Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women’s figure skating competition despite failing a pre-Olympics drug test.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled early on Monday morning that the 15-year-old Valieva does not need to be provisionally suspended ahead of a full investigation. The court cited that as a minor, she was a "protected person" and as such was subject to different rules. She could, however, still have the gold medal she won last week rescinded after her case is resolved.
The decision comes after the International Testing Agency (ITA) confirmed Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva’s drug test results were positive for a banned substance.
The sample was taken during the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Dec. 25, and it “returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the non-specified prohibited substance trimetazidine.” Valieva did, however, test clean in Beijing.
Trimetazidane is the same drug swimmer Sun Yang of China tested positive for in 2014, and it is known for improving cardiac function, labeled as a “metabolic modulator” by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). According to the ITA, the sample was returned on Feb. 8, and she was immediately provisionally suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.
Valieva challenged the provisional suspension on Feb. 9, and a hearing took place that day. RUSADA decided to lift it, allowing her to participate in the Beijing Olympics. However, ITA announced the IOC exercised its right to appeal the decision to lift Valieva's provisional suspension, and the ITA would lead it.
The award ceremony for the team figure skating competition at the Winter Games was delayed on Wednesday due to what the IOC spokesperson said was due to a “legal consultation” required with the governing body of skating.
Valieva became the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics earlier this week, pulling off the feat twice during the free skate portion of the team event on Monday. She landed both a quad salchow and a quad toe and also hit a triple axel.
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