IOC offers Olympic torches to US team as prizes while Winter Games deals with doping scandal: report

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The US figure skaters who finished in second place in the team event to the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) were reportedly offered Olympic torches as holdover gifts while the doping drama surrounding skater Kamila Valieva plays out.

Nathan and the rest of the nine-person US team finished as runners-up in the team event, but chaos ensued after reports surfaced that Valieva used a banned medication.

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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)

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach offered the Olympic torches in a private meeting with the skaters in Beijing, the Associated Press reported. Bach reportedly reiterated that no medal ceremonies would be held for events involving Valieva.

According to the report, the torches used during the traditional Olympic flame relay were already given to team staff to be presented to the athletes later. IOC officials didn’t comment on the report.

The US team would at least win a silver medal for finishing in second place but could get gold if Valieva is disqualified from the event.

RUSSIAN OLYMPIC SKATER KAMILA VALIEVA TESTED POSITIVE FOR THREE HEART DRUGS: REPORTS

Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, trains at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb.  16, 2022, in Beijing.

Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, trains at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Beijing.
(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Valieva was ruled eligible to compete in this week’s women’s event by the Court of Arbitration for Sport while her case went through the anti-doping system. Valieva was leading the women’s contest after the short program.

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.

Russian Olympic Committee's Kamila Valieva during the Women Single Skating - Free Skating on day eleven of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing.  Picture date: Tuesday Feb.  15, 2022.

Russian Olympic Committee’s Kamila Valieva during the Women Single Skating – Free Skating on day eleven of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing. Picture date: Tuesday Feb. 15, 2022.
(Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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

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