US figure skaters at Olympics deprived of their medals is ‘frankly unfair,’ USOPC exec says

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) determined it will not award any medals from competitions Valieva takes part in after it is determined whether she failed a drug test leading up to the Beijing Games. It means Team USA, which won silver in the team competition, will not get medals until the investigation is over.

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United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland speaks during a press conference at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing.

United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland speaks during a press conference at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

“There’s no question that our team wants to go home with the medals in their hands,” Hirschland told The Associated Press. “That’s just a reality we’re all dealing with right now.”

The 15-year-old figure skater tested positive for three different substances meant to improve heart function in a sample taken before her arrival to Beijing, according to The New York Times. Documents reviewed by paper revealed that the lab in Stockholm that first detected the presence of trimetazidine in her sample taken on Dec. 25 at the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia, also showed evidence of two other substances not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

According to a brief filed by the WADA, Valieva listed the substances on a doping control form: L-carnitine and Hypoxen.

KAMILA VALIEVA GETS ANOTHER SHOT AT PODIUM DESPITE DOPING ALLEGATIONS

Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee,warms up before the women's short program during the figure skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Beijing.

Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee,warms up before the women’s short program during the figure skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Two sources with knowledge of the briefing who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said the WADA argued that the presence of both substances undercuts Valieva’s argument that the banned drug entered her system accidentally.

An IOC official said Tuesday that during her hearing where she was eventually cleared to compete, Valieva said the banned substance may have been the result of contamination with medication her grandfather took regularly.

The U.S. skaters were reportedly offered Olympic torches as a holdover gift while the Valieva drama plays out.

Hirshland was asked whether the global anti-doping system was broken.

“And I think there are also components of the system that we still have a lot of reason to not trust entirely,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure that this continues to improve.”

Silver medalists Karen Chen and Nathan Chen pose for a photo after the team event in the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Beijing.

Silver medalists Karen Chen and Nathan Chen pose for a photo after the team event in the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Valieva was still set to compete in the women’s free skate on Thursday.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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