Speed Reads


2022 Olympics: Individual skating medal ceremony won't be held if Russia's Kamila Valieva finishes in top 3

No medal ceremonies will be held during the 2022 Beijing Olympics for events involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva after she was cleared to compete despite a positive drug test. 

The International Olympic Committee responded Monday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Valieva could compete at the Beijing Olympics after her positive drug test prior to the games. The Russian Olympic Committee won gold in the team skating event, but the IOC said that "in the interest of fairness to all athletes," it "would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony" for this event during the Beijing Olympics because "it would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand." 

Additionally, Valieva is set to compete in the women's single skating competition, but the IOC said that should she place within the top three, "no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place" during the Beijing Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that preventing Valieva from competing would do "irreparable harm," also saying her drug tests in Beijing have been clean and that there were "serious issues of untimely notification" in the positive result received on Feb. 8 after a test on Dec. 25. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it was "disappointed by the message this decision sends," as "athletes have the right to know they are competing on a level playing field," and "unfortunately today that right is being denied."

The IOC said Monday that it will allow Valieva to compete in the women's single skating competition on Feb. 15, as it "has to follow the rule of law." But the committee also noted that the Court of Arbitration for Sport didn't rule on whether Valieva violated the anti-doping rules, and it said it will "organize dignified medal ceremonies once the case of Ms Valieva has been concluded."