Worldwide velocity skating’s governing physique on Tuesday stripped Russia of victory within the crew determine skating occasion on the 2022 Beijing Olympics and awarded the gold medal to the US. The transfer got here a day after Russian teenage star Kamila Valieva, who had led her crew to an obvious victory within the crew occasion, was banned for 4 years for doping.
However as a substitute of disqualifying the Russian crew for fielding an ineligible skater, the governing physique, the Worldwide Skating Union, adjusted the outcomes of the competitors in order that Russia was awarded the bronze medal as a substitute.
In an announcement asserting the revised outcomes, the skating affiliation mentioned it had disqualified Valieva and rejected all factors she had accrued. These modifications, it mentioned, put the US first, with Japan second and Russia third.
However in a curious little bit of math, the ISU solely adjusted the ultimate crew totals for every nation when it reshuffled the rankings. By not rising the person factors accrued by the ladies’s singles skaters from every crew on the identical time, it left Canada, which had anticipated to rise to bronze, in fourth place – one level behind Russia.
The Canadian Skating Federation, which is alleged to have obtained the assertion on the revised outcomes in the midst of the night time on Tuesday, didn’t instantly remark publicly on the ISU resolution.
Nevertheless, the Russian Olympic Committee launched an announcement casting doubt on the “objectivity and impartiality” of the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport, which issued the ban towards Valieva, whereas on the identical time emphasizing that the ISU had utilized the foundations accurately within the battle towards Valieva. awarding his crew the bronze.
In keeping with these guidelines, the outcomes of crew competitions on the 2022 Winter Olympics don’t rely upon the end result of the evaluation of the person case of Kamila Valieva, and the prizes received by our crew in Beijing can’t be topic to authorized evaluation.”
The result has raised much more worrying questions on Russia’s affect over high sporting our bodies, together with the Worldwide Olympic Committee, which has seen its high occasions disrupted by a decade of Russian doping accusations and by Ukraine’s invasion of Ukraine. Critics have accused the IOC of taking a comfortable method to Russia by issuing harsh sanctions that also allowed Russian athletes and groups to compete within the main competitions.
The Valieva scandal has been dragging on for nearly two years and might nonetheless take sudden turns; Russia – and Canada – may enchantment to the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport, paving the way in which for additional authorized motion that would take months to resolve.
Tuesday’s announcement additionally stripped Valieva of all outcomes she achieved throughout her ineligibility interval, together with not solely the crew occasion, held for the primary time on the Video games, but additionally her fourth-place end within the singles. occasion in Beijing and her victory on the 2022 European Championships.
Her four-year ban expires in December 2025, permitting her to compete within the subsequent Olympic Video games in Italy in February 2026.
A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, on Monday ridiculed Valieva’s ban as a “politicized resolution.” On Tuesday he broadened his criticism, suggesting that any final result that might deprive Russia of gold was unacceptable.
“We don’t agree with these selections, neither of the court docket nor of the federation,” he mentioned. “We do not settle for them.”
Mr Peskov mentioned Russia was able to work with “all related constructions” to defend the pursuits of its athletes.
He added: “On their return from China from the Olympic Video games, these athletes had been honored as Olympic champions; we’re satisfied that they are going to at all times stay Olympic champions for us. No matter what selections have been made on this regard, even unfair ones.”
The Worldwide Skating Union mentioned it might seek the advice of with the Worldwide Olympic Committee on the subsequent steps in implementing its resolution – basically the long-delayed awarding of the crew competitors medals in Beijing.
When it was unclear who had truly received them, the IOC had taken the unprecedented step of retaining possession of these gold, silver and bronze in Beijing. That marked the primary time in Olympic historical past that no medals had been awarded in a accomplished occasion.
Ivan Nechepurenko And Juliet Macur reporting contributed.