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The Olympics will begin awarding medals to runner-ups after the Kamila Valieva ban

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva reacts in the women's team free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Beijing.
David J. Phillip
/
AP
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva reacts in the women's team free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Beijing.

The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday it will begin awarding medals for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics figure skating competition, two years after a doping scandal during the Games left many athletes without them.

The decision comes after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Monday that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva "committed an anti-doping rule violation."

Valieva, who was 15 at the time, has been banned from international competition through December 2025, and all her wins since December 2021 have been void.

"The IOC is now in a position to award the medals in accordance with the ranking, which has to be established by the International Skating Union (ISU)," the organization said. "We have great sympathy with the athletes who have had to wait for two years to get the final results of their competition."

Valieva and the Russian team won gold in the team competition, followed by the U.S. and Japan. Canada placed fourth.

The IOC said it would contact national Olympic committees to set up formal medal ceremonies.

"Today is a day we have been eagerly awaiting for two years, as it is a significant win not only for Team USA athletes but also for athletes worldwide who practice fair play and advocate for clean sport," Sarah Hirshland, head of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said in a statement to NPR.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said figure skaters Evan Bates and Madison Chock and Tracy Marek, the CEO of U.S. Figure Skating will speak to the media later Tuesday.

The IOC, as well as other agencies, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called out the coaches and doctors that allowed the use of performance drugs in children.

"This case, and its circumstances, are further proof of the need to address the part played by the athletes' entourage in doping cases," the IOC said. "This is even more important if the athletes are minors, who are even more reliant on their entourage."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: January 29, 2024 at 8:00 PM AKST
A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport as the Court for Arbitration of Sport.
Ayana Archie