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Russia dropped to bronze in 2022 Olympic skating event after Valieva ban, Canada remain fourth

(Adds details, quotes from ISU in paragraph six)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Russian figure skating team were demoted from gold to bronze for their appearance in the 2022 Beijing Olympics following the disqualification of Kamila Valieva, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Tuesday.

It was assumed that Canada, who finished fourth, would be promoted to bronze, but the Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) total score even after Valieva's marks were erased was still a point better than the Canadians, the ISU announced.

Skate Canada was expected to release a statement later on Tuesday, while the Canadian Olympic Committee could not immediately be reached for comment.

Valieva received a four-year doping ban on Monday, effective from December 2021, stripping the ROC of its gold medal in the team event nearly two years after the competition.

In its long-awaited ruling, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) found Valieva, aged 15 at the time, guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation that rattled the Beijing Olympics and frustrated competitors who are still waiting for their medals from the event to be allocated.

«The ISU is in close contact with the International Olympic Committee and the relevant ISU member federations in regard to the implementation of this decision,» figure skating's governing body said.

No medals were awarded in the event at Beijing. The ISU published an amended final points table on Tuesday that has the United States bumped up to gold with 65 points, with Japan winning silver with 63 and Russia taking bronze with 54.

Canada -- represented by Roman Sadovsky, Madeline Schizas, Kristen Moore-Towers, Michael Marinaro, Vanessa James, Eric Radford, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier -- scored 53.

The ROC said it would appeal the decision to strip Russia of gold.

The CAS panel determined there had been no scope for Valieva, who was 15 at the time of the offence, to be treated with more leniency than an adult found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation.

Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, which prevents angina, at the Russian national championships in December 2021. The result was made known only after she competed in the team event in Beijing.

Her team has said the positive test could have been due to a mix-up with her grandfather's heart medication.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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