US Olympic skaters given torches amid medal doping debate


U.S. figure skaters have been temporarily offered Olympic torches in place of medals as the doping case around Russian skater Kamila Valieva has postponed medaling ceremonies, the Associated Press reports.

IOC president Thomas Bach privately reiterated to the U.S. skaters, who finished second behind Russia in the team event, that the committee would not be giving out medals in events involving Valieva until a later date, sources told the AP. 

If she is ultimately disqualified, the U.S. stands to win gold in the team event. 

The 15-year-old Russian ice skater tested positive for a banned drug ahead of the Olympics but has been allowed to continue performing while further investigation is underway, per a ruling from the The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

Valieva performed a history-making short routine, becoming the first woman to achieve quadruple jumps during an Olympic Game.

The ceremonial torches for the skaters were used during the traditional Olympics torch relay. The 9-member team also received boxes for the medals they are yet to receive. 

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic CEO Sarah Hirshland slammed the CAS decision allowing Valieva to continue competing, saying she was “disappointed by the message this decision sends,” suggesting athletes couldn’t be sure they were on a level playing field, according to the AP.



Tags figure skating Kamila Valieva Nathan Chen Olympics

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