The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is set to resume the doping case of figure skater Kamila Valieva on Thursday. This case caused controversy during the 2022 Beijing Olympics and raised concerns about Russia’s anti-doping system. The proceedings began in September but were adjourned due to a request for additional documentation from the panel of arbitrators. The closed-door hearing will continue until Friday, during which the remaining evidence and closing submissions will be presented.
Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, which is used to prevent angina, at the Russian national championships in December 2021 when she was 15 years old. Her team claims that the positive test may have been a result of a mix-up with her grandfather’s heart medication. However, the test result was only revealed a day after she helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) win the team gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022.
Despite the positive test, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed Valieva to participate in the women’s single event. However, the allocation of medals for the team event was put on hold until her case is resolved. This delay has caused frustration among competitors, with Vincent Zhou, a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. team, criticizing the global anti-doping system for “failing athletes.”
The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) disciplinary commission determined that Valieva had committed a violation but bore “no fault or negligence.” She was not given any sanctions, but her results from the national championships on the day of the positive test were invalidated. RUSADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the International Skating Union (ISU) are all challenging this decision at the highest court in sports.
RUSADA is seeking appropriate consequences for the offense, while ISU is pushing for a suspension. WADA is seeking a four-year ban that would also nullify Valieva’s results from the Beijing Games, effectively stripping the ROC of their team event gold medal. The final decision on the case will be made by CAS.
In conclusion, the CAS is resuming the doping case of figure skater Kamila Valieva, which caused controversy during the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The hearing, which began in September and was adjourned for further documentation, will conclude on Friday. Valieva tested positive for a banned substance, and her case has raised concerns about Russia’s anti-doping system. The delay in medal allocation has sparked frustration among competitors, and RUSADA, WADA, and ISU are challenging the decision regarding Valieva’s violation. The final outcome will be determined by CAS.
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