2022 Olympics: Russian figure skater reportedly tests positive for drugs, delaying medal ceremony

Russian figure skating team
(Image credit: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia won the gold medal Monday in the figure skating team competition at the Beijing Olympics, but the medal ceremony scheduled for Tuesday night did not happen as planned. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said Wednesday that "legal issues" had delayed the ceremony, adding, "We have athletes that have won medals involved." The U.S. team won the silver medal and Japan took the bronze.

The athlete involved was one of the six Russian skaters, and the legal issue is that he or she failed a drug test, USA Today reports, citing a person with knowledge of the situation. Russia is already competing under the Russian Olympic Committee banner because the country itself was banned from the Games due to a doping scandal.

Moscow did not directly address the speculation that the Russian athletes' gold could be at stake. "Let's, for the sake of understanding, wait for some explanations either from our sports officials or from the IOC," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday. If Russia or one of the other teams were disqualified, fourth place Canada would be bumped up to bronze.

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The six-member Russian team includes 15-year-old individual gold medal favorite Kamila Valieva, Mark Kondratiuk, pairs skaters Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, and ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. The name of the skater who tested positive was not released, USA Today said.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.