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It’s annoying when Amazon is slow to deliver the toilet paper and lightbulbs you ordered. But imagine how frustrating it would be to still be waiting on your Olympic medal one year after winning it.
At the 2022 Beijing Games, officials postponed the team figure skating competition medal ceremony which still has yet to happen. The reason? Russia’s Kamila Valieva submitted a positive drug test but still took to the ice to compete.
A Russian athlete using PEDs? That doesn’t sound like something the Russ— oh wait; yes it does.
Well, while the investigation unfolds, athletes are still waiting to receive them.
“I think last time we spoke, I used the word disheartening when we were on site there in Beijing and certainly have the same feeling unfortunately (one year) later,” U.S. men’s co-captain Evan Bates said. “It’s a really difficult situation that we find ourselves in, one that we would have never guessed I think when we left Beijing.”
The United States men were due silver medals after placing just behind Russia and ahead of Japan. At the time, the medals ceremony was delayed pending an investigation into Valieva’s positive test.
Take a guess who was tasked with investigating.
If you said the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, congratulations on having an astute sense of irony.
Athletes May Need To Wait Even Longer To Get Their Medals
Bearing in mind that RUSADA was suspended from 2015-18 for helping athletes cheat, they found that Valieva committed a doping violation. But, they deemed there was no “fault or negligence” on her part.
So, one or both of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union could appeal those findings. That will unfortunately continue to delay the medals.
While the Russians are at fault for getting this whole incident rolling, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart blamed the entire international system.
“The entire global system has failed all of the athletes including Kamila Valieva,” he told USA Today. “Obviously, first and foremost the Russians are at fault for allowing this to happen but the whole system also is accountable for allowing this Russian fiasco to turn into a mockery of justice that has robbed athletes of their performances, hard work and sacrifice.”
Officials shouldn’t have allowed Valieve to compete, according to Tygart. He also said that USADA’s hands are effectively tied while RUSADA and the World Anti_Doping Agency work through the situation.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle