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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Russia’s Kamila Valieva cleared to compete in Olympic figure skating, despite failing drug test

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva will be allowed to compete in the women’s single in figure skating at the Beijing Olympics after a decision by sport’s top court CAS.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it had upheld the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to lift a ban on the 15-year-old, who tested positive for a banned substance on December 25, in a statement released on its website.

The CAS cited the fact that Valieva’s age makes her a “protected person” under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules as one of the exceptional circumstances underpinning its decision.

The figure skater is one of the youngest athletes to face a doping charge during the Olympics.

Her positive drug test result was not revealed until February 8, after Valieva had competed in the team event at the Winter Games, dazzling the world with the first quad jumps ever completed in the women’s Olympic skating competition.

Kamila Valieva Holds Her Hands On Her Head And Appears Stressed While Looking Down
Kamila Valieva lodged her positive test on December 25., Associated Press: Natacha Pisarenko,

CAS emphasized the “serious issues of untimely notification of the results” in its decision.

“Such late notification was not her fault, in the middle of the Olympic Winter Games,” the ruling said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), WADA and the International Skating Union (ISU) had appealed RUSADA’s decision to lift the provisional doping suspension of Valieva.

The CAS ruling did not address the merits of Valieva’s drug case.

Earlier, IOC event Mark Adams said the awarding of medals for the team cannot go ahead until the doping case is addressed.

It is not clear whether other members of the ROC team can receive gold medals. Second-placed Team USA and Japan in third are also waiting in the wings. Canada finished fourth.

Kamlia Valieva Looks Peturbed As She Talks To Some Adults Over The Rink'S Wall
CAS cited the fact Kamila Valieva’s age made her a “protected person” under WADA rules., Associated Press: Jeff Roberson,

“That will probably not be sorted out during this Games, and that is something regrettable, but we have to follow the process,” Adams said.

The women’s single — an event for which Valieva is hot favorite — starts with the short program on Tuesday and concludes on Thursday with the free skating.

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland said the body is disappointed by the message the ruling sends.

Hirshland said athletes are being denied the right to know they are competing on a level playing field, that this incident is part of a systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia.

“We know this case is not closed, and we call on everyone in the Olympic Movement to continue to fight for clean sport on behalf of athletes around the world,” she said.

ABC/Wires

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