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US skaters file appeal to get Olympic medals

ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA (AP) – Attorneys for the United States (US) figure skaters whose Olympic silver medals are being withheld have notified the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that they have filed an appeal to have them awarded before the end of the Beijing Games, The Associated Press (AP) has learned.

In a letter sent to IOC president Thomas Bach yesterday, a copy of which was obtained by the AP, attorneys said they would ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a ruling before today’s closing ceremony.

Kamila Valieva led the Russian team to a victory in last week’s team event, and the US finished second. Soon after, a positive doping test for the 15-year-old skater was disclosed. CAS allowed her to continue skating, but the IOC said it would not award medals in any events in which she finished among the top three.

The Russians won the event by a large margin. Japan was third and Canada finished fourth.

The letter from the Americans cites the IOC’s “own rules mandate that a victory ceremony to present medals to the athletes shall follow the conclusion of each sports event”.

Kamila Valieva during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. PHOTO: AP