team event medal ceremony indefinitely pending the pending case, with the United States taking silver and Japan taking bronze.

Canada finished fourth and if the Russian athletes are disqualified they will be promoted to bronze.

“We are in contact about this. The World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Testing Agency are following up,” IOC President Thomas Bach said at a press conference on Friday.

“It’s not something we should guess, but work to make it (the medal ceremony) happen as soon as possible.”

The case is currently in the hands of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as the positive test came during a domestic competition.

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee questioned the integrity of the ongoing deal with RUSADA after Valieva was congratulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in April.

“It’s in the hands of the anti-doping authorities. We’ve made it clear to them that we hope for a quick and speedy resolution to the issue,” Bach said. “Once this is resolved, we will have this ceremony.”

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