The president of Russia’s Olympic committee said on Thursday that the country would fight any effort to redistribute medals in the team figure skating competition, even if star skater Kamila Valieva is ultimately disqualified for doping.
Russia won the gold medal in the team event, thanks in part to the stunning performances of Valieva. But her Olympic committee soon revealed Valieva had tested positive for a banned drug in December, sparking a legal dispute that eclipsed figure skating competition at the Beijing Games. A panel of referees decided on Monday that Valieva, 15, could continue to compete, but an investigation could possibly lead to her disqualification.
Still, Russian Olympic committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said on Thursday that his organization had sent a letter to world skating’s governing body saying that “the results of the team tournament are not subject to revision in any way, regardless of or the result of the disciplinary sanction”. investigation against the athlete.
Pozdnyakov said his statement was a direct response to remarks by an International Olympic Committee official this week that the results of the team event and women’s singles, which took place Thursday with Valieva in first place, were seen as “preliminaries”.
The IOC said it would not award medals in either event until Valieva’s doping case was resolved, a process that could take months. Russia has pledged to fight any effort to take away medals from its athletes.
World anti-doping rules, Pozdnyakov said, allow a review of the results of a team event only if a doping violation occurred during the Olympics.
“We will defend this position consistently in any eventual proceedings,” he said.