The doping case of the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva still received confirmation. The International Testing Agency (ITA) reported that her sample, taken at the end of December at the Russian Championship, gave a positive result for the banned drug trimetazidine. However, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), after the victory of the Russian team in the figure skating team tournament on Monday, lifted the temporary suspension from the 15-year-old Valieva, who made a huge contribution to it. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already filed an appeal against this decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which should consider a high-profile case before the start of individual competitions with the participation of the world’s best single skater.
On Friday, the International Testing Agency finally confirmed the information that had been circulated two days earlier by Insidethegames, as well as a number of other sources. The banned drug trimetazidine was found in the sample of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva. Valieva made a huge contribution to the victory of the Russian national team in the figure skating team tournament at the Beijing Olympics, winning both the short program and the free program. It ended on Monday, but the official awards ceremony has not yet been held.
The ITA report says that the sample of Kamila Valieva was taken on December 25 during the Russian Championship in St. Petersburg. At the same time, the laboratory in Stockholm accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reported the detection of trimetazidine in it only on February 8. The ITA statement also explains why Kamila Valieva held another training session on Thursday, and her name is listed among the participants in the individual figure skaters’ competitions. They will perform the short program on February 15, and Valieva, undefeated this season, is considered the absolute favorite of the tournament.
The ITA notes that Valieva’s suspension has been lifted by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. Formally, this decision allows her to continue performing in Beijing.
For what reason RUSADA accepted it is not specified. But all sources emphasize an important nuance when talking about Valieva’s case. The figure skater is only 15 years old. According to the World Anti-Doping Code, she is included in the category of so-called protected athletes under the age of 16. In the case of doping violations, they can be subject to much milder sanctions than usual, up to a warning instead of disqualification.
However, the intrigue around the Olympic fate of Kamila Valieva and the gold of the Russian team remains.
The ITA said the International Olympic Committee would exercise its right to appeal RUSADA’s actions.
It will be considered by the visiting panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport before the start of the singles tournament. Only on the basis of the CAS verdict, the International Skating Union (ISU) will be able to decide on the distribution of medals in the team tournament.
Commenting on the incident, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said that the structure is waiting for “additional explanations”, refusing to “blame anyone indiscriminately.” “We have to wait until the investigation is over. Everyone is trying to make things go as quickly as possible. We do not rule out any possibility,” Adams added.