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U.S. figure skaters lose appeal to get Olympic silver medals

The appeal's dismissal effectively denies them the chance to have their medals awarded to them in a public ceremony at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier of the United States compete in the pairs free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Saturday.Natacha Pisarenko / AP

A petition filed against the International Olympic Committee by nine figure skaters from the United States seeking to have their silver medals awarded in a public ceremony has been dismissed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced their decision on Saturday following a virtual hearing in Beijing.

The global sports arbiter evaluated an application from skaters Evan Bates, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Madison Chock, Zachary Donohue, Brandon Frazier, Madison Hubbell, Alexa Knierim and Vincent Zhou — all of whom won silver medals at the team figure skating event, which was marred by a doping positive by 15-year-old Russian Kamila Valieva.

Following the controversy, Olympic officials decided to not perform a medal ceremony for the team figure skating event, meaning athletes including U.S. figure skaters will leave the Olympics without their medals.

The nine U.S. skaters filed an appeal to reverse the decision from Olympic officials. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee was not a party to the proceedings that led to the appeal's dismissal on Saturday, according to Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The arbiter did not elaborate on its decision, and said it would release details in upcoming days.

Losing the appeal means the U.S. skaters will receive their medals months, maybe even years, from now, after Valieva’s case winds its way through hearings and appeals.

Valieva led the Russians to victory in the team event, but if that result is overturned, the U.S. would eventually receive gold medals.

Prior to Saturday's appeal dismissal, U.S. skaters had unsuccessfully argued that they should at least receive the silvers before Sunday night’s closing ceremony.