U.S. Figure Skating 'Frustrated' by Lack of Final Decision in Team Event, Calls for Fair Ruling
US Figure Skating/INSTAGRAM
U.S. Figure Skating is still waiting on the medals it won in the team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
As the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) continues to sort out a case involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, the investigative process regarding her alleged usage of a banned substance has left the U.S. team in limbo — receiving neither the silver medal it had earned in second place to Russia, nor the gold medal in the case of Valieva and teammates being stripped of their win.
The U.S. team shared a statement Thursday on Instagram, nearly one year after the winter games began in February 2022.
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"As we approach the one-year anniversary of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, U.S. Figure Skating and its athletes are deeply frustrated by the lack of a final decision in the Team Event," their statement read.
"We're very proud of how our Olympic medalists have carried themselves with poise and dignity since earning medals in Beijing. They have long deserved the recognition that has been withheld due to the ongoing process. U.S. Figure Skating calls for a fair and appropriate ruling to rightfully award medals to all clean sport athletes affected by this situation," it added.
Ahead of the start of the women's competition last February, it was revealed that Valieva, at the time 15 years old, reportedly tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, a heart medication, back in December 2021.
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Valieva had just helped the Russians win the team gold during the first week of the Olympics, making her failed drug test even more controversial.
Further reviews of Valieva's drug test showed that she also tested positive for two other heart medication drugs — hypoxen and L-Carnitine — which are not banned substances, but unusual for a teenage athlete to be prescribed.
In an emotional essay for PEOPLE last March, American figure skater Tara Lipinski, 40, gave her thoughts on the controversy.
"What Kamila endured in Beijing is still bothering me because of everything I don't know. Which is everything that must have transpired for her to test positive for a banned substance, a heart medication, six weeks before the Olympics? I wonder who gave it to her, and under what circumstances she took it?" she wrote.
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"Why wasn't the positive test revealed until after the Olympics were already underway? And exactly what were the members of the Court of Arbitration for Sport thinking when they decided that it was best for Kamila to be allowed to continue competing in Beijing?
"I'm not sure we'll ever learn the answers to all of those questions," she added.