Potential Russian doping involving a medallist in the team figure skating competition at the 2022 Beijing Olympics could put Canada on the podium.
The award ceremony for the event has been delayed, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday, because of a “legal issue.” The ceremony, which would grant the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) gold, the United States silver, and Japan bronze, was originally scheduled for Tuesday.
An issue involving a Russian skater is behind the medal ceremony delay, according to Michael Pavitt from insidethegames, who believes the delay “refers to a drugs test conducted before Beijing 2022.”
BREAKING: A drugs test conducted on an Russian skater before #Beijing2022 is behind the delay in the medal ceremony for the #figureskating team event, insidethegames understandshttps://t.co/HmT1iWThly #WinterOlympics
— insidethegames (@insidethegames) February 9, 2022
“We have athletes that have won medals involved,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said at the daily news briefing in Beijing.
Canada, who finished fourth, would conceivably claim bronze in the event of any disqualification. An appeal to a potential forfeiture is possible.
The Canadians finished fourth after a strong program from Madeline Schizas. She finished in third place in the women’s free program portion of the Olympic figure skating team event to elevate Canada ahead of China and into fourth in the event’s final portion.
Schizas also helped Canada into the team event free programs portion with her performance in the women’s short program.
What a moment for Madeline Schizas ⛸🇨🇦@MaddieSchizas
After she NAILS her free program with a SEASON BEST score, her teammates made sure she knew it 📣 pic.twitter.com/6SDdD9ENo8
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) February 7, 2022
Other Canadian skaters that could be in line for a medal include Roman Sadovsky (men’s singles), Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier (ice dance), and duos of Vanessa James and Eric Radford, and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro (pairs).
Russia is competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner following a decision reached by international officials in 2017 that found the country had competed in a state-run doping program that provided athletes with performance-enhancing substances.
The doping program was revealed in 2016 and included at least 15 medal winners from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The 2022 Games are Russia’s last to perform under the Olympic banner, according to the decision.