These Olympic Figure Skaters Might Get Their Medals By Mail Because Russia Made It Awkward

"Four years of hard work just to wait for UPS."

Senior Global Editor
These Olympic Figure Skaters Might Get Their Medals By Mail Because Russia Made It Awkward

A bunch of athletes will miss out on the chance to get their medals at the actual Olympics, and it's all because of a doping scandal involving a Russian figure skater.

Olympic officials say they won't hold any medal ceremonies if Kamila Valieva is involved after the 15-year-old was found to have had a banned heart medication in her system back in December.

Valieva tested positive for the drug at a competition before the Olympics, but the results only came out after she had won first place in a team figure skating event in Beijing.

But authorities haven't stripped her of her gold medal in the event or prohibited her from competing in the singles event. Instead, they decided that no one will get their medal in Beijing if Valieva makes it to the podium, as her case is still being looked at. Rather, there will be "dignified medal ceremonies" after her status has been sorted out.

And everyone else is not cool with that.

"So everyone's medals are going to be shipped to them? Yay for Olympic moments," former Olympic skater Chris Knierim said, according to the Associated Press. "Four years of hard work just to wait for UPS to deliver your Olympic medal. Hope they have tracking numbers at least."

The International Olympic Committee hasn't said exactly how it'll deliver the medals, but they'll likely need to go through the mail at some point to get to the various countries involved.

"She had a positive test," former U.S. Olympian-turned-coach Adam Rippon said of Valieva on Twitter, where he's been ripping the IOC all week.

Rippon described the decision as a "slap in the face to every athlete who plays by the rules," and described the women's event as a "complete joke" because of it.

Officials are still hashing out Valieva's case. The IOC says it's not a question of whether or not she used performance-enhancing drugs, but rather whether or not she should be suspended for it when the positive sample was taken as long ago as December 25, 2021. For now, no final decision has been made on her team figure skating medal.

Either way, it's a bad look for Russia. The country is already banned from using its name, flag and anthem at the Olympics this year because of a state-sponsored doping program that it ran at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

If Valieva does get to keep the medal, the other medals will go to the U.S. and Japan, NBC reports. If Valieva's team is disqualified, everyone else gets bumped up and Canada will get the bronze.

Meanwhile, Valieva is leading the singles short program, with the final set to take place on Thursday, February 17.

In other words, this might get even more awkward before it's all over.

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