Despite a pre-Olympics failed drug test, Russian figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva has been cleared to continue competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport declined to provisionally suspend Valieva, citing her age, the timing of the failed test, and the threat of “irreparable harm” to the athlete.
“The Panel considered fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm, and the relative balance of interests as between the Applicants and the Athlete, who did not test positive during the Olympic Games in Beijing and is still subject to a disciplinary procedure on the merits following the positive anti-doping test undertaken in December 2021; in particular, the Panel considered that preventing the Athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances,” the CAS said in a media release.
In an unprecedented move, the International Olympic Committee announced that should Valieva win another gold medal, no medal ceremony would be held. A decision will be made on Russia’s team figure skating gold medal once the case has been resolved, which could take months.
“Should Ms. Valieva finish amongst the top three competitors in the women’s singles skating competition, no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games,” the Olympic committee said in a statement.
Valieva will be competing on Tuesday in Beijing in the women’s singles event.
Last Wednesday, the medal ceremony for the team figure skating event was delayed due to a reported positive drug test from the gold medal-winning Russian team.
“We have athletes that have won medals involved,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said at the daily news briefing. Adams said that “legal consultation” was required before any medals could be presented.
“Everyone is doing absolutely everything that the situation can be resolved as soon as possible,” Adams said, though he cautioned, “as you know, legal issues can sometimes drag on.”
It quickly emerged that the 15-year-old Russian figure skater reportedly tested positive for a banned substance. According to Russian media, the substance was trimetazidine, used to treat chest pain, and was found in a sample collected two months prior to the Olympics.
According to Reuters, “Trimetazidine is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of metabolic modulators and is prohibited both in and out of competition.” It is used in order to treat angina, which causes severe pain in the chest.
The United States finished second in the event, followed by the team from Japan. Due to Valieva’s age, she is considered a “protected person” by the World Anti-Doping Agency, meaning the agency is not required to release the name of the individual who tested positive.
Following the announcement by the CAS, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee expressed their disappointment in the decision.
It is the collective responsibility of the entire Olympic community to protect the integrity of sport and to hold our athletes, coaches and all involved to the highest of standards,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said. “Athletes have the right to know they are competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, today that right is being denied. This appears to be another chapter in the systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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